Black rat snake

Rat snake at the Cincinnati Zoo.

The black rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta) is the largest snake in Ohio, reaching lengths up to 8 feet. It is an excellent climber and often takes shelter in a cavity high up in the trees. It often enters abandoned or little used buildings such as barns or attics in search of rodents to eat.


  • Where to see them: Eastern United States
  • Length: Up to 8 ft
  • Habitat: Varied habitats from rocky hillsides to farmlands
  • Diet: Rodents
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