Snake – Gray Rat Snake Identification

Q: My neighbor found this snake on his driveway. It’s over 2 feet long and I told him (my neighbor, not the snake) not to hurt it but he did. Can you help identify it?

A: It’s a gray rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta).

Native plant expert Theresa Schrum reminds us that this snake is completely harmless and a great friend to have in the garden as it eats voles, mice and other rodents. Remember too that all non-venomous snakes in Georgia are protected by law.

Killing them is illegal, no matter how much you dislike them.

The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory has an excellent website devoted to identifying snakes, frogs and other amphibians.

Savannah River Ecology Laboratory Herpetology Identification

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