A special THANK YOU to my friend Michelle from Seaside Park. The other day, she was shocked to see a pretty large rat snake slithering through her backyard.

Now, we all know the Jersey Shore is home to a few different kinds of snakes but...just imagine hanging out on your porch, you're relaxing in the sun and all of a sudden you see a 4ft snake slowly making its way through your yard. I know it's not an anaconda or a rattlesnake but many of us are not snake people, most of our snake IQs are terrible!

I respect snakes, I know they have a purpose but still, I'm no Steve Irwin, you won't see me playing around with a snake. Also, seeing a baby garden snake is one thing... this all-black rat snake was pretty big! Not every day do you see a 4ft snake hanging around a Jersey Shore town. Ahhh!

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What is a Rat Snake?

Adult rat snakes are typically 3-5 ft, but large individuals may be more than 6 ft long. The appearance of rat snakes varies greatly throughout the geographic range. Black rat snakes are more northern in distribution and are characteristically black on top with a faint hint of white between some of the scales. Adult rat snakes primarily eat mice, rats, squirrels, and birds, as well as bird eggs. They are a common predator on wood duck eggs. Juveniles eat small frogs, lizards, and small rodents. Rat snakes are constrictors, and adept climbers that can scale brick walls as well as tree trunks. When frightened they often assume a “kinked” posture and remain motionless. They will vibrate the tail and expel malodorous musk. A rat snake bite is not poisoenous.

I guess Michelle now has a backyard pet! She needs your help naming it...

What Should We Name This Seaside Park Rat Snake?


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