western rat snake

plural western rat snakes

Definition of western rat snake

: a large, nonvenomous rat snake (Pantherophis obsoletus synonym Pantherophis obsoleta synonym Elaphe obsoleta) of the central U.S. found west of the Mississippi River that is typically black with a white throat

Note: In an alternative classification system, the western rat snake is not considered a separate species but rather included within centrally distributed subspecies (Pantherophis obsoletus obsoletus and P. obsoletus lindheimeri) of a common rat snake.

— compare eastern rat snake, gray rat snake

First Known Use of western rat snake

1975, in the meaning defined above

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Cite this Entry

“Western rat snake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/western%20rat%20snake. Accessed 23 Nov. 2020.

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