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Elaphe obsoleta linheimeri (Texas Ratsnake)
Adults of this subspecies typically have a dark gray head with white lips and 25-38 dark brown to black dorsal blotches, with corresponding smaller lateral blotches. The ground color may range from a brown or slate color only slightly lighter than the blotches (particularly in forest populations) to a yellowish or orangish brown color that can be quite attractive. The skin between the scales is usually reddish. The throat and ventral surface of the neck is white, and the ventral scales are marked with indistinct gray checkering. Populations from the eastern woodlands tend to be darker than populations from the Texas Hill Country; however, there is considerable individual variation, and I have seen very dark specimens from around Abeline, Texas, and fairly bright specimens from the vicinity of Tyler, Texas.
This subspecies is found from the bayous of Louisiana through the prairies and hill country of Central Texas. It can also be found in cities such as Dallas, Fort Worth, or Houston. The single most important factor influencing the occurrence of this snake is the prescence of oak trees (and presumably rodents).
Spotted on Apr 13, 2012
Submitted on Jun 26, 2012