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The Natural History and Captive Care of the Trans-Pecos Ratsnake – Part 2

Yellow Rat SnakeThe Trans-Pecos Ratsnake, Bogertophis subocularis, stands apart form it’s many relatives in both appearance and habits.  Please see Part 1 of this article to learn more about the natural history of this most interesting desert-dweller.

General Care

Although less closely related to the “typical” ratsnakes (i.e. the Yellow Ratsnake, please see photo) than originally believed, the basic care of the Trans-Pecos closely follows that of other commonly kept species.  Please see the article below for general care; today I’ll focus on points specific to the Trans-Pecos Ratsnake. Read More »

The Natural History and Captive Care of the Trans-Pecos Rat Snake – Part 1

Trans Pecos Rat SnakeNorth America is home to a great diversity of ratsnakes, many of which have long been bred in captivity.  One of the more unique species to have become established in the trade is the Trans-Pecos Ratsnake, Bogertophis (formerly Elaphe) subocularis.  Despite wide availability, its life in the wild remains largely unstudied.  Today we’ll examine what is known of its natural history, and move on to care and breeding in Part 2.


The Trans-Pecos Ratsnake ranges in color from almost pure yellow to yellowish-olive or tan, and is one of the few snakes clad mainly in this color.  It is further distinguished by dark-brown to black “H” shaped blotches between 2 long dorsal stripes and by unusually large, bulging eyes (a likely adaptation to its nocturnal lifestyle).  Light or “blond” and dark phases occur naturally, and at least 18 color varieties have been produced in captivity.  Adult Trans-Pecos Ratsnakes measure 3 to 5½ feet in length. Read More »

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