Baird’s Rat Snake Care Sheet

Scientific Facts

Scientific Name Elaphe bairdi
Order Scaled reptiles
Measurement 64 to 140 cm (25 to 55 in)
Genus Pantherophis

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Baird’s rat snake is thoroughly connected to the common rat snake. Family of the rat snake circle can have strips, marks, or a mixture of stripes and spots; even unicolored types can be created. Ventral outlines of Baird’s rat snakes typically contain light and dim parts; the general pattern of the ventral scales is a gorgeous orange-yellow. Rat snakes likewise have some representatives that are a melanistic (missing black color) or leucistic (white pattern with azure eyes).

Diagnostic Features

Scales are slightly capsized, with twenty-seven scale rows at midbody.

Divided anal plate.                                                               


Dorsal hue is grey-brown with scales bordered in beige or red-yellow on forebody and deep ginger or salmon toward hindmost.

Grownups with 4 shady longitudinal bands.

Ventral exterior light grey to pastel beige nonetheless blackens to salmon under extremity.


Adult Pantherophis bairdi can raise to measurements of 62.5-137.5 cm (25-55 in).

General Distribution

In North America, Pantherophis bairdi is originated lone in parts of Texas and northern Mexico.


This ratsnake is slow-stirring and usually quiet. Pantherophis bairdi will hiss and might attack if susceptible. Foods on small creatures (counting bats), birds, in addition to lizards.


Breeding usually occurs in the initial summer, and a clutch of equal to 10 eggs is placed mid-summer. Gestation lasts around 12 weeks. Hatchlings are twelve inches long and noticeable with ashen and chocolate marks. These marks gradually disappear into the background pattern of the snakes as they turn out to be adults, in advance the longitudinal bands as the spots vanish.


Pantherophis bairdi can be originated across stony, forested parts of Cretaceous limestone valleys of the Edwards Plateau and moorland and desert portions of the Trans-Pecos.

Conservation Status

Baird’s rat snake is not an endangered type in Texas and can be lawfully composed with a stalking certificate.

Texas Distribution

In Texas, Pantherophis bairdi is originated from south-central Texas to Big Bend.

Taxonomy Notes

Previously Elaphe, the North Ameri, can ratsnakes have been limited to the kind Pantherophis by Utiger et al.

Proper care


Fodder your rat snake a thawed rat or mouse once a week till maturity, when the nourishing regularity can be released to once for each fortnight. Prey substances must be no broader than the snake at its densest part, and allowable to thaw immediately in a fridge beforehand being permitted to move toward room temperature. Some snakes will attack a food piece obtainable on tongs, at the same time as others favor to have the nourishment left in the vivarium.


Making an appropriate setting for your snake is vital for the wellbeing of your pet.

As a fledgling, your Baird’s is fairly proficient in being contained in a 90cm vivarium as long as there are sufficient small pelts for it to sense safe. As they are rather a lively snake, they will escalate being elevated to a bigger vivarium as they raise. They can be a bit shy, so make certain that they continuously have numerous appropriately sized hiding homes. The inclusion must be frequently prepared, with waste removed proximately and water dishes prepared with a reptile safe antiseptic as a minimum once a week.

The Terrarium

The initial query that you need to inquire yourself is how you want to keep the snake.

Do you demand to show the snake? Then the lone choice that you partake is glass.

And glass certainly has its compensations. There’s nothing further attractive visually. Throw in some decoration and some reptile lighting, and you have a beautiful principal point in the area. You can effortlessly spot stool or other blotches, which, if left unattended, can rapidly become a bacteria magnet.

Under the Tank heating system, which is the most favored method of cage heating system, works the finest with glass cisterns.

Nonetheless, to house a 5- or 6-feet rat snake, you require as a minimum a 5-6-feet long glass cistern, which will be ludicrously weighty and a routine to clean.

Contemplate the regular solutions when you will unfill the inclusion and brush the whole cistern.

Abruptly, you start to contemplate of somewhat that’s lighter and laid-back to handle. Likewise, glass doesn’t hold heat that well.

