Monday, June 8, 2015

Readers Write In: Chicken Raiders and Yard Cottonmouth ID Requests

Hello, it's that time of year again. Last year you helped me confirm our big visitor was a rat snake and the multiple babies I get stuck on bug paper. 

This year I have had a few of these almost solid colored snakes with not markings like the typical rat snake. Can’t seem to get a good picture but it is a med greyish tan color a little black on its head white belly.

What it is?

Tammy B.
Allen, Texas

I was doing yard work yesterday and heard rustling coming from my flower bed and this is what I saw. It startled me and I jumped back. The location with the snake is about 20 feet from the edge of a pond. I thought it might be a water snake, but I was surprised by the aggressive stance the snake took and the width of its head. The snake is approx 3 feet long. I'm hoping it is not a water moccassin. I am in Greenville, SC. What kind of snake is this? 

This is the 2nd time I've seen this snake in the same area, the first time I almost stepped on it by accident. It was not aggressive the first time, it quickly went towards the water. This area is frequently walked past. What recommendations do you have for potential future interactions?


Mike S.
Greenville, South Carolina

My husband has killed two snakes close to our chickens one we believe is a rat snake and the other was either a Mojave rattle snake or western diamond back..but we aren't a 100% sure on either of them.

We would love to have your opinion and ways we might be able to keep our children and animals safe. My dog ginger loves to hunt snakes rats birds mice and anything really that moves lol. 

Clovis, New Mexico

Readers: What Are These Animals?

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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