Eastern Milksnake

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ANIMAL:                                Eastern Milksnake       Lampropeltis triangulum
Type of Animal: Colubrid
Habitat: Woodlands, meadows, pastures, edges of watercourses, forests, fields, agricultural areas, barns, rocky outcroppings, farms, marshes, suburbs, rocky slopes, prairies, river bottoms, cities, forest edges, areas near rivers/streams, grasslands, savanna, rocky hillsides, mountainous areas, coastal plains
Location(s): S Quebec, SE Ontario, New England, Mid-Atlantic States down to NE N Carolina, Appalachians, Great Lakes region, most of NE US, found as far W as SE Minnesota/NE Iowa
Appearance: Juveniles whitish/beigish w/ red spots, adults have narrow black & white bands w/ brownish dorsal saddles, in S areas reddish/reddish-brown dorsal saddles, black & white checked belly, tan/grey ground color
Food/Diet: Slugs, insects, earthworms, lizards, small mammals, birds, eggs, other snakes (including members of own species & venomous species), amphibians, fish, young turtles
Status in Wild: Stable
Conservation: Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, & herpetoculture
Lifestyle: Solitary
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Hatchling Solitary
Weight: 0.8 lbs 1.5 lbs 0.11 oz Gestation:

 

Life Span:

2 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 3.5 ft 2.8 ft 0.6 ft 15-20 years
Tail Length: 7 in Same
Main predators are larger snakes, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, wolves, bears, birds of prey, otters, snapping turtles, bullfrogs, corvids, raccoons, skunks, weasels, opossums, cats, dogs, & badgers.
They kill their prey by constriction.
Females lay 4-16 eggs in a clutch.
They’re valuable for keeping rodent populations in check.
Sexually mature at 1.5 years.
These snakes vibrate tails when threatened, sounding like rattlesnakes.
They deter predators by mimicking the pattern of venomous copperheads. However, this sometimes leads to people killing them.
Fun Fact(s): They make good pets due to docile temperament.
Called milk snakes due to erroneous belief that they drank milk from cow udders, because they were seen in barns & stables.
Some names this snake goes by: adder, chin snake, checkered adder, chicken snake, cow-sucker, highland adder, house moccasin, leopard-spotted snake, milk sucker, sand-king, sachem snake, & thunder-and-lightning snake.
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Honduran Milksnake

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ANIMAL:                            Honduran Milksnake    Lampropeltis hondurensis
Type of Animal: Colubrid
Habitat: Subtropical/tropical forests, grasslands, lower mountainous areas
Location(s): Honduras, Nicaragua, & NE Costa Rica
Appearance: Broad snout band of yellow/white & second band at head base w/ same color w/ black head balance, tricolor phase w/ red ground color & yellow/white bands w/ same bands on belly, tangerine phase has black, red/orange, & orange bands w/ same bands on belly, many morphs occur in captivity, young darker than adults, males have longer thicker tails
Food/Diet: Other snakes (including members of own species & venomous species), lizards, small mammals, birds, eggs, frogs
Status in Wild: Stable
Conservation: Breeding in zoos, nature centers, & herpetoculture
Lifestyle: Solitary
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Hatchling Solitary
Weight: 2.3 lbs 2.8 lbs Gestation:

 

Life Span:

2 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 5 ft 6 ft 1.5-2 ft 15-20 years
Tail Length: 1.5 ft 1.3 ft
Main predators are birds of prey, felines, larger snakes, crocodilians, coatis, & foxes.
These nonvenomous snakes kill prey by constriction.
Sexually mature at 1.5 years.
Females lay 3-18 eggs per clutch.
People kill them due to them being mistaken for venomous coral snakes.
They usually flee if threatened but will bite/musk if cornered.
They’re nocturnal in summer & diurnal in spring & fall.
Warmer egg temps usually create males while cooler temps create females.
They’re valuable in that they eat rodents & venomous snakes.
These snakes are closely related to kingsnakes.
They’re one of the larger milksnakes.
Fun Fact(s): They’ll often use jerky movements showing their bands to deter predators.
When they shake their tail quickly, it sounds like a rattlesnake.
These snakes make great pets, due to their docile nature.
Their mimicry of venomous coral snakes helps protect them from predators.
  Called milk snakes due to incorrect belief that they drank milk from cow udders, because they were seen in barns & stables.

Common Egg-Eating Snake

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ANIMAL:                          Common Egg-Eating Snake         Dasypeltis scabra
Type of Animal: Colubrid
Habitat: Forests, woodlands, savanna, forest clearings, semi-desert
Location(s): S Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, SE Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, S Uganda, far S Angola, Somalia, Eritrea, much of Ethiopia, Djibouti, C & S Sudan, w/ isolated populations in Egypt & SW Arabian Peninsula
Appearance: Rhomboidal dark brown spots on lighter background, belly yellowish, either uniform or w/ dark dots, some individuals reddish
Food/Diet: Feed exclusively on bird & reptile eggs. Favors bird eggs over reptile eggs.
Status in Wild: Stable
Conservation: Not applicable
Lifestyle: Solitary
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Hatchling Solitary
Weight: 2 oz 2.5 oz Gestation:

 

Life Span:

2.5-3 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 2.3 ft 3.6 ft 9.5 in 8 years
Tail Length: 9 in Same
Main predators are carnivorous/omnivorous mammals, birds, large frogs, other snakes, lizards, & crocodilians.
Breeding usually occurs in spring.
Females scatter their clutches rather than lay all the eggs in one spot.
These snakes are nocturnal.
While mainly terrestrial, they will climb trees to reach bird eggs.
It lacks teeth but has bony protrusions on inside edge of spine, used to break eggshells.
Once eggs eaten, they completely regurgitate the shells.
They have an excellent sense of smell & avoid rotten or overly developed eggs.
These snakes tend to be rather sensitive but nonaggressive