Know Your Local Snakes: Baby Rat Snake

This cute little snake is a baby black rat snake and is also called an Eastern Rat Snake: Scotophis alleghaniensis). It is harmless. Often people see the pattern on its back and confuse it with a copperhead snake and kill it on site. An adult black rat snake is black on its back and has a white chin.

I found this guy on my porch by my front door yesterday.

In Southern Maryland where I live, the copperhead is the only poisonous snake.

Rat snakes and other non-venomous snakes have round pupils while Copperheads have an elliptical pupil like a cat’s eye. It looks like a small vertical slit in the eye.

If you aren’t sure what kind of snake you are looking at; it’s best to keep your distance.

Here is a guide to Maryland herps:

4 thoughts on “Know Your Local Snakes: Baby Rat Snake

  1. Kelli

    Oh my goodness, two posts about snakes you found. You brave soul you, getting close enough to take a picture. I am flat terrified, no matter the type. I am afraid I would never get close enough to figure out exactly what the snake was to identify it.

  2. jane Post author

    Hi Kelli,
    I’m getting braver with practice. It’s not a bad idea to give snakes some space especially if you aren’t knowledgeable about them. I always take precautions.

  3. alex

    A found a snake but i dont kno wat kind it is …it has brown dots and its cafe brown and it has some big scales like a rattle snake

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