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Bogertophis subocularis.jpg
Trans-Pecos rat snake
Bogertophis subocularis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Tribe: Lampropeltini
Genus: Bogertophis
Dowling & R. Price, 1988

Bogertophis rosaliae
Bogertophis subocularis

Bogertophis sp. distribution.png

Bogertophis is a genus of New World rat snakes in the family Colubridae. The genus is endemic to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. There are two accepted species.


The genus Bogertophis is named in honor of American herpetologist Charles Mitchill Bogert.


The following two species are recognized as being valid.

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Bogertophis.


Bogertophis are long, slender snakes, with large eyes that have round pupils. They can attain total lengths (including tail) of 1.68 m (5.5 ft).

B. rosaliae is more variable in color, found in shades of tan, red, orange, or brown.

B. subocularis is almost universally tan in color with interconnected black blotches on the back and two black stripes down the neck. There is an isolated locality of B. subocularis where it is found with a light yellow coloration that is termed a "blonde" variant, and there is also an almost white coloration, that is sometimes referred to as the "silver" variant.

Bogertophis subocularis2
Trans-Pecos rat snake, Bogertophis subocularis, demonstrating the "silver" variant

Behavior and diet

Bogertophis are typically nocturnal snakes that feed on a wide variety of rodents, bats and sometimes lizards, especially when younger. They are found in semi-arid habitats; so they spend much of their time hiding from the heat of the day.


Bogertophis species are oviparous.

In captivity

Both Bogertophis species are commonly available in the exotic pet trade. Due to their typically docile nature and reliable feeding habits, they can make an excellent choice for a captive snake. They are also well represented in zoos.

  • Dowling, Herndon G.; Price, Robert M. (1988). "A proposed new genus for Elaphe subocularis and Elaphe rosaliae ". The Snake 20: 52-63. (Bogertophis, new genus).
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