Are there any visual differences between a Leucistic Eastern (Black) and Leucistic Western (Texas) rat snake? Ex: length, head shape, etc. I’ve seen so much controversy! And are males or females usually larger?
In terms of a visual difference, the only thing would be the size. Black rats get bigger in most cases. In the wild males are the ones that get big, while females are smaller. In captivity females are usually larger, but males can still get big. The rusty (or het luecy) will be where the most visual difference is. The main difference is temperament. Black rat snakes are usually calmer and easier to tame overall, and Texas rat snakes sometimes never tame out and are always grumpy. You can sometimes find calm black rat babies, but almost never find calm Texas rat babies. I also see bug eyes in Texas rat luecies more often than I do black rat luecies. Also remember to avoid the bug-eyes if you don’t want potential long term health issues with the eyes.
Thanks for all your insight! What causes the females to be larger in captivity?
Well, in the wild females breed at a much smaller size than in captivity and that tends to stop their growth as all that extra energy is spent on eggs instead. Males in the wild fight with each other, and the bigger you are the easier it is to win fights and the right to breed. So males bulk up a lot before they are able to put in the energy to actually breeding females. If we bulked our males up and let them get big before pairing them (which we tend not to do and instead breed them as early as possible) then we would likely have bigger males.
Cant really speak to visual differences but I have heard everything that ashleyraeanne said earlier before when I was researching them. I think its unreliable to try and tell the difference between them visually when they are lucy since they are solid white and size can vary with both. I will tell you that I waited for a Black Rat to try and get one with a less defensive nature, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. My lucy black rat has literally the best snake temperament I have ever seen. Curious and tolerant. Never even hinted at being defensive. Then again every snake is unique so your mileage may vary.