Tuesday, September 27, 2005
The first time my husband and I saw a blue snake, it took us forever to figure out what it was.
"There's no picture in this book of a blue snake. Argh!"
"The internet shows no blue snakes in Alabama. Arrrgh!"
"There's no such thing as a blue snake. Arrrrrrrgh!"
Only by reading the fine print did we realize that the Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus) turns blue after death.
The Smooth Green Snake (Opheodrys [Liochlorophis] vernalis) does the same thing, but they're a more northerly or westerly snake and are not in Alabama.
The snake's green color is made up of blue and yellow pigments in its skin. When it dies, the yellow fades more quickly, so the snake looks blue.
This one looks like he had a little run-in with the postal service. They've also been known to come out on the wrong end of duels with lawnmowers.
(And talk about holding your breath until you turn blue!)
This site sugguests that the snakes can also turn blue when excited.
Here's another cool pic of the snakes.