Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Readers Write In: What are these Frog-eating, Cottonmouth-looking Snakes?

1) This is the snake (on right) that started my whole concern (a five-footer that was in our yard). I've been told it was a black ratsnake. Is it?...

My snake-obsessed little boy spotted a snake (second picture) on our evening walk tonight. We know it's not a copperhead or black rat snake or king snake—do you know what kind it is? It was thin and about 20 inches long. You would have been proud of me—I didn't freak out, not even a little bit!! 

Feel free to use on your blog! Thanks!

Holly A.
Atlanta, Georgia

2) Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you for educating us on our snakes in Ohio. I lived in Southen California as a teenager and seen plenty of small rattlesnakes. If you're telling me we have Timber Rattlesnakes in Ohio, I hope to never cross paths with one. Although I am not a fan of snakes I love your website and reading and seeing what others see in the world we live in. Great Job, thank you.

Diana M.

3) I am trying to identify this snake that was playing in the backyard with my kids!!  Pic is a little gruesome as my husband cut it open to see what was in its stomach - a giant frog. We are in Roswell, GA a suburb just north of Atlanta. It was in a mulch pile next to a wooded creek in our backyard. 


Caulie H.
Roswell, Georgia

4) Could you review the following pictures and identify this snake? We think it may be an Eastern cottonmouth.  My son was walking in his yard at dusk when he heard a hiss. If it had not been for this, he would have stepped on it. He lives in Northern Chesterfield in Virginia. He has a small creek adjacent to his property. 

Thanks for your time. Any information you can provide would be appreciated.

Vickie A.
Northern Chesterfield, Virginia

5) On an outing to a local state park the other day, this snake crawled onto the dirt road ahead of us.  The driver tried to avoid it but alas, did not. We are in southwestern Florida near the Myakka River. The area was pine flat woods alternating with swamp. This is not a species I'm familiar with but my tentative and uninformed ID is a Hog Nosed Snake.  It was 15" to 18" in length.  I'm pleased that the iPhone photo does show the interesting coloration on its underside.

I enjoy your blog and apologize that this is another picture of a dead snake.  At least I didn't do it in with a shovel as many seem to do.


Andy W.
Venice, Florida

Readers: What Are These Snakes?
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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