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Old 04-03-2008, 10:47 PM
 
Location: AZ
19,646 posts, read 51,214,300 times
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Found some of these on YouTube and thought you might like to see what venomous snakes inhabit our state. Mots are found down in the southern regions, but the eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sitrurus catenatus) does range into the Chicagoland area, but are verrrrry rare.

Most of these videos were taken in Illinois.

Here is a copperhead video (Agkistrodon contrortrix). KIDS, DONT TRY THIS AT HOME!

YouTube - Herping with Dylan: Copperhead

Here is the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), found along the Mississippi River, mostly found down south, but also up near Galena as well:

YouTube - Herping With Dylan: Timber Rattlesnake

A video from "Snake Road" down in the Shawnee National Forest. Snake Road gets its name from the mass migrations from the swamps up into the bluffs of the LaRue/Pine Hills in southern Illinois. Every spring and fall (migratory periods) the State of Illinois shuts down this service road to vehicles, allowing the snakes to reach their brumation spots w/o danger of being hit by cars. Good stuff!

YouTube - Herping with Dylan: Last Snake Road Trip of 06

Here is a cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) snake from Snake Road

This video was shot in Missouri, but shows the massasauga rattlesnake in situ. The same species can be found here. In fact, early last year a dog was bit by a massasauga up in Lake County (the dog was fine). This is a very small species of rattlesnake, but very cool nonetheless.

YouTube - Massasauga
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:50 AM
 
5,421 posts, read 11,988,488 times
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A few years ago, along the fox river valle in the st. charles area, we were seeing brown water snakes... those look similar to cottonmouths. Pretty scary. They are aggressive too - but not poisonous we found out.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:28 AM
 
Location: AZ
19,646 posts, read 51,214,300 times
Reputation: 8934
Quote:
Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
A few years ago, along the fox river valle in the st. charles area, we were seeing brown water snakes... those look similar to cottonmouths. Pretty scary. They are aggressive too - but not poisonous we found out.
Yes, the water snakes (Nerodia spp) are confused alot with cottonmouths. Cottonmouths do not range up into our area, but yet I see people yellling "cottonmouth!" when they see any kind of water snake. The ones we find alot are Nerodia sipedon, we find them at all the forest preserves, especially at Warrenville Grove, below the waterfall. Cool snakes!! Oh, and theyre not "aggressive", theyre "defensive". Some people sadly think that if the snake is nipping back at you, that its aggressive. I just look at those folks and say "youre the one poking at it and disturbing it, who's being aggressive?"
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:23 AM
 
5,421 posts, read 11,988,488 times
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Mostly in the yard I see the garter snakes. Even pick them up once in a while if I can catch them. Those things are fast! And we find the shed skins in the grass.

Once I picked up a dead log and found a nest of babies under there. Never dropped that log so fast. That is a horrible sight - 100s of little snakes wiggling around.

They do eat lots of bugs for sure. Because of the garters and the toads we have no slug problems in our garden.
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:42 AM
 
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Oh and speaking of venomous, southern illinois (south of st. louis) has the brown recluse spiders to worry about. You don't want to mess with those. I just saw a photo on the Internet that someone forwarded us - of a guy whose hand got bitten by one of those. Ugg - I guess the venom killed any flesh it touched. The whole finger was ulcerated.

Seriously, I am concerned that these venomous snakes/spiders will begin to migrate northward at some point, due to climate changing to warmer.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:44 AM
 
Location: AZ
19,646 posts, read 51,214,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
Mostly in the yard I see the garter snakes. Even pick them up once in a while if I can catch them. Those things are fast! And we find the shed skins in the grass.

Once I picked up a dead log and found a nest of babies under there. Never dropped that log so fast. That is a horrible sight - 100s of little snakes wiggling around.

They do eat lots of bugs for sure. Because of the garters and the toads we have no slug problems in our garden.
I love garter snakes, theyre too cute as babies. I found a baby last summer that was maybe 4" long at best, I thought it was the cutest thing ever. haha
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:46 AM
 
Location: AZ
19,646 posts, read 51,214,300 times
Reputation: 8934
Quote:
Originally Posted by gardener34 View Post
Oh and speaking of venomous, southern illinois (south of st. louis) has the brown recluse spiders to worry about. You don't want to mess with those. I just saw a photo on the Internet that someone forwarded us - of a guy whose hand got bitten by one of those. Ugg - I guess the venom killed any flesh it touched. The whole finger was ulcerated.

Seriously, I am concerned that these venomous snakes/spiders will begin to migrate northward at some point, due to climate changing to warmer.
Ahhh, the infamous recluse (Loxoceles reclusa). Unless you have a bad reaction to their cytotoxic venom, youre not gonna have a problem. I had a 4 year old nephew in Kansas get bit and was 100% fine. They sent me a pic of the spider and I ID'd it as a recluse. Some people just have horrible reactions to the venom and develop horrible lesions, some even require amputation depending on the person's reaction. Yikes.

Anyways, I always find them in MO and KS, and they range into Illinois quite a bit too. I have several pics I took of the recluses we found in MO and KS, they never bother us.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:49 AM
 
296 posts, read 811,846 times
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Water snakes, rat snakes, garters, eastern hognose, they're all here in Central Illinois, see em' often.

Venomous snakes are virtually non-existent in these parts and of absolutely no concern to me. My brother-in-law lives out by the Mackinaw River and he insists he had a large timber rattler in some grass in a pine tree planting area, but couldn't kill it to verify.

I spend hundreds of hours in the timber all year round and have never seen anything venomous. However, I did see my first large garter snake of the year last weekend out at McNaughton Park in Pekin.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:54 AM
 
Location: AZ
19,646 posts, read 51,214,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runninfiend View Post
Water snakes, rat snakes, garters, eastern hognose, they're all here in Central Illinois, see em' often.

Venomous snakes are virtually non-existent in these parts and of absolutely no concern to me. My brother-in-law lives out by the Mackinaw River and he insists he had a large timber rattler in some grass in a pine tree planting area, but couldn't kill it to verify.

I spend hundreds of hours in the timber all year round and have never seen anything venomous. However, I did see my first large garter snake of the year last weekend out at McNaughton Park in Pekin.
Cool! I love hognose snakes, theyre so unique looking. Gotta love it when they roll over, hang their tongue out and play dead.

Timber rattlers arent too common in IL, but theyre definitely here (as seen on the video). Theyre very cryptic too, you could stand right next to one and probably not see it. Ive almost stepped on western diamondback rattlesnakes when out in Arizona, and still had a hard time seeing them when they moved. Very useful camo on them!
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:09 PM
 
10,684 posts, read 18,265,915 times
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Did you ever notice as a region that we avoid a lot of calamitous stuff that plagues the rest of the country? Sure, we have SOME tornadoes and bad winters. But we largely avoid (and of course there are exceptions):

1. Venomous snakes
2. Scorpions
3. Venomous spiders
4. Earthquakes (yes, I know about the New Madrid Fault, but it hasn't been a problem in my 3-1/2 decades of living in the region)
5. Hurricanes/Typhoons
6. Landslides
7. Huge wildfires (though the Peshtigo Fire was pretty bad 100 years ago)
8. Tsumamis
9. Termites
10. Killer bees
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