The term 'Ratsnake' is obviously one of dubious taxonomic value, an artificial pigeon hole that certain groups of animals may fall into. Some people would describe some animals as racers while others would happily proclaim them to be Ratsnake. The Foundations definition of 'Ratsnakes' are all animals that are currently or have been described as such, primarily concerning all species formerly described as Elaphe in the tome written by Schulz, 'A Monograph of the Colubrid Snakes of the Genus Elaphe (Fitzinger)'. We are however, also open to the discussion of any other snake commonly described as 'Ratsnakes', such as Rhynchophis boulengeri (Rhino Ratsnake), Ptyas, Spilotes & Spalerosophis species etc. in our eyes these snakes are also 'Ratsnakes'.

White Sided

Morph: White Sided Black Ratsnake
Other marketing names: Salt & pepper, Licorice Stick, WS
Genotype: ww.ww
Eyes: Grey with a dark ruby red pupil
Ventrals: White but may have a few brown markings


History: The first known White Sided Black Ratsnake was found in Maryland by a young school child. He gave the snake to his Biology teacher who in turn gave it to George Miskimon Jr. It was through the captive breeding efforts of Mr Miskimon that the White Sided Black Ratsnake entered the hobby. It has been rumoured that since then other wild caught Black Ratsnakes have been caught with this recessive mutation but we have been unable to verify this.

Appearance: The appearance of White Sided Black Ratsnakes is very variable (see notes below). The background colour is brilliant white. The ladder like pattern is contained within two dark doral stripes. No two scales have the same colour which gives it a mosiac appearance. Some coloured individual scales may be present along the sides. The overall colour scheme is black, grey and brown. The rostral scale is most often pure white. The head has a splattering of dark pigment and the tongue is red.

Notes:There are a couple of distinct looks to White Sided Black Ratsnakes but all are controlled by the same gene but achieved by selectively breeding.

Salt and Pepper is an extreme version these snakes have a completely white body with random individually coloured scales in shades of grey/black.

Vanishing Pattern White Sided as the names implies has a pattern that fades as it goes down the body towards the tail.

Another variation of White Sided Black Ratsnakes does not have the completely white sides, the white is more in random patches and the pattern is not contained within the dorsal stripes but extends down the sides.

Varieties and other morph combinations: Albino White Sided Black Ratsnake, Brindle White Sided Black Ratsnake

 Don Sodenberg - South Mountain Reptiles (2.)
Sue Knight (1,3,4,5,6,7)

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