Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Readers Write In: A 4-part Challenge to Flex Your Identification Skills

Dr. Steen,

I thought your readers might like to flex their identification muscles on some small species that I don't see show up too often in your ID challenges.  Attached are pictures of 4 different snakes, all of which were found in Kansas (specifically, and respectively, Russell, Chase, Lyon, and Miami counties).  Numbers 1 & 2 were found on rocky prairie hillsides, #3 was crossing a road between two fields, and #4 was under a piece of bark in a forest clearing.  Feel free to use any or all of them.

Love the blog!


Andrew C.

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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