Sunday, April 6, 2014

Readers Write In: A New (Challenging?) Snake For Us to Identify

    Just a few days after our first snake identification challenge of 2014, another snake picture appeared in my e-mail. Most of you already know that I am happy to identify snakes and answer wildlife questions, but please do know my mind-reading abilities are moderate at best. If you send me a picture, please tell me why. I received this picture in an e-mail with no subject and no text. A follow-up e-mail suggested the picture was sent to me because the e-mail author wanted to know if I could identify the snake. The answer is yes. I'm going to assume they are also interested in knowing what kind of snake this is, so I'm going to feature it here. 

    I posted the picture on Twitter because I thought this identification might be tricky for people and I was right, check out all the guesses it received (below). 

    OK-blog readers, you're up. What kind of snake is this? I've also added a few ground rules that I plan to include in all future snake ID posts. Let me know if you have suggestions.

Snake Identification Post Ground Rules

-Guesses are welcome and encouraged. Don't worry if you're not an expert, wrong guesses allow us to talk about how to distinguish between the various species and that's why I run these posts.

-If you can't explain why you think a snake is a particular species, go ahead and just say what you think it is. But otherwise please do let us all know how you identified the animal. If you're wrong, we can explain why. If you're right, this helps everyone learn how to identify snakes, which is the goal of these posts.

-You can safely assume that I know what kind of snake is in the picture, I run these posts because they are outreach opportunities. Please don't send me private e-mails with your guesses, include them below.

-Remember, the person that sent me the picture is probably reading your comments. Although it is frustrating to know that many of these snakes have been killed, these people do want to learn more about them. More snake knowledge will lead to fewer snakes being killed.

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