Black Rat Snake (Pantherophis obsoletus)

Description: 48 - 72 inches. Black Rat Snakes are almost completely black as adults, but may have faint blotches. The color around the blotches may be red or yellowish in color. The belly is generally light colored with a dark checkered pattern. Some Black Rat Snakes may have a red colored belly as well. Young Black Rat Snakes are light colored with dark blotches, and have silver colored eyes.

Similar Species: Young Western Fox Snakes are very similar in appearance to young Black Rat Snakes, but have brown or copper colored eyes, and blotches that are less jagged in appearance.

Age in years of Most Recent Record
75+ 70 65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5

This map is generated from data provided by the Drake University Biodiversity Center, observations from, the Iowa DNR Natural Areas Inventory, as well as other sources. Please help us keep it up to date by reporting your sightings to HerpMapper.