Baby Black Rat Snake: Identification, Price and Facts

Black Rat Snake (Pantherophis obsoletus) is a species of nonvenomous snake. These snakes are native to the United States, particularly in the midwestern and southern parts of the country. 

Because of their lack of venom and non-aggressive temperament, they are very popular as pets all around the world. If you’re thinking about having a black rat snake as a pet, choosing a baby snake might be better than keeping an adult. 

This way, you get to have more years with your pet. In this article, we’ll talk about how to identify a baby black rat snake if you’re planning to purchase one, as well as their price and some interesting facts about them.

With proper environment and care, a baby black snake will stay with you for up to 15 years. So, if you’re planning to have one, make sure to love it and provide all of its necessities. 

Identification (How to Identify)

Identifying a baby black rat snake from others is a tricky business because of their similarity in appearance to various different snake species. Their coloration, in particular, is very similar to miniature fox snakes like the Eastern Fox Snake and the Western Fox Snake.

Baby Black Rat Snake Identification
Baby Black Rat Snake Identification
Image Source | pilotonline, wildlifepreservation, mnherps

Also, the snake looks different as a juvenile and an adult. But there are indicators in their morphology you can follow to identify a baby black rat snake.

If you’re planning to purchase a baby rat snake instead of an adult one, remember that the coloring will not be the same for the two. While the adults have shiny black as the highlighted color, the baby black rat snake is more gray than black.

Their whole body is gray with dark brown spots on it. The ventral side of the snake has fewer markings. There are also some brown markings on its face: one between the eyes and a pair extending down from each eye. The eyes of a baby black rat snake are white with round pupils instead of the black eyes of an adult.


baby black rat snake identification
Baby Black Rat Snake Price | Credits: pilotonline

The price of a baby black rat snake can be around $79.99 to $150.99, depending on your location, availability, stock, and other breeding factors.

Sometimes it is also noticed an exponential rise in the price for an adult Black Rat Snake. In addition, the other species of Rat snakes are very costly and can be reached up to $1600 for a Japanese forest rat snakeTherefore, it’s always better to research more about snakes before making any purchases. 

Note: We are not breeders; these prices are based on online sales shown on Google. Prices may differ depending on region to region. Also, this post is only for educational purposes.

Interesting Facts

  • The juvenile snakes of this species have a lighter shade than the adults. The color of their skin darkens with time, and the patterns on their back become almost obsolete. Though the marks can be seen when the adult stretches.
  • Black Rat Snakes have several common names, including Western Rat Snake, Pilot Black Snake, Black Coluber, and Chicken Snake.
  • Another popular name for black rat snakes is just Black Snake. They share the name with some other snakes in the USA, including Eastern Indigo Snake, Eastern Racer, and Black Kingsnake.
  • Their other nickname, Pilot Black Snake, comes from the false belief that they lead venomous snakes like the Copperheads and the Timber Rattlesnakes to their den to hibernate during winter.
  • Black rat snakes are powerful constrictors and constrict their prey until they collapse from obstructive shock.
  • While facing a threat, these snakes vibrate their tail in a mimicry of the rattlesnakes to scare.

How to Take Care

Baby black rat snakes are docile and low-maintenance and easier to keep as pets than some of the other snakes. They are good climbers, so make sure to give your baby black snake enough space to move but also remember to keep its tank safely locked.

Black rat snakes prefer cool temperatures, so keep the temperature of their tank around 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. But don’t lower the temperature below 70 degrees lest they go into hibernation.

Baby black rat snakes are pretty hardy and don’t catch a lot of diseases. But they are susceptible to mouth rot, infectious stomatitis, and fungal and bacterial respiratory infections. In that case, go to a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles.

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