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Old 05-10-2016, 09:22 AM
 
853 posts, read 1,222,673 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
@NJMMAdude (Jerseygirl here) I know snakes are beneficial, but they are one of my phobias.
I respect that, and I mean that in a sincere way. Having a phobia of something is a different animal altogether (no pun intended). I also totally respect that you came on here and tried to identify it vs. just cutting its head off and being done with it like some people would have done (phobia or not).


For the record, your 4 venomous snakes in TN are cottonmouths (water moccasins), copperheads, timber rattlesnakes, and the pygmy rattlesnake. Of these, the most significant bites would come from cottonmouths and timber rattlers. Copperheads and pygmy rattlers are capable of envenomation but the likelihood of death is incredibly small and probably zero if treated. Timbers are docile unless provoked, then they are nasty. Cottonmouths are the ones that I'd look out for. Many harmless water snakes are mistaken for cottonmouths, but it is very difficult to differentiate the two without getting too close for comfort. In cottonmouth territory, stay away from snakes in or at the edges of water. That includes temporary ponds, ditches, etc.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:33 AM
 
6,293 posts, read 3,564,804 times
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Terminology is important. A "banded" snake is one in which the stripes run around the body. On a "striped" snake the stripes run down the length of the body.


I think that's where you got into the confusion of identification.


Garters are good snakes. Let them be and they'll slither away in seconds to do their important garter work.

Last edited by Lodestar; 05-10-2016 at 12:15 PM..
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:53 AM
 
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Snakes give me the creeps too. In my brain I know that many are "do gooders" for the garden, but I don't want to see them . As an avid gardener I see quite a few garter snakes and it's not too bad, but anything else, NO THANKS!
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Portland
1,620 posts, read 1,729,618 times
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Curious. What is/are a dilloes?
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:29 PM
 
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FYI: Garter snakes, although non-poisonous, CAN bite (as can non-poisonous water snakes), and are best avoided, though certainly not killed.

A garter snake once bit my curious young cat on the jaw - he looked as if he had the mumps, so as soon as I realized what had happened, I rushed him to the vet. He received a cortisone shot which helped the swelling, but was obviously not feeling his best for two or three days afterwards. This was a housecat who went outside only during the day and with supervision - but he spotted that snake, investigated - and paid the price.

The snake was unharmed, and the cat eventually died of old age at 17.
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherwoody View Post
Curious. What is/are a dilloes?

Armadillo.

While my dictionary shows the plural as "armadillos", I believe that using the zero plural is also acceptable.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:00 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
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Chill, sure. I just came in from walking the dogs and this time there's a solid color, dark green/gray snake in the middle of the field! I am not ok with this. Is this invasion of snakes due to all the rain? Good grief, I've never seen 2 snakes in my life except for the field trip in 3rd grade.

And thank you for the additional information. Shaking stopped so I read the new replies. I've had raccoons push in my window screen, throw everything off the kitchen counters and open the bread drawer then sit on the counter where the microwave had been and then refuse to leave when we investigated the noise. That was on Staten Island, (NYC for those who don't know). Now here in the country, we've been invaded by abandoned kittens, pregnant cats, old dogs, opossum, 2 skunks, and a "pet" dillo that likes our pool (for some bizarre reason). Now snakes. I'm ready to head for the seashore! Just sharks that my husband is afraid of and doesn't like me to go swimming - with or without him.
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Old 05-10-2016, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
12,446 posts, read 10,891,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJmmadude View Post
...Many harmless water snakes are mistaken for cottonmouths, but it is very difficult to differentiate the two without getting too close for comfort...
Heck, I can tell the difference from quite a distance. The head, the thickness of the body, the tail, the coloration, the stance. I got paid to remove water moccasins from a private pond one summer. The residents said the moccasins were out of control and threatening their dogs. However, most of their "water moccasins" were harmless water snakes. After I showed them how to tell the difference they were quite relieved.
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Old 05-10-2016, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
12,446 posts, read 10,891,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodestar View Post
...Garters are good snakes. Let them be and they'll slither away in seconds to do their important garter work.
They also have a habit of coiling-up and vibrating their tail when threatened, which freaks people out.
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Old 05-10-2016, 04:12 PM
 
853 posts, read 1,222,673 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
FYI: Garter snakes, although non-poisonous, CAN bite (as can non-poisonous water snakes), and are best avoided, though certainly not killed.

A garter snake once bit my curious young cat on the jaw - he looked as if he had the mumps, so as soon as I realized what had happened, I rushed him to the vet. He received a cortisone shot which helped the swelling, but was obviously not feeling his best for two or three days afterwards. This was a housecat who went outside only during the day and with supervision - but he spotted that snake, investigated - and paid the price.

The snake was unharmed, and the cat eventually died of old age at 17.
Garter snakes are mildly venomous, and not the type of venom that has no effect on mammals (like ringneck and hognose snakes). I believe that their teeth are aglyphous (meaning they have typical teeth) but they behave like colubrids that have opisthoglyphous (rear) fangs, meaning that they have to chew their venom in. It is not injected by specialized muscles like in the vipers. Sounds like your cat was envenomated.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirt Grinder View Post
Heck, I can tell the difference from quite a distance. The head, the thickness of the body, the tail, the coloration, the stance. I got paid to remove water moccasins from a private pond one summer. The residents said the moccasins were out of control and threatening their dogs. However, most of their "water moccasins" were harmless water snakes. After I showed them how to tell the difference they were quite relieved.

I can as well, but I had second thoughts about trying to explain it over the internet to someone who has a phobia of snakes. I think that it's cool that she's looking to learn more instead of just taking a shovel to them! I think that If you are not used to looking at the field marks of snakes, the rough details that your eye would grab (body girth, base color, banding, etc.) may not be sufficient for comfortable ID (as explained over the 'net at least). Just my $0.02.


Funny story, I sometimes get anecdotal reports of cottonmouths here in NJ, one of them all the way down to "it had a triangle-shaped head". Seems they were terrorizing the snake and it flattened its head when it got uppity and went to bite, cementing the ID.
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