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Leucistic Texas Rat Snake

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Leucistic Snake

The Leucistic Texas Rat Snake is a truly mesmerizing creature. With its white background colour, adorned in black edging along its body, this snake is sure to take your breath away. Prepared with the exceptional hunting skills shared by all of its close relatives, this particular species of rat snake is an avid climber and skilled hunter. Its unique patterning assists in camouflage, allowing it to sneak close to and easily capture prey. 

Leucistic Texas Rat Snake

Habitat

The hot humid climes of Texas’ Gulf Coast have become the home of choice for the Leucistic Texas Rat Snake. Merging with its environment, this species of snake is notable for its bright white colouring and cream hues that make it so easy to spot in its native habitats. The Leucistic Texas Rat Snake prefers to make its home in swamps and marshes, as well as other semi-aquatic areas with ample sources of water. They will also at times seek out additional shelter or food in sparsely populated fields, deserts and near human-inhabited areas. 

Colour

The leucistic texas rat snake is an incredible species, its colour is what sets it apart from the rest. It has a unique pattern of patches and stripes in shades of white and yellow, making it stand out amongst other reptiles. The “leucistic” part of its name refers to a lack of pigmentation, but it still has hints and impressions of dark colouring on its skin, particularly around the eyes and nostrils. Although these snakes are not albinos, they almost appear so due to their striking pale colours. 

Leucistic  Rat Snake

Diet

The Diet of the leucistic texas rat snake is mainly composed of small rodents such as mice, rats, shrews and other similar animals. They will also readily feed on batrachians such as frogs and toads. In captivity, they can be offered defrosted pre-killed prey items as well as live rodents but it is important to avoid overfeeding them since the excess weight has been known to decrease their life expectancy considerably. 

Size, Lifespan and Weight 

The Leucistic Texas Rat Snake ranges in size from four-and-a-half to five-and-a-half feet in length and has an average lifespan of 10 years. These snakes are relatively lightweight, typically weighing approximately one pound as an adult. With its distinct white body and yellow spots, the Leucistic Texas Rat Snake can easily be identified in the wild. Its slender build makes it a sturdy hunter, able to capture its prey with great speed and agility.

snake in open

Reproduction

For leucistic Texas rat snakes, reproduction is a unique process. Unlike other snakes which have marked sexual dimorphism where males and females can be easily identified by their form or patterns, for leucistic specimens it can only be done by looking at the ventral surface of their hemipenis. 

As with most snakes, during the breeding process, the male mounts the female’s back and wraps his body around hers getting ready to insert one of his two reproductive organs known as hemipenis into her cloaca in what is called ‘dorsal copulation position’. After successfully mating, the female will produce up to 28 eggs that she will lay inside an underground nest. The eggs usually hatch after around two months before emerging as fully formed baby snakes.

Predators

Although the leucistic texas rat snake is generally a non-aggressive species, they still have its own set of predators that can threaten its life. Raptors such as eagles and hawks are some of the most dangerous threats to the leucistic texas rat snake; they will attack and attempt to eat it whole. Small mammals such as raccoons are also known to consume the snake if given the opportunity.

Snowflake Leucistic Texas Rat Snake

Snowflake Leucistic Texas Rat snakes are absolutely breathtaking and mysterious! Also known as Snow Rats, these creatures have a unique white-blue-tan colour palette that varies in intensity based on the individual. These snakes get their name from their distinctive snowflake patterning, and they’ve generally considered a stunningly beautiful type of rat snake. What makes them so alluring is the fact that since each pattern can vary from individual to individual, no two Snow Rats will ever look exactly alike. 

Texas Rat Snake

Scaleless Leucistic Texas Rat Snake

The Scaleless Leucistic Texas Rat Snake is a stunning creature. Native to the state of Texas in the US, the snake is one of a kind when it comes to physical appearance. It has completely smooth skin, due to its lack of scales, and an albino-like colouration with deep yellow eyes, making it look unique among its peers. The Scaleless Leucistic Texas Rat Snake’s diet consists of rodents, lizards and amphibians. Snakes can live up to 20 years if taken care of properly, however, they are considered an endangered species because many people hunt them for their captivating features or sell them for medicine. 

Full-Grown Leucistic Texas Rat Snake

The Full Grown Leucistic Texas Rat Snake is undeniably a stunning sight. It is rare, even among its species which makes it extra special. This snake has a yellowish hue with a hint of pastel pink splashed on its back and sides. Its head looks like an exotic flower making it easily recognizable. This snake species can survive in temperatures up to 32°C and they generally live near water sources or rocks depending on the conditions of their surroundings. An interesting fact is that this might give them the potential to be seen during the day if they are needing to warm themselves in full direct sunlight. 

Reference:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fevo.2021.583136/full

https://www.sugarlandtx.gov/403/Texas-Rat-Snake

Author Profile
Zahra Makda
Wildlife Enthusiast | Explorer at Animals Research

Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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