Red Rat Snake or Corn Snake: (Pantherophis guttatus)
Red rat snakes (pantheerophis guttatus); also known as the eastern corn snake, corn snake and chicken snake is a member of the colubridae family. They average in size between 18 to 44 inches long, with the record being 72 inches long.
Red rat snakes coloring consists of brownish – red tones with orange – red blotches, the blotches have black borders. Their bellies are usually a black and white checkerboard pattern, and the tip of the tail has 2 black stripes. The head and neck have a spear shaped design. The under It has keeled scales and 27 to 29 dorsal scale rows at mid – body, they also have round pupils.
Red rat snakes are found throughout Florida. They prefer habitats that have overgrown fields, forest openings, trees, palmetto flat – woods, and abandoned farms or seldom used building like barns.
Red rat snakes are carnivores, primarily consuming small rodents, birds and their eggs, frogs and lizards.
Gray rat snakes are mainly nocturnal. This snake is an excellent climber and terrestrial burrower. They are commonly found under logs, rocks, trees and tree bark. They are mistaken for the venomous copperhead snake and are often killed due to the mistaken identity. There name came from the days when southern farmer stored harvested ears of corn in a wood frame or log building called a crib, which attracted rodents, leading the corn snakes to feed on the rodents. Red rat snakes are docile and rarely bite humans. They will bite if necessary, although they are less likely too. Red rat snakes are completely harmless to humans, pets and livestock and are a benefit to have around.