Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Herpetology Reconsidered

I've been giving some thought to the snake we saw on the trail in Wisconsin. This one...

Here he is in 2560x1920.

BigTree thought it might be a hognose, known for flaring it's neck like a cobra. But the Eastern Hognose looks sort of squat and stubby in all the pictures, and this snake was longer.

Reading about, I thought it might be a bull snake. But this Flickr pic didn't look like the snake. But it did look a little like the one on the Minnesota site, and the babies we saw would have been born about the right time. The Wisconsin DNR site noted blotchy front, ringed tail, perfect region, and comparison with milk and fox snakes (bottom of link) showing the Eastern Fox snake with an unmarked head. This snake definitely had a marked head. But Bull snakes are somewhat rare, and there's even a sighting initiative in Wisconsin.

Then Pete reminded me of a snake in his Fort Snelling biking post that turned out to be a fox snake. That looks pretty darn close. Particularly the part about the black line from the eye to the jaw, that's a giveaway, although the Wisconsin site didn't do a good job describing the markings, particularly on the page that showed a mostly unmarked head. Conclusion: Pete is the premier amateur herpetologist - it's a Fox Snake.

1 comment:

pete said...

Yay! I did a days worth of research on The big legal company we both work fors dime to figure out the snake that I saw. Freaked me out. Let me know next time you go out for a ride, I would love to join you.