Grey Rat Snake


Grey Rat Snake  (Pantherophis spiloides)– Status: Endangered

Grey Rat Snakes were very recently called Black Rat Snakes. For the snakes in our area, the Rat Snake is the largest with lengths from 1 to 2.5 metres. They have a shiny black body with a white chin and throat. The belly is white or yellowish with dark spots. Juveniles are grey with dark blotches.


Grey Rat Snakes are widely distributed throughout the eastern and central United States, extending as far north as southern Ontario. There are two widely separated populations in Ontario: the Carolinian in southwestern Ontario and the Frontenac Axis in southeastern Ontario. They are extremely rare and we have only seen them in the wild on one occasion in Charleston Lake Provincial Park. 

Their habitat is typically in or near woodlands. They are great climbers and can scale up vertical surfaces like tree trunks, fences and sides of buildings. Their diet is mainly small mammal, birds and bird’s eggs. Larger prey is suffocated by constriction prior to being swallowed.