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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Any herpetologists in the room?

I've tried to identify this fellow who showed up in Florida Panhandle back yard via a number of online ID guides. It seems the same species can vary quite a bit in coloration, which makes identification a bit more tricky ... at least to someone with my limited knowledge on the subject.

I'm fairly certain it is harmless. Still curious though.

I'm posting some photos I took. Each one links to a larger image.






Its scales have a matt appearance. That might mean it's ready to shed and, if so, its coloration would be less vivid than after freshly moulting. There are rather indistinct vertical bands. The scales have a primitive rough texture rather than being smooth. Pupils are round. It did not attempt to get away from me as I stood several feet away taking pictures- that made me a little leery since it is a behavior I usually associate with venomous snakes. But it made no aggresive moves.

Banded water snake?

Last edited by NCC1701; 05-19-2017 at 09:57 PM. Reason: Typo
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Bump

Nobody has an idea?

There's a black snake which has hung around my yard for years. I know he's a beneficial critter. But, if this new guy is going to hang around, I'd feel better if I could identify it.

Thanks for looking in any case.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 10:22 PM
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I think it is a snake... but as a rule, I stay away from them critters. i know there is something about the shape of their eyes that tells if they are poisonous or not but I don't remember what it is. so I just stay away.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 11:43 PM
 
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My search turns up a Yellow Belly or (Rat Snake) supposidly non-poisionous - but since it has teeth I would stay away. I used to work at a Natural History Meseum and loved the Herpitolgy dept. - all the pickled critters.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 01:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenjb View Post
My search turns up a Yellow Belly or (Rat Snake) supposidly non-poisionous - but since it has teeth I would stay away. I used to work at a Natural History Meseum and loved the Herpitology dept. - all the pickled critters.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 05:00 AM
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https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/he...l-id/#blotches

This site may be of help. It may be a Banded Water snake.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 08:18 AM
 
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Google image search produces a bunch of options, most not quite right.

Maybe its a Black Racer?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 05:29 AM
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Snakes are mean creatures. No matter how nice you are to them, they stick out their tongue at you. How rude.


Perhaps a southern black racer? I used the posts above to look for it. Perhaps this site could be of some help? EDIS.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 09:53 AM
 
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It does look like a banded water snake, it isn't a rat snake as their scales are much smoother and less heavily keeled, it also isn't a type of king snake as they have even smoother scales and the head shape is completely wrong. It also looks a bit too heavily bodied to be a racer. Of course if it is a banded water snake you would expect to find it relatively near a body of water where its favorite prey items would be more likely to be found.

It isn't venomous as it is obviously not a pit viper or a coral snake and the only venomous snakes in Florida are a few types of pit vipers and the Eastern coral snake. So a bite would only produce minor lacerations but water snakes can have quite an attitude and won't hesitate to bite in order to defend themselves. Normally they will secrete a really foul smelling musk first though and hope this distracts you enough so that they can get away.

It is really great when you get to see a wild animal like this in your own back yard!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 01:05 PM
 
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Rat Snake! large constrictor. They make it just up into Canada around the 1000 Islands area and a bit north to Kemptville, ON.
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