Friday, April 1, 2016

Readers Write In: One of These Snake IDs is Not Like The Others

I live on the swamp in Southeast Louisiana. The recent flooding of the Pearl River brought the snake to our back porch. We have had our share of rat snakes and cottonmouth snakes and other water snakes, but the triangular head struck me as odd. I just can't seem to bring myself to get close enough to look him in the eyes to determine if they are vertical or rounded. I have also heard that you can look inside the mouth for the white cotton appearance, not happening! Anyway, we are under the impression it is either a cottonmouth or a banded water snake. It was about 4 feet long and mostly black on the belly. I would be extremely grateful for a better way to identify venomous vs non-venomous snakes without having to get overly personal with them. I have small kids and animals that roam the yard. I would like to have a better way to make the decision to move them or kill them since I know the opportunities will come again. Thanks for your assistance.

Keith E.

Found this fellow under the hood of my truck. Any ideas? 

Andrew C.
Nashville, TN

Please help identify-thank you for your help.

Blessed to be His,   

Jeannette W.
Stanly County, NC

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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