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 #2148460


Cincinnatux
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 Please help identify this hatchling from the Ohio River Valley area

Last weekend, I was visiting cousins when one of them discovered a snake in the basement. They didn’t want it there, so I agreed to take it with me. I live on 5 acres of wet woodlands in the midst of a 40-acre wood, and there’s decent diversity in the habitat (eastern box turtles, pileated woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, whitetail deer, great horned owls, red-shouldered hawks, hummingbirds, woodchucks, and the usual assortment of raccoons, oppossums, moles, mice, squirrels, etc. found in the Ohio River Valley.

So the snake - currently named Agatha (after the Greek Agathodaemon, a serpent spirit believed to guard vineyards and good times) - is now ensconced in a 40-gallon aquarium with a metal lid that clamps over the sides with a water dish, a plastic hide, a paper bag hide, a large empty bowl, a small water dish, a large stick, and cyprus mulch. Agatha doesn’t seem to like the mulch, though, so I’ll probably swap it out for Aspen soon.

Anyhow, I’m no herpetologist and cannot figure out if Agatha is a rat snake or a bull snake. Here are photos of her head, side markings, and tail. Sorry I couldn’t get better pics, but I wanted to leave Aggie unmolested in her new habitat until I can get a heating pad under one end of the aquarium and start her eating pinkie mice.





Behaviorally, when approached for the first time in the basement, Agatha presented with classic bull snake behavior: coiled back into s-shape, rattled tail tip, and lunged a few times in an effort to intimidate, but calmed immediately upon being picked up. Overall length is about 10 or 11 inches, though that’s a guess - I’ve avoided stretching her out. (No, I don’t know Agatha’s sex, but I don’t think the snake will feel offended even if male.)

Anyhow, as I’m totally new to snake care, I’m also open to recommendations/corrections. E.G., if cyprus mulch is dangerous, let me know and I’ll get it out of the tank ASAP (I’ve got a bag of Aspen shavings on-hand, but that was after I had her situated in the mulch). She was captured Saturday evening, had a modest (wet) bowel movement Saturday night or Sunday morning, and has not eaten since. I put a tadpole in her drinking bowl on the off-chance she’d find it worth eating, but she’s ignored it. I have a bag of frozen small pinkie mice and I plan to feed her one after I get a heating pad under one end of the tank. Please also advise if I’m going about the whole feeding thing incorrectly.

Many thanks in advance!



05/18/10  10:20am

 #2148508


Cincinnatux
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  Message To: Cincinnatux   In reference to Message Id: 2148460


 Please help identify this hatchling from the Ohio River Valley area

Update: The house temperature is only 67; with a heating pad now under the left end of the terrarium, the thermometer there reads 86. Agatha spent a few minutes on the warm side, but lost interest and returned to the ’cold’ side of the terrarium. She does not appear agitated and moves as if she’s content with the rather cool temperatures on the far end of the terrarium.



05/18/10  01:26pm

 #2148512


Kels88
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  Message To: Cincinnatux   In reference to Message Id: 2148460


 Please help identify this hatchling from the Ohio River Valley area

I’d guess a rat snake- probably great plains rat. Bull snakes tend to have really big heads. but I suppose either is possible!

Juvenile rat

Great Plains Rat



05/18/10  01:34pm

 #2161027


Shady drizzle
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  Message To: Cincinnatux   In reference to Message Id: 2148460


 Please help identify this hatchling from the Ohio River Valley area

its a black rat snake



07/07/10  07:46pm

 #2161297


Rolandslf
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  Message To: Shady drizzle   In reference to Message Id: 2161027


 Please help identify this hatchling from the Ohio River Valley area

That there is a Great Plains Rat Snake.

She will eat pinkie mice, just make sure that they are properly defrosted. She may have a problem with taking Frozen Thawed, especially since she is Wild Caught, I would try to give her a live pink every 5 days to start off with.



07/09/10  08:11am

 #2161517


SAB49
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  Message To: Cincinnatux   In reference to Message Id: 2148460


 Please help identify this hatchling from the Ohio River Valley area

Black Rat, not Great Plains. I have both as pets.



07/09/10  10:53pm

 #2161609


Rolandslf
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  Message To: SAB49   In reference to Message Id: 2161517


 Please help identify this hatchling from the Ohio River Valley area

I still go with Great Plains. I also keep and breed both.

A pick of my Great Plains.



I will have to take a pic of my Black Rat and post it to show the difference in colour and patterning.

I hope that the originator of the thread does not take offence at me posting pics or debating the issue, he does however want an accurate identification.



07/10/10  12:45pm

 #2163067


Wacko Jacko
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  Message To: Rolandslf   In reference to Message Id: 2161609


 Please help identify this hatchling from the Ohio River Valley area

Hey quick question how big do they get?



07/17/10  04:16am

 #2173381


CrotalusFan
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  Message To: Wacko Jacko   In reference to Message Id: 2163067


 Please help identify this hatchling from the Ohio River Valley area

I really don’t think it’s a great plains. They have more pattern on their heads. A black rat snake tends to have darker saddles, but that doesn’t rule either out.

Either way, maybe 3-5 feet. It depends on quite a few factors, the main one being how much it eats.



09/03/10  09:58am


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