Appearance and biology
The pilot black snake or like most know it, the black rat snake is like the largest snake known in Canada. The adult size can grow to as long as 8 feet. They have large eyes and the shapes of their heads are sort of wedged. They are either black in color like the name suggested but some are dark grey. This color is especially useful as it helps them blend with their surroundings. Their bellies, however, are white in color. The black Rat snakes are non-venomous and like many other snakes, they lay their eggs as opposed to ‘giving birth.’
After mating, the eggs are internally fertilized and laid. Hatching comes after about 70 days. The young ones are left to provide from themselves in terms of food and shelter no wonder their high mortality rate. These young ones grow to become adults, mature enough to mate and have their own young ones. This process repeats itself.
The black rat snakes have the ability to live in whatever environment. However, their home would certainly be the woodland areas, and sometimes areas near water and rocky regions. Most are found in North America
The black rat snakes consume whatever prey their surrounding provides. However, their diet would normally consist of chipmunks, mice, rats or just rodents in general as well as other snakes. Their hunting technique is by constriction.
• Has very good climbing abilities due to the way their scales are designed. Aside from climbing, they are also known to be good swimmers.
• These snakes are non-venomous in nature and therefore have a different means to protect themselves. When they feel threatened, they produce a very bad smell, one that is just enough to chase the attacker away. Like the rattle snake, they also make some noises to scare their threat.
• Black rat snakes are constrictors. They use this ability when it comes to hunting their prey. However, they cannot use this to protect themselves from humans as their constrictions are not as tight to prevent airflow. For this reason, the bad smell serves them.
• As for mating behavior, the males would normally fight to have a particular female as its mate. They do not stay with their mates like in other species as once mating is done, that is it. However, during the winter season, no mating is done as they are normally in their dens hibernating. The Black Rat Snake