Thursday, September 24, 2015

Readers Write In: Live Snakes To Identify from Virginia and Kentucky...Recognize Them?

My brother and I were hanging out in Hungry Mother Park (Marion, Va) and we saw this lil' guy gliding through the water. It's banding was all "wrong" for a cotton mouth, but it does have a nice eye stripe. So I was thinking rat snake, while my brother suggested northern water snake. Can you settle it for us? 

Ps. We simply observed him. We didn't want to interfere in his day-to-day business. Thank you in advance. 

Kindest regards,

Buck B.

I found this snake swimming in my pool this morning. I live in Lexington, KY. While trying to determine what it is, I saw a similar picture on your website so I am hoping you can help me determine what it is, so I know how to remove it (safely). It's about 14" - 16" and the coloring may be more yellow than the picture shows. I got as close as I could, I'm terrified of snakes!


Sherri S.
Lexington, Kentucky

Hi David, :)

   Ran into this beauty walking the dog in Richmond. Would you please identify it?

Margaret M.

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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