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Venomous Snake I.D. in the Southeast – Part 3

At last, we come to the rattlesnakes. There are three main species native to the southeast United States, and here I will briefly describe them to you, in no particular order. The smallest, and arguably, the most frequently encountered is the pygmy rattlesnake. Often referred to as the ground rattler, this diminutive serpent has a much more slender body shape than its larger relatives, and rarely grows over 2 feet in length. It is typically a greyish hue with dark black markings saddling its back and sides, although some localities can be red or tan in coloration. Its natural color and pattern is...
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Venomous Snake I.D. – Part 2

These next two snakes are more commonly encountered than the elusive coral snake, which I described in the previous blog regarding identifying venomous snakes. They are the southern copperhead and the western cottonmouth. In the pit viper family, both species can be active during daylight hours and are frequently found near bodies of water. It is for these reasons that they are arguably the most commonly encountered venomous snakes in the southeast United States; virtually any sizable body of fresh water near a wooded area could be potential habitat for these snakes, whether it is a pond, creek, river...
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Venomous Snake ID in the Southeast – Part 1

As an avid animal-lover with a particular affinity for the reptilian beasties, I am always a little disheartened when someone I know informs me that they have recently killed a snake on their property. In many cases, the tale is accompanied by a photo, either via Facebook, email, or cellphone, with the intent that I (the unofficial “snake guy” that they know) can identify the species. Regrettably (especially for the snake), most of the time, it turns out to be a completely harmless species, such as a garter snake, rat snake, or the common Dekay’s brown snake, rather than a venomous, potentially...
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