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Black Rat Snakes (mating)

Pantherophis obsoletus


2 black rat snakes mating in a partially hollow portion of a trail-side tree.


Forest with nearby large creek.


Their eggs will be hatching late summer / early fall.

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NeilDazet 7 years ago

Updated - scientific name (Pantherophis obsoletus), and I added an additional photo.

Geodialist 8 years ago

Do you think Missouri is a southern state? If so, then I suggest you add your spotting to the "Southern Romance" mission.

Atul 8 years ago

super Spotting!

KarenL 8 years ago

Great spot Neil! What a cool find!

NeilDazet 8 years ago

Thanks for the favorites on this one! I've been involved with snake field work for several years, plus time spent spotting snakes for Noah. To come across two impressive snakes like this mating in a tree trunk is a very unique and rare event for even herp guys like me. I was extremely lucky!!!

dotun55 8 years ago

I wasn't really into the details, only enthralled to see Black Rats Snakes in another dimension other than what obtains on Nat Geo Wild's 'World's Deadliests'

NeilDazet 8 years ago

Thanks dotun55! I was just having a discussion with Janson on another post that referenced this photo. If you look at the dorsal scales, there is a ridge that splits each scale in half, called a keel. Black rat snakes in Missouri are frequently confused with black racers. Black racers have smooth scales without the ridge.

dotun55 8 years ago

Those are great shots all the same. The camera in question is apparently nothing less than a 10MP. The video would be awesome, so we get a to hear their sound and see their movement as well.
That was a deadly close-up!

NeilDazet 8 years ago

Thanks guys! For a herp guy like me, this was an amazing find. The camera I had with me at the time wasn't that great. If I get another similar spotting this year, I'll be able to capture it better - perhaps with video. :)

dotun55 8 years ago

Great spotting. Kudos!

AntónioGinjaGinja 8 years ago

great spotting,uauuu! cach in the act,perfect timing,congrats Neil

Spotted by

Columbia, Missouri, USA

Spotted on May 12, 2011
Submitted on May 13, 2011

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