Go Find It!

By MDC | July 1, 2022
From Xplor: July/August 2022

Go Find It!

Also known as “black snakes,” western ratsnakes are found throughout Missouri in wooded areas. For more on these riveting reptiles, slither over to mdc.mo.gov/field-guide.

Western Ratsnake

Basking in the Branches

Ratsnakes love to climb trees to rest out of reach of predators and raid bird nests for eggs to eat.

Not Always Black

Baby western ratsnakes are grayish-tan in color with dark-brown blotches. It takes two years for the youngsters to turn completely black.

Sizable Serpents

Although they can grow 7 feet long, most adult ratsnakes are 3 to 5 feet in length.

Beat the Heat

Ratsnakes are active during the day most of the time. But when temperatures turn especially toasty, they hunt at night.

All-Natural Pest Control

Mice and other rodents are a big part of a ratsnake’s diet. They also eat small rabbits, birds, and eggs.

Also In This Issue

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Artist - Alexis (AJ) Joyce
Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Designer – Les Fortenberry
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Editor – Matt Seek
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Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber