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e_moon60

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Beautiful Snakes [Apr. 13th, 2015|07:32 pm]
e_moon60
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Some people have commented on the beauty of the previous post's snake.  Personally, I think that snake is not beautiful (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, remember?)   But to satisfy those who might think I consider snakes ugly in general (I don't) or all venomous snakes ugly (I don't)  here are some pictures of snakes--or links to those pictures, where I have not photographed the snake myself--that I think are beautiful.   Behind the cut, so those who are seriously snake-averse can avoid them.


One of my personal favorites is the red-lined ribbon snake, Thamnopsis proximus rubrilineatus.   It's a small snake that likes to be near water--creeks, ponds, etc.  This picture is from our lily pond:
red-striped-ribbon-snake-head334

Another Texas  beauty is the speckled racer (doesn't live near me now--saw it as a kid once); it's a bigger snake with dark scales that have a golden center to each one.  Sometimes they look bluish or greenish because of a blue base under the black.  This link is to a "field herp" site with several pictures:  http://tinyurl.com/ps5y7by

The western coachwhip (which we do have on the place) is even longer, but hard to photograph because it's so long and so very fast.  Here's a picture of the head of one.  Here the scales look whitish on the edges, but in many lights they seem to be lit from within--they're the same taupe as on top of hte heat, but the edges "glos (look at the scales of the snout--that little "glow" is what you see on all the scales of the snake in good light.  Also note the round iris in both the red-lined ribbon snake and the coachwhip--they're non-venomous snakes and in the US, that's a reliable sign you don't have a pit viper.   The coachwhips are elegant and very fast, including climbing in brush.
Western Coachwhip

Another beautiful local snake is the rough green snake:  small, arboreal, usually spotted up in a bush or tree, though because of its color it's often called a "grass snake."    This picture is taken of an "eye level" snake up a vine (green briar) in the woods.
Rough Green Snake, riparian woods

It's a shiny bright green, shading from a little darker on top to more yellow--then the yellow on the lower side, and white belly scales.

We "should" have coral snakes on our land--we have the right habitat for the local kind--but I haven't seen one.  So here's a link to  a lot more about these beautifully colored snakes than I knew before: http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Snakes/Wild-Snakes/Coral-Snakes/

My snake pictures (which include most of our identified snakes, including a big black-and-gold Texas rat snake) are scattered amongst all the other nature pictures and I should collect them all in one file.  But I haven't done that yet.

Non-native to US beautiful snakes include (are not limited to) the reticulated python (http://www.reptilediscovery.com/retic.html), king cobra (http://www.arkive.org/king-cobra/ophiophagus-hannah/)--note that the pupils of its eyes are round, not slitted--it's only here that round pupils are a guarantee of non-venomous.   And because there are too many beautiful snakes and it's time to fix dinner, here's a link for several at once: http://scribol.com/environment/10-most-beautiful-snakes-on-earth/12

I really don't think the western diamondback qualifies in the "beautiful snake" contest.  But again: "eye of the beholder." 

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: saare_snowqueen
2015-04-14 08:50 am (UTC)
We have several species of non-poisonous, what I used to call garden snakes, and one asp. They have a mean bite that generally will not kill a human, but often we lose curious dogs in bad summers. When the weather is extreme, too hot and dry or too cold and rainy, they come out of the forests seeking water or warmth and are bad tempered and aggressive.

Had one attack my bicycle as I sped past it once. As far as I'm concerned the best place for snakes is in photos.
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