Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Unknown snake

Hubby accidentally ran over this snake with the bushhog last week. I came to the conclusion that it's a lot harder to identify snakes with no heads.

At first I thought he was a Cottonmouth, but the tail is wrong. (They have odd tails, which narrow down from the body somewhat abruptly.)

Anybody else know what it is?

Hubby said he remembered something about being able to tell whether it's a poisonous snake or not by the scales on the tail. So I took a picture of that.

Turns out he was right. At the tip end of the snake, if the scales are divided in two, like here, the snake is not poisonous. If the scale is unbroken all the way across, it is a poisonous snake.

Memory tip:
Two scales = two words: Non-venomous.
One scale = one word: Venomous.

Please post a comment if you know the identity of this snake! The part of him that was left was about 2.5 feet long. He was in some tall grass not far from a drainage ditch.


pablo said...

C'mon! Someone has to know what this snake is. (I don't.)

Jenn said...

Bummer. Poor snake.

Not that we don't cause the demise of plenty of critters up thisaway... mostly toads that don't get out of the way of the lawnmower. Always makes me sad to see their poor mummified remains later.

swamp4me said...

Maybe a midland water snake, Nerodia sipedon pleuralis, or perhaps a brown water snake, N. taxispilota. (Don't know if you have browns in your part of AL, though.)

tony g said...

if that were in my backyard it would be a Diamond-backed Water Snake, Nerodia rhombifera rhombifera. you might check that against what's known from your neck of the south.

Rurality said...

Via email I also got the suggestion of a Blotched water snake, Nerodia erythrogaster transversa. Not sure which one this is, but the general concensus definitely points to a water snake of some sort.

Hick said...

Your memory tip is good, but mine is better.

If it's a snake...run.

Floridacracker said...

Allowing for some death fade, I thought it might be a banded or midland water snake, but not sure of other water snakes outside of FL.

Dana said...

The only snakes I remember from Alabama are the cotton mouth, copperhead and the black snake (black racer, chicken snake).

MilkMaid said...

The last three chicken snakes I killed in my hen house were mottled like this, not solid black. My Dad (so NOT an expert lol) said it was still a chicken snake.

But I think that's sorta like, all soda is COKE in the south. All snakes that you can't definitly identify, are chicken snakes.

Only good snake, is a dead snake!

Anonymous said...

This is difently a chicken snake,(Rat Snake) they come in diffent colors, black and yellow are the most common.they eat rats small rodent, small chickens and eggs and are even known to clim trees and eat birds.they are non-poisions but they can bite (just wash with soap and water)They also can get as big as 4-5 ft. hope this helped!

Eve said...

My daughter was mowing this morning,and she got off the mower to pick up some sticks in the yard, and looked up as she saw something moving and there was this snake that looks just like the one you have in the picture. After she recovered from the shock, she jumped on the mower and ran over it. She got off and moved it around with a stick, and saw it had 5 perfect eggs in it that looked like bird eggs. The snake must have just swallowed them. I am assuming it is what we call a chicken snake.I am so terrified of any snakes. I was checking for the ID of the snake when I found this site. Thanks for sharing.