Snake Elaphe obsoleta "deckerti"
striped and blotched Deckert's rat snake
Rat snakes from the Florida Keys and the extreme southern mainland of
Florida were formerly known as Elaphe obsoleta deckerti.
is characterized by a combination of stripes and blotches throughout
life, with yellowish-orange to deep burnt orange background.
orange adult Deckert's rat snake
A sampling of wild specimens reveals it to be quite variable in pattern
and coloration and many do not display the traits typically associated
with the form. Due to its weak differentiation from E. o.
quadrivittata, the subspecies never got much respect from herpetologists,
including Richard F. Deckert, after whom it was named. The form is now
It is rarely seen in the wild and only a few breeders are
working with it in captivity. This is a shame since the nicest
specimens are some of the most beautiful naturally occurring
rat snake with an orange eye and white labial scales
Due to the
rarity of this form, our colony was difficult to put together. It
includes stock descending from John Decker's outstanding bloodline and
also stock collected out of the wild by us and other dedicated
collectors. The coloration of our examples runs from orange yellow to
deep orange. They are variable and we are not always able to access
their potential as hatchlings.
Deckert's rat snake starting to develop orange coloration