western rat snake


plural western rat snakes
: 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

Word History

First Known Use

1975, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of western rat snake was in 1975

Dictionary Entries Near western rat snake

Cite this Entry

“Western rat snake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/western%20rat%20snake. Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

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