Red Rat Snake
Elaphe guttata guttata
Biome: Southern Swamps
Biography: The Red Rat snake of the south is also called the Corn Snake. These snakes are excellent climbers, and are often found high in trees searching for nesting birds. Their common name originated when farmers would see them around their corncribs and silos. They are easily recognized by the orange and grey pattern on their backs, and by the alternating rows of black and white belly scales that resemble a checkerboard or, as some say, Indian corn. In areas where their ranges overlap, these harmless snakes are often mistaken for copperheads.
This southeastern species can be found as far north as New Jersey and throughout the entire state of Florida. It is widely dispersed through pinelands, hardwood hammocks, and residential areas.