Saturday, September 19, 2015

Readers Write In: A Blue Snake in North Carolina? And More...

Good afternoon,

I recently found the “Living Alongside Wildlife” page and have been enjoying reading the various articles and comments.  I wanted to ask you about a snake that my father found underneath his pet’s doghouse.  This was in Adams County, PA.  The snake’s head was not visible but the pattern on the scales is pretty clear in the photograph.  I judge the snake to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 feet long – we guessed perhaps an Eastern Milk Snake but have never gotten an identification from an expert.  Your thoughts?

Dave H.

Hi Dr. Steen-

Below please find a picture of a deceased snake I found on the side of the road while walking this morning.  I was struck by the blue color. The snake was pretty small, but probably 1.5' -2 ' long.  I am in the foothills of N.C.  (Burke County).  I did a quick search to identify and found a similar snake - a blue racer - but they are not indigenous to this area.
Thanks for any info you can impart!

Catherine T.
North Carolina

I think it is  a juvenile rate snake but everyone in my neighborhood is saying it is a copperhead.  We live in South Carolina in Charleston. 

Aaron P.
South Carolina

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 point of these posts.

-This is not a pop quiz, any kind of research is encouraged and I hope you will engage with other commenters to try to figure these snakes out. I will eventually chime in with my thoughts.

-Assume 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. Don't hate, educate.

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