Sunday, November 23, 2014

Readers Write In: Two Fall Snakes from the West Coast

It's getting quite cold here on the East Coast of the USA, so that means there are fewer snakes being encountered to identify. But, fortunately we have readers on the West Coast to bail us out.

A friend of mine recently took this picture and he thinks this is a rattle snake. We live in Northern Nevada (Great Basin) and we do have rattlesnakes but there is nothing about this snake that looks like a rattlesnake to me. My theory is that it's a gopher snake. Would you be able to help?

His theory was that it's "less than a year old" which is "why there's no rattle"... aside from that not making any sense (because from what I know snakes can shed more often than once per year) this seems way too big to be less than a year old no matter what type of snake it is). Thank you for having an awesome website with great information! I really appreciate what you are doing!

Logan N.


Please help me identify this snake it was on my deck and is still in my yard.... Yikes!!

Thank You,


Monterey County, California

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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