eastern rat snake

noun
plural eastern rat snakes

Definition of eastern rat snake

: a large, heavy-bodied, nonvenomous rat snake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) that is typically black with a white throat, usually reaches over five feet (1.5 meters) in length, feeds on birds and small animals (such as mice, rats, and frogs), and is found east of the Appalachian Mountains and the Apalachicola River

Note: In an alternative classification system, the eastern rat snake is not considered a separate species but rather included within other eastern subspecies (such as Pantherophis obsoletus obsoletus and P. obsoletus quadrivittata) of a common rat snake. Eastern rat snake is also often used synonymously with black rat snake.

— compare gray rat snake, western rat snake

First Known Use of eastern rat snake

2001, in the meaning defined above

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Cite this Entry

“Eastern rat snake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eastern%20rat%20snake. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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