This snake is often incorrectly called a 'chicken snake', probably because of it's fondness for hen's eggs. It is often misidentified for several reasons. This snake will vibrate its tail, and depending on what the tail is hitting
against may make a sound that will make you think that you are dealing with a Rattlesnake, even though they have no rattle!
While the juveniles are colored with brown blotches on a gray background, the adult's dark gray to black
blotches will be on a red, orange, yellow, or even white background, giving the snake a wide range of possible color combinations. The belly is plain with no patterning. The adults are from 4 to 6 feet long, but I have actually caught one near Zilker Park that was 7'1"
long! These snakes will eat any kind of rodent, birds, or bird eggs.
They are excellent climbers, and will go into attics and under homes in search of prey. These snakes are very aggressive when cornered or captured. But hey, if your
main diet consisted of rats, you'd probably have an attitude problem, too.
This is the ONLY large snake in the Austin-area that climbs! It commonly climbs trees, sides of buildings, etc.!
These snakes are constrictors and are not venomous!
If you don't have any food for them
around your house (rodents), they will tend to stay away or maybe just passing through.
These are one of the most beneficial snakes in the Austin area because of their ability to keep the rodent population down.
They also compete with rattlesnakes for the same food source, hence keeping rattlesnakes away!
Other Austin-area Snake ID Guides