As the weather gets warmer, snakes have begun making their way out of their winter dens to find food. The western ratsnake, shown here, is also known as the black rat snake and is commonly found in Missouri. It can be identified by its shiny black scales and white belly, though younger snakes are light gray with dark brown or black patches. The snakes can grow to be as long as 6 feet, according to the Missouri Conservation Department. They typically feed on rodents, small rabbits, small birds and their eggs and, on occasion, other snakes. Though the black rat snake is not venomous, experts advise not to pick one up if encountered, as the snakes can bite and will smear a stinky musk on those it perceives as a threat.