Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Readers Write In: The U.S.D.A. Needs You to Identify this Snake

"Hi Dave,

I received this picture from Josh F. with the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking if I could identify the snake (I couldn't other than to say it's a ratsnake-looking Colubrid). Josh told me the following info on the snake:

Snake was found roaming free in a cargo box (shipped from Uruguay) at the Miami International Airport. We don't know what type of cargo was in the box, but we do know it was not a shipment for the pet trade. Miami airport called Venom One (Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom Response Team) to have them ID the snake. They recognized it as not native but couldn't ID it, so they sent the snake on to the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville where it now resides (as of yet unidentified).


Melissa M.
Auburn, Alabama"

And I thought this Gopher Snake from California last week was exotic. The only snake from South America I can reliably identify is an Anaconda. Thousands of animals from all over the world stop through Miami International Airport each year, many are destined for the pet trade, others are stowaways. This snake could be from anywhere but we have to assume that although it spent the day in Florida, it went to sleep the night before in Uruguay. 

So, I am counting on you, esteemed readership. What is this snake? I have my guess but I don't feel too confident about it.

Update: a number of people have complained about the picture quality so I've tried to clean it up.

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