You will have to display the temperature and the dampness in the cistern. Glass cisterns with screen tops, in specific, need continuous nursing.

HDPE plastic crates are a robust, lightweight, and comparatively cheap choice to house snakes. They grasp on to temperature and hold wetness very well. Are informal to clean moreover.

The compromise is that they look similar to plastic cases must look. Which isn’t very visual.

Wooden inclusions bid the finest temperature retention and safety. The sliding tops make them easy to contact and fresh too. The warning is that if you do not close it well, a porous timber hit with the moisture in the tank develops a magnet for microbial pollution.

If you are choosing for a timber inclusion, guarantee that it’s closed and preserved. And that it does not produce poisonous vapors.


Adult Baird’s Ratsnakes infrequently effort to bite, though they might do so if controlled or alarmed. Handle moderately, without pinching or infolding, letting the snake move over your fingers. Do not let the snake hang unfounded. Hatchlings frequently devote substantial energy sensitively tricking, often hissing and prominent recurrently, though real bites are not common. With tender handling, these conducts vanish quickly, and the subsequent calm snake brands an outstanding pet.


A diversity of substrates can be applied. Aspen bedding, broadsheet, and Care Fresh are general with numerous keepers. Paper cloths may be used for coating baby crates. Retain the substrate fresh and dry continuously. As with entire reptiles, do NOT use cedar or pine splinters. These substances are poisonous to reptiles.

Sand is not a decent choice for this snake’s substrate; subsequently, it’s not hard sufficient, and the animal may gasp it, producing respiratory difficulties. You likewise should evade using pine splinters or cedar flakes, since the strong smells may bother your snake’s subtle respiratory structure.


Throughout the day, rat snakes need a warm lying zone. This is attained by using a strong spot tuber at one close of the vivarium. To achieve the essential lying temperature of 85oF- 90oF, we practice one 40w lying light in a 3ft inclusion.

At evening rat snakes need a minor drop in temperature and over-all dimness. The lying light must be switched off. A night period temperature of 80oF is formed by using a heated rug. These emit heats but yield no light. The heat rug must continuously be measured by a good excellence regulator. The regulator will mechanically turn mat on at dark when the temperature in the vivarium turns low. Temperatures must be checked every day with the use of a thermometer.


Rat snakes must continuously be held in reserve on a dry to make certain moisture doesn’t shape up in the inclusion. At the same time, as any moveable substrate has the possible to be unintentionally swallowed, we have started this to not be an issue with rough beech woodchips, and that is what we retain our rat snakes on. It is likewise very laidback to clean.

Even as most rat snakes are not an arboreal snake, they ensure like to ascent on the highest of things to inspect their environments. The vivarium must be ornamented with numerous bits of timber to allow them to ensure this.

The rat snake vivarium can be ornamented with non-natural plants for a more normal appearance. A hiding spot at apiece end of the inclusion will let the snake transfer easily and thermoregulate deprived of feeling unconfident.

Diet and Water

As hatchlings, rat snakes must be nourished weekly on thawed pinky mice, as the snake raises the nourishment scope must be amplified till the snake is taking big mice or even jumbos. Mature rat snakes can be nourished once every 2 weeks as they can turn out to be overweight if nourished weekly.

A water container big sufficient for the snake to enter must be provided on the cold exterior of the inclusion.

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Different from other snake breeds, ultraviolet (UVB) light is not essential for black rat snakes. If you’re using any temperature decorations that produce a noticeable white light, these must be located on a clock or turned on and off every single 10 to 12 hours to copy the natural diurnal and nocturnal series.


If you retain a male and female together, they might strain. You do not require to do whatever to boost this, as long as they are fit and the circumstances are upright, it will occur logically. You need to reflect on whether you need this to materialize. What will you prepare with the babies if you gestate the offspring?

A gravid female must have admittance to a nesting container to lay her offspring. The container must be big enough that she can completely go-around inside it. We apply moss to retain the box humidly and moist.

The offspring must be gestated in an incubator at 84oF. We gestate our offspring in closed containers on a humidity rich substrate (for example, Hatchrite) to trap the moisture around the offspring. Subsequently, about 60 days the offspring will begin to hatch, the initial babies to appear will inspire the rest of the offspring to hatch.

