An unexpected houseguest!

Tim Benzedrine

Prankster Possum
Old Timer
Apr 4, 2004
Well, here is black rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta) that I caught today. It isn't the snake that it is so interesting as much as where I caught it. It was going under a china cabinet in the kitchen!
The kitchen door that leads out onto our back porch had been left open last night, it probably decided to come visit for a spell then and then forgot the way out.

I'd estimated it to be about 3 foot, give or take a few inches. But was surprised when I measured it and it turned out to be a 4-footer, not counting the kinks. I'd add another 6 inches or so for them. He's a real nice specimen, with only one scar. Almost all I have ever caught have had blemishes. I'm not sure if they were a result of near-escapes from predators or just cuts and abrasions from rocks or other rough terrain.
I've temporarily housed him in a ten-gallon tank. I'll be turning him loose tomorrow, or maybe the day after.

I'm not sure why these are not more popular as pets. They may be a little plain, colouration wise, but they reach a decent size, and tame down incredibly quickly, usually just minutes after being caught. Maybe it's because they are so common in the U.S. They could be highly prized in other countries for all I know.

The first two photos are pretty much the same picture, with the second showing his underlying juvenile pattern. The patterns seem to be more apparent when a black rat is excited. The last picture is it in it's temporary home.


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Old Timer
May 7, 2006
Its the adult form I admire the most... I just love all back or nearly black snakes.


Old Timer
Dec 22, 2006
My wife caught one of these guys 2 years ago in our front yard. I kept him for about a week and fattened him up a little. Decided to let him go but had to relocate him. My neighbor has a bad habit of killing snakes by chopping them up with a hoe. :eek: :eek: :eek: