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.