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Georgia's Reptiles and Amphibians

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Grey Rat Snake

Elaphe obsoleta spiloides


Grey Rat Snake
Found in Ware County, Ga


The Grey Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta spiloides) is a large heavy bodied snake. Like its name says it is usually a light to dark grey colored snake with darker grey round blotches down its back. It average length is from 3ft to 7ft long and its record length is at 8ft long. There are three known color phases of the snake. The first is when cross-bread with Yellow Rat Snakes (Elaphe obsoleta quadrivittata) which was known as the Gulf Hammock Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta williamsi) and for many years was considered to be a valid subspecies but now proven not to be. The second color phase is when cross-bread with Black Rat Snakes (Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta. In some parts of Florida there is a color phase known as “White Oak” which its colors is almost white with a silvery look about it. It is by far the most beautiful of the different color phases. Juvenile Grey Rat Snakes look exactly as the adults.



The Grey Rat snake can be found in a variety of habitats. It can be found in and around Cypress Swamps, in areas that border a swamp, marsh or pond, tree-lined riverbanks, and in Live Oak Forest which they can be found climbing on the big trees. I have found Grey Rat Snakes also coiled up in the Rafters of old out houses and old abandoned buildings. They seem to live close to an area that has a great population of mice and rats. They can also be found under pieces of tin and other debris around an abandoned house or abandoned agricultural building.



The Grey Rat Snake eat mostly mice and rat. They will also feed on birds and bird eggs. When young they will prey upon lizard, baby rodents and frogs.


Abundance and Behavior:

This snake is very common in the south. It is found in the southern part of Georgia. In spring and fall it is mainly diurnal (comes out during the day). In the summer it is both diurnal and Nocturnal (comes out at night). They can be found in old building and in tree asleep during the day and can be found moving on roads at night. During and after an afternoon thunderstorm they can be found moving around in the summer.


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Live and Let Live

All photos are taken by myself unless noted otherwise. All photos are Copyright 2005-2006. If you would like to use any of my photos just email me and I will be happy to let anyone use them.


Need Help Identifing a Snake In your area? First though look through the photos of the snakes and if still have questions email me at and I will take a look at it. And most likely be able to get you a correct anwser. Also please do not send me pictures of snakes that have been choped up into pieces. This really distresses me and I have gotten several emails where there were people who showed me pictures of snakes that they killed and all have turned out to be non-venomous.


Never Pick Up, Handle, or Try To Kill Any Venomous Snakes! Most Bites Occur That Way! Never Pick Up A Snake That You Are Uncertain About!


Disclaimer!!! Please do not do anything you see me do on this website. Some of these animals are very dangerous and I understand the risk of working with them. The bite from some of these animals can easily kill me or do extreme harm. If you do want to get into venomous herpeculture please do as much research as possible about them before considering working with them. Also I would suggest getting proper training from professional before working with them too. I do not accept any responsibility for anyone elses actions.