Friday, April 15, 2016

Readers Write In: Possibly a Rattler but could also be a Moccasin Snake ID

Dear Sir or Madam,

I encountered this juvenile snake last night on the road in our mostly pastoral and densely wooded neighborhood community of small horse farms outside of Charleston South Carolina.  It did not have rattles on its tail, it had a black and white checkered underbelly and was about 15 inches long. It shook it's tail at my dog and I and made several attempts to strike us as we tried to identify it by just looking at it.

Answers have ranged from rattlesnake to copperhead to corn snake to bull snake from various non scientist or non herpetologist friends that I texted and asked their opinion.

I am leaning towards corn snake or copperhead? What do you think ?

 Thank you most kindly,

Jaime P.

South Carolina

Can you please tell me what kind of snake this is. I live in the city of lafayette. It was on some flagstone on my back porch. 


I'm curious about a snake seen down south possibly a rattler but could also be a moccasin.

Shauna K.
"Down South"

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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