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Eastern ratsnake, yellow morph

An eastern ratsnake
Zack
/
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An yellow morph of the eastern ratsnake

Pantherophis alleghaniensis, commonly called the eastern ratsnake, is a nonvenomous colubrid species endemic to North America.
Adults are shiny black dorsally, with a cream or white chin and throat. The belly has an irregular black and white checkerboard pattern, becoming uniformly slate gray towards the tail. Juveniles have dark dorsal blotches on a grayish ground color. The ventral pattern in juveniles is the same as in adults. The eyes are round with a black pupil, and particularly in juveniles but not always present in adults, a distinct white margin.

The yellow morph of the eastern ratsnake, Pantherophis alleghaniensis ssp. quadrivittata, is sometimes called the yellow ratsnake or the Florida ratsnake.

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.