The black rat snake is one of the most common snakes in Georgia. Adults typically reach lengths of 3½-6 feet, but the record is about 8½ feet. This snake generally is solid black with white on its underside, although a faint pattern may show through on some individuals — possibly the result of breeding with another rat snake subspecies such as the gray rat snake or yellow rat snake.
Rat snakes are good climbers. Since they serve an important role in the environment as rodent consumers, killing rat snakes or any other non-venomous snake is illegal.
WILD Facts is a regular feature written by Linda May, a wildlife interpretive specialist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division.