Fun Facts

Black rat snakes are one of the lengthiest snakes in North America, infrequently reaching measurements of 8 feet.

When vulnerable, rat snakes will “clatter” their end, misleading other animals into trusting they are poisonous.

Similar to pythons besides boas, rat snakes are constrictors, which smother their victim.

During the colder months of the year, the black rat snake will hole up with further snakes counting the timber rattlesnake in addition to the racer. This might have produced the improper trust that the black rat snake mains the further snakes to housing, making it the designation ‘pilot snake’.

Black rat snakes are outstanding ramblers and quest for birds and spawn in foliage.

Rat Snake Types usually obtainable as pets

Until the initial 2000s, it was supposed that all Rat Snakes were thoroughly connected and were branded under the type ‘Elaphe.’

Nonetheless, with the progression of technology, it was exposed that numerous of these snakes own distinct physiognomies that distinguish them from one another. Some of them are meticulously associated with King Snakes.

This controlled the main taxonomical amendment in 2002.

The type ‘Elaphe’ is nowadays used to label what is named ‘Old World Rat Snakes’ or Rat snakes originated in Asian & European countries. These ranks inferior in the names of desirables by pet caretakers, mostly due to an energetic manner. You wouldn’t want to toss open the cover of a terrarium nonchalantly with one of these tiny dragons.

North American Rats are branded under the type ‘Pantherophis’ and are named ‘New World Rat Snakes,’ which comprises some of the general rat snake diversities reserved as pets, like Corn Snakes and Fox Snakes.

There are additional sub-type that is likewise fairly prevalent amongst colubrid gatherers and breeders, such as the Ladder Snake (Rhinechis), the Thai Bamboo (Oreocryptophis) and the Tri-Color Rat Snake (Archelaphe).

Rat Snakes are obtainable in an extremely varied choice of dimensions, insignia, morphs, and characters.

Furthermost, New World Rats are average-sized snakes that are laid-back to house and maintain for.

Can you breed Rat Snakes in Confinement?

Rat Snakes were one of the primary colubrids to be positively raised by gatherers and snake caretakers, much previously the more striking diversities arrived.

These passive snakes are iteroparous, meaning that their generative series are foreseeable and tedious, making it informal for even novice pet owners to raise them.

Most categories of rat snakes spread sexual adulthood at about 2-3 years, and the breeding period starts in April, long-lasting until June, throughout which the male rat snake will display breeding conduct.

Sexually established rat snakes must be clever to mate without any help or outside meddling, which means that there may be no requirement to brumate the snake. This is significant if novice breeders find it problematic to keep precise temperatures.

Though, making the snakes for breeding betters the probabilities of positive breeding. It rouses the male’s generative performance and supports the creation of the gamete.

Rack arrangements might effort. Nonetheless, it is continuously well if you house sexually established adult rat snakes in big crates or terrariums.

Occasionally check the crates, change any water that’s been grubby and guarantee that there’s plenty aeriation.

Afterward, the Brumation period progressively warms the setting to the usual temperatures over the sequence of 2 weeks. It’s time to reinstate nourishment.

Snakes fodder insatiably for a primary couple of weeks after evolving from Brumation. This likewise decreases the danger of the snakes cannibalizing when they are presented for breeding. Rat snakes are typically not recognized to slay and eat other snakes. Nonetheless, after a protracted period of starvation, the distraction might fuel changeable conduct.

In the event, the male does not show any breeding action; some breeders endorse creating a paste of the white ordure that the female defaecates and smearing it on the posterior of the female before presenting her into the male’s inclusion. That must rouse the male’s multiplicative natures.

After 2 to 3 copulations over the sequence of a week, the female will show signs of augmented starvation. You can fodder her belligerently to support in the breeding sequence.

This will typically be trailed by the pre-partum shed, which designates that the female is prepared to lay offspring. Present 2 egg-laying ampules to the inclusion.

Availability, where to get one and cost

Most new world rat snakes can be obtained for inexpensive from any presumed local breeder.

