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Posted by terryp on April 17, 2003 at 09:32:34:
In Reply to: Re: that looks like a ....... posted by patricia sherman on April 17, 2003 at 04:54:07:
quite a picture show of their state's black rat snakes a while back. I currently have a pair of 2 year old Guthrie, KY locale black rat snakes. They exhibit the colors and pattern retention of Brian's black rat snake. I've done a little research and asked some questions. Word has it that there is gray rat snake influence in some of the populations of black rat snakes in Kentucky and other regions that came up from the Mississippi river delta region. The black rat snake in these populations we see now have evolved from this integration. This isn't a present integrade. People will at first say Texas rat snake because it's pattern is and remains visible. I'd have to disagree with it being Texas rat snake, but it is a good question or obsevation. There was also discussion awhile back about melanism. Are there melanistic populations of black rat snakes making them the almost pure black snakes that some areas seem to have? A melanistic black rat snake would evolve in populations rather than not survive as an amelanistic. Alan Garry has worked with and seems to have alot of data and info on black rat snakes. He's a great person to e-mail and ask questions on black rat snakes. Good luck
:Yep this is how the black rats can look here in KY. They are very variable in coloration ...
:I have some beautiful extreme blacks, but I don't know where they originated. I'm guessing either from Pennsylvania or a New England State, although it is possible they may have originated from Ontario ancestors. I've had them for over a decade. Most of their offspring turn out as black as they are, but some are less-solid, and retain a blotched appearance throughout their lives. Even so, these less-solid snakes are still very dark. I purchased a male from another breeder, and he's an olivey colour, with not-quite-black blotches, much like the snake you've got. I've been assured that he's a pure Pantherophis o. obsoleta of "Kentucky" coloration.
:For those that would say your snake looks more like a P. o. lindheimeri, I'd have to say they're wrong. I have a normal coloured Texas rat, and his background colour is far more orange than olive, also he has a red tongue. I'm willing to bet that your snake's tongue is black.