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smokensqueal
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The Joys of organic gardening - What Kind of Snake is this?

Since I've been converting to more and more organic or I call it a more natural way of taking care of my garden, yard and landscaping. I've seen more critters in my yard then I've ever expected or it could be that I'm just paying more attention to the little things. Here is a photo of my latest critter I saw yesterday.

Anyone know what kind it is?

[img]https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4010/4544402386_69129caa3c_b.jpg[/img]

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applestar
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Wow that snake is so well camouflaged! I don't have any in my garden as yet, though my MIL gave us a bagful of plastic/rubber ones to put around the fruit trees.... :lol:

Dillbert
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here's a guide for MO
https://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/Documents/169.pdf

it looks a bit like a copperhead.

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smokensqueal
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YIKES! I guess I shouldn't tell the wife then. She would freak! And he was soooooo small. He was about as skinny as a pencil and couldn't of been more the a foot or a foot and a half long. I see he eats mice which is good because I got me some mice in my compost pile. Now if I can just get me something that eats rabbits. I got a lot of those around.

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rainbowgardener
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Don't go scaring people that their friendly local garden resident is a venomous copperhead! I really don't think so. Copperheads are pretty distinctive, with a more coppery color and markings that are liberty bell shaped with the part towards the belly side a lot wider than the part on the top side. They have more color gradations to them and some dots as well:

https://www.uvm.edu/~jbartlet/nr260/animal%20life/reptiles/copperhead.jpg

[img]https://www.uvm.edu/~jbartlet/nr260/animal%20life/reptiles/copperhead.jpg[/img] [back when I wrote this post, I hadn't figured out that you could embed the photos. Every once in awhile now when I bump in to one, I put the photo in]


I don't know what your guy is though... AS is right, I did have to look pretty hard to spot it, at first.[/img]
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Wed May 23, 2012 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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smokensqueal
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I don't know the pic inside that PDF Dillbert sent for the little copper head looks almost dead on. And my son, who is 7, looked at his snake poster and thought for sure it was a copper head also. And don't worry I'm not going to do anything to it even if it is a copper head. While reading more on them their bite may hurt but more people actually die from bee stings then from a bite from a copper head. I don't think he's going to be sticking around for long though. The farmers have been working the fields the last few days and he may of just got pushed out of there for now and I'm sure he'll find his way back in no time.

Any which way you look at it it's cool and as long as he eats mice and bugs he can stick around.

cynthia_h
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I looked through the Missouri snake guide PDF and thought that a couple of the Rat Snake breeds or maybe the Fox Snake breed would produce this coloration in a juvenile. All three breeds are non-venomous. Look at the photos yourself; the colors are quite similar to your juvenile specimen. All of them are noted as vermin controllers, so this is a good snake!

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kimbledawn
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I'm glad that you guys discussed this. I looked your snake up and I think I agree with the rat snake assessment.

https://momofmonkeys.wordpress.com/2008/09/30/repost-we-had-temporary-custody-of-a-baby-rat-snake/

It's cool! :D
"Organic gardeners always know the best DIRT!"

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smokensqueal
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While it looks like the colors and stripes are dead on for copper head the head and eyes don't quite match.

1. Identify a venomous snake by the shape of its head. Most venomous snakes have rather flat, heart-shaped heads that are distinctly wider than their bodies and have more pointed noses than harmless snakes.

2. Examine the snake's head from afar to see if there is a ridge or pit between the eye and the nostril. Pit vipers such as Rattlesnakes, Copperheads and Cottonmouths all have this indentation. The indentation is a heat detector that helps them identify appropriate-sized prey by the amount of heat emitted.

And to me the head is definitely NOT heart-shaped or flat at all and I'm fairly sure there is no pit between the eyes. And the eyes are way to beady to be venomous. At least that's my thought. Thanks for everyone's input. I love the feed back.

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Sage Hermit
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brings back old memories of the woods in ohio but it just looks like a copper head.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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applestar
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Just like good bugs and bad bugs, there are good snakes and bad snakes. (By "bad" I mean ones that can possibly cause injury/harm to humans.) And good gardeners should make the effort to learn which is which, how to identify them, and the most environmentally friendly methods to attract or repel them. :wink:

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Ozark Lady
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I agree that it looks like a fox or rat snake. But it also resembles a bull or hog-nosed snake. I see a faint resemblence to a copperhead, very faint.
Before you panic, you should be advised, some spider bites are much worse than the bite of a copperhead. They are only mildly venomous.
Also, many totally non-poisonous snakes are more likely to bite you than a copperhead is. Most of the time, a copperhead, won't run, and won't bite, it will just ignore you. You can threaten them and get bitten, but they would rather not bite ya.
I wouldn't panic if the little guy was in my garden, as long as, there are no buttons on his tail.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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Gary350
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The rat snake has spots. The copper head has dark stripes that are wider at the top and narrow on the sides. The snake in the garden had dark stripes that are narrow at the top ane wide on the sides. From what I can see in the photo the garden snake is not a viper by the shape if its head.

Go to the snake and reptile forum and ask them someone is sure to know.
https://www.reptileforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=16
Last edited by Gary350 on Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

GardenJester
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I think we are going to need a better picture. Could you move in closer next time? :P

Nah... j/k, it looks like a "soon to be dead" snake to me. I can tolerate a lot of things in my garden but a snake is a not one of them, poisonous or not. there's just no reason to take an unnecessary chance on something like that.

slormand
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Baby copperheads have a bright yellow tail and more triangular tail. Either a rat snake or mole snake, IMO.

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Ozark Lady
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Look into his eyes! If they are round, then he is safe, and he is there eating slugs and other bugs that would eat your garden.

I couldn't tell much about the head shape from the photo, nor the eyes.
But, if not poisonous, and no threat to livestock, I would be glad to have it there. Also look at his tail, non-poisonous snakes have long tails, poisonous ones are either stubby or have rattles on them.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

slormand
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Baby copperheads have a bright yellow tail and more triangular head. Either a rat snake or mole snake, IMO.

Pippin Limbertwig
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Rat Snake - Good Guy

I experience your concern. I had a hatching of these fellows in my compost pile last year. I took one to the extension agent and he positively identified it as a rat snake. Baby snakes will all try to strike when they feel threatened.

We also have copper heads - the head shape and body type are different as well as the colors.

The rat snake evolved "protective coloration" to look somewhat like the copperhead - apparently it's backfiring when people are the biggest threat.

As far as your plants are concerned, venomous snakes are beneficials, too.
Pippin Limbertwig

"Let us watch our beginnings, and the results will manage themselves." Alexander Clark

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gixxerific
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Being and avid outdoors-man in Missouri I can tell you THAT IS NOT A COPPERHEAD!!!!!

Probably rat snake not 100 % on it but not a copperhead I am 100% on that.

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