The regular price for a yellow rat snake hatchling, for instance, can be somewhere from $50-$70.

The Red-Tailed Green can charge you about $75 for a hatchling while corns are even inexpensive, with the regular price reaching from $30-50.

The unusual Asian diversities price a first-class, however. An albino indo-Chinese morph can establish you back by $1000 at a minimum.

A Yearling Yunan will rate at a minimum of $500.

Somewhat than just using the value of the snake as a yardstick, you must likewise deliberate the scope of the snake, the care supplies, and the nature of the category, as it will importantly affect your aptitude to provide a fit and caring setting for your pet.

Do not overlook to the reason for the price of the gear, such as the terrarium, climbing arrangements (rat snakes love to ascent), temperature switch, moisture regulator, lights, nourishment, and substrate.

On regular, it would charge you at least $250-300 for the gear alone.

Are Rat Snakes poisonous?

No, they aren’t.

Though they share a conspicuous similarity to some of the most poisonous snakes on the landmass, Rat snakes are anodyne to humans.

These snakes are tremendously helpful in pest control in city surroundings in addition to in countries.

One of the easiest habits to differentiate among a rate snake and a poisonous snake, like the copperhead, is to detect the pupils.

Poisonous snakes typically have an extended pupil, rather like a gash in the middle of the eye. A rat snake, conversely, has round pupils.

The lone exclusion to this is the coral snake, an extremely poisonous snake that has a round pupil and looks like the non-poisonous milk snake.

Do Rat snakes have fangs?

Yes, they do.

Nonetheless, the fangs are small and are exclusively used to confine small quarry, like pests and rodents, when the rat snake tightens them.

Subsequently, the snakes are non-poisonous, the fangs are not as big or prevailing as in poisonous types like vipers or rattlesnakes.

Though, just for a reason, that rat snakes do not have big fangs does not mean that they can’t impose an aching bite.

The lone likelihood of getting gnawed through rises when the snake is touched erroneously or is not used to being touched.

If your pet rat snake does attack you, simply rinse the wound and sterilize it. Rat snakes do not transmit vermin that can be conceded to humans, so you do not have to fear.

Common Health Issues

The distinguishing scientific sign of SFD is a facial bulge. The illness can develop from the adenoidal hollow inside via the eyes, gullet, and lungs producing eye contagions and pneumonia. The fungus moreover spreads outwardly laterally the neck, physique, and tail starting dispersed nodes (lumps) or ulcerations.

The yeast can be shed into the atmosphere by infected animals and spread from the environment to other snakes, chiefly in animals that share holes. There is no conclusive indication of the snake to snake spread. Spread of the yeast to new sites may happen when individuals track dirty soil entrenched in clothing or shoes.

SFD is identified by documentation of the archetypal skin grazes as well as research laboratory documentation of the yeast by culture or DNA recognition and tiny inspection of materials.


Do rat snakes slay rattlesnakes?

Black racers do infrequently slay and consume other snakes. Black rat snakes, though, aren’t identified for snake killing. They occasionally will even overwinter with other class of snakes, counting copperheads and rattlesnakes.

Are rat snakes and corn snakes a similar thing?

A corn snake is a class of rat snake; nonetheless, there is numerous other class of rat snakes. Furthermost of these snakes typically named ‘rat snakes’ were allocated to kind Elaphe; nevertheless, new hereditary revisions have broken things up fairly a bit. … Corn snakes are Pantherophis guttatus.

Are rat snakes hostile?

Behavioral conducts. Rat snake behavior differs among the type. Some classes, for example, the black rat snake/eastern rat snake, are recognized to be cautious but rather irritable and hostile when surrounded, rendering to Marshall University.

Is rat snake hazardous?

Rat Snakes are non-poisonous and anodyne. They are a valuable snake as they victim on gerbils and rats that abolish harvests or attack places of food storing. Nonetheless, if you aggravate it, it will bite, and it will attack. It won’t kill you, however.

Will a rat snake bite you?

When susceptible, Rat snakes halt, and numerous are killed in circulation for this routine. Their bite appears very much similar to a human bite, and as they can raise rather big, a bite can be very tender.

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