Appearance and biology
Like the Black rat snake, the yellow rat snake is also among the largest snakes in North America. An adult’s average length is about 7 feet though in some cases some reach to even 10 feet. They are greenish in color with some touch of yellow and sometimes orange. Also along its body run some dark stripes about four which change depending on the region the snake is from. The body appearance of young yellow rat snakes in terms of stripes is different from that of the adult. These snakes are generally non-venomous in nature and lay eggs that later hatch into young ones.
After mating, eggs are internally fertilized and are laid. Breeding among the yellow rat snakes occurs at least once per year. The mortality of their young ones is also not as high owing to the fact that the diet for the young ones is different from that of adults and so competition is eliminated. These young ones grow to maturity, mate and have their young ones. The cycle repeats itself.
These snakes would commonly be found in the Northern Hemisphere. Its habitat would include: swamps, areas generally near water, the woodland or thick forests as well as flood plains. Aside from the wild, these snakes would also seek shelter in farm houses and abandoned buildings.
The diet of the Yellow rat snakes is vast. Young ones would prefer small animals like the lizards. However, in general, there diet would include rodents especially rats and mice, small birds like chicks, squirrels as well as bird eggs.
• Their behavior would normally depend on where the snake is from. Some appear to be more aggressive than others.The yellow rat snakes, like the black rat snakes are good swimmers. This ability helps them to widen their hunting ground. Aside from swimming, they are also good climbers. Most of the time when not hunting, they prefer to hang high in trees like the Cypress oak.
• These snakes are generally active when dark with no much activity during the day. However, they sometimes engage in hunting during the day.
• As for their hunting technique, they constrict their prey to death. They are less likely to eat their young ones as there is no competition for food with their young ones owing to their different diets.
• Unlike the black rat snake where when frightened they freeze, these ones will normally position themselves in some curved manner such that they appear a branch. The Yellow Rat Snake