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Old 08-24-2010, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Coast of Somewhere Beautiful
2,321 posts, read 4,596,854 times
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Any herpetologists out there? These are not the greatest pics, but my neighbor killed the snake on her front porch, afraid it was poisonous. She said it crawled "sideways" when trying to escape, and the back of its neck turned red when it was cornered. It was about 7" long. We live in coastal SC and there are a number of snakes common to the area, but I didn't recognize this one as one of the usual suspects. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.

http://i867.photobucket.com/albums/ab233/PawleysDude/snake01.jpg (broken link)

http://i867.photobucket.com/albums/ab233/PawleysDude/snake02.jpg (broken link)
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
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His little face makes me think he may be a hognose of some kind...? They seem to come in a variety of patterns.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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Look at this picture....I think we have a match at least in pattern if not coloration but that's variable. (Especially note the pattern on the heads)

File:Autumn milksnake.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

They don't tend to get as long as 7 feet so I will write that up as perhaps a slight distortion. Whatever it is, it's not venemous and as such was likely preying upon mice and potentially hazardous snakes on the property.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Coast of Somewhere Beautiful
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Quote:
His little face makes me think he may be a hognose of some kind...
Thanks, I think you're right! The eastern hognose is common around here, but usually in the black phase. We've had a large one in and out of our yard all summer. The coloration is totally different and I would have never made the connection, but the "nose" is definitely there, and supposedly, the pattern on the back of the head is another good marker for this phase of the hognose. I appreciate your help.

Thanks, mathguy, but after doing some searchin' on hognoses, it was almost a dead ringer for this picture of a juvenile southern hognose BTW, it was 7 inches, not 7 feet. We'd been burying out neighbor today if it had been 7 feet! They ain't her favorite things. Thanks for your help.

Last edited by PawleysDude; 08-24-2010 at 12:51 PM..
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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Yes, it was a juvenile hognose. It's not venomous and not dangerous and really didn't need to be killed. The saliva is toxic to their prey only.

Google Image Result for http://www.uga.edu/srelherp/snakes/pics/hetpla7.jpg
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
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That's sad... especially since my Hognose is one of my favorite snakes.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:51 PM
 
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A trick for identifying venomous vs. harmless - well two tricks actually:

a) shape of head... all venomous snakes have a triangular shaped head. Harmless snake are more round or oval. Once you know that it's really obvious... which is good if you have to decide really fast.

b) pupils - vertical pupils (like cats' eyes) are venomous, round pupils (like human ones) are harmless. While you might think it's hard to see the pupils, it isn't. You can even tell from the photos posted here.

I used to be scared to death of the critters since we live in an area with a number of venomous species and we moved her from somewhere that's literally snake-free. But since learning these two tricks, I'm a lot more confident and harmless ones get left alone. I do have to admit though that I still tend to yelp rather loudly when I meet one.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
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Just keep in mind, many non-venomous snakes will imitate venomous snakes... i.e. some corn snakes rattle their tails and "hood" their necks into a triangle shape, like my Miami phase girl who's a real crank. So don't let those impersonations fool you, since occasionally they come from a harmless snake! Also remember they're more afraid of you than you are of them, and snakes will hardly ever chase a large predator - too much energy expended, and they wouldn't even get a meal out of it.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Coast of Somewhere Beautiful
2,321 posts, read 4,596,854 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
That's sad... especially since my Hognose is one of my favorite snakes.
It is sad, and I had second thoughts about posting this thread, fearing the flames that might follow. In her defense, our neighbor has two young children who play on the porch, and the snake's coloration was not one we see around here very often. Still, a little education can go a long way.

We've had a black-phase hognose (below) adopt us this summer, spending quite a bit of time in our back yard. It hasn't "played dead" yet for us, but it's a hoot to watch it flare out its neck. Still, prefer to know it's there, rather than wandering up on it.

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Old 12-10-2010, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
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Get some King Snake activity going around your property and you won't have to fear the venomous snakes b/c the King Snakes will eat the Venomous snakes. See Watch


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRpGC4MXFKE

No more Rattlesnake!
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