The black rat snake is the largest snake in Michigan and is colored mostly black, with a white chin and throat and blotches of gray throughout. These snakes are great climbers and can be found sometimes on rafters in barns or in trees near water. This snake is nonvenomous and is not a threat to humans. They can be beneficial by eating rodents.
Black rat snakes are listed as a “species of special concern” in Michigan, meaning their population is in decline due to loss of habitat and human persecution. They are protected by state law.
Our black rat snake at the Nature Center is actually a hybrid of Michigan black rat snake and Texan rat snake. Come visit him in his enclosure with the gray corn snake. You will often find the two snakes cuddling together in their hide.
Life span: 10-15 years in the wild
Size: 3 1/2 to 8 feet long
Food habits: Carnivore