Bogertophis subocularis subocularis
Northern Trans-Pecos Rat Snake


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Range: in the south-central and southeastern portions of the state in suitable habitat from about 3,000 to 5,000 feet in elevation
Other Names: Trans-Pecos Snake, Suboc, Davis Mountain Ratsnake, Davis Mountain Pilot Snake
Description: B. subocularis has a row of small scales (suboculars) between the lower border of the eye and the upper labials. This beautiful snake is yellow to tan dorsally with a series of black, or dark brown, H-shaped markings. The eyes are large and prominent, light-colored with contrasting round black pupils. The tongue is pink. Dorsal scales in 31-35 rows. Ventrals 260-277; subcaudals 69-79. Adults are usually 36-54 inches (90-137 cm) in total length (including tail). The record total length is 66 inches (168 cm)
Venom: None
Habitat: Rocky terrain with deep cracks
Behavior: Strongly nocturnal, rarely found during the day. Usually calm, not likely to bite.
Hibernation: Deep in cracks
Reproduction: The breeding season for B. subocularis runs through May and June, while egg-laying begins in July and ends by September. At nearly three months, their incubation period is lengthy for a snake, at the end of which a clutch of anywhere from three to 11 snakes, each 28-33 cm (11-13 in) in total length, hatch. As they are born during winter, the hatchlings may remain hidden underground for several months before venturing outside.
Diet: Mostly rodents, but will take lizards and birds. One was observed in West Texas eating bats through a hole in the road which was on a bridge.
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