Temperament of white sided black rats?

I’ve always thought white sided black rats were super pretty, and I’m considering adding one to my collection. I currently only have corns, but I’ve owned a few different colubrid species in the past. Are they generally pretty handleable? Good eaters? Also, is white sided a morph of black rat snakes or is it its own species?


I think it’s a morph of black rat snakes but I have not kept rat snakes for some decades. @saleengrinch or @t_h_wyman would know better. Now I have @ them they should see this and may comment.

However, I kept many rat snakes in the past, and for American rat snakes, I found the more darker the more aggressive. (with the exception of texas rats probably being the worst.)
Just my experience of decades and hundreds of these. But like I said, take my opinion with a pinch of salt. I have a lot of experience but things change. The rat snakes were either wild or first generation back then, Things change with selective breeding, so I have a lot of catching and learning up to do. Well… learning never ends.


White-sided is a morph of the black rat snake. It is a recessive trait as well. All Eastern ratsnake babies have a tendency to be instinctively defensive, much like hognose snakes. If worked with consistently from a young age they do tame down. You can also occasionally get a calm one as a hatchling, but you have to ask the breeder what their temperament is for that one.


@ashleyraeanne Is spot on!


Missed the bit about how they eat. My black rat female (got her as an adult) eats everything that even slightly smells edible, and even when I was treating her for an RI (got her like that from the breeder) she still ate aggressively even after being poked with needles and given breathing treatments. Kinda want to spice her diet up with chicks next time I get feeders. North American rat snakes and king snakes are (most of the time) some of the most solid feeders you can get in a snake.


Thank you guys!

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My experience is that Black Ratsnakes are significantly calmer than Texas Ratsnakes, but they are still super defensive as babies and need to be worked with. They can become very tame as adults. Like others have said, they are usually very reliable feeders. They are also larger than Corn Snakes. Since they are highly active semi-arboreal snakes, they are not a good choice to be kept in a rack as adults (ok as babies) and should have a larger enclosure with space to climb.


@westridge What do you think about my theory that the darker the more aggressive with the exception of texas rat snakes?

I disagree. In my experience, Black Ratsnakes are the most docile of the obsoleta complex.

What? Black rats are more docile than yellow or everglades? OK its been a long time for me but in the past it was the darker the more aggressive (with texas the exception and worse), that’s based on over a 100 rat snake adults. Maybe selective breeding has changed that or its just the ones I had.
However, I am 2 decades out of date with rats so will accept your comment.

My experience is based with fewer individuals than yours. I’ve worked with Black, Yellow, and Texas. Maybe I just happened upon some unusually friendly Black Rats.

I’ve had black rats and Texas in the past. In my experiences the black rats were fairly docile captives. The Texas rats on the other hand were not! My sample size is small though I’ve only had a pair of each a long time ago.

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I have a cb gray ratsnake and a cb black ratsnake, from parents that were cb. They are the most easy going and easy keeping snakes I have ever had. They eat anything, they don’t get very food aggressive, but always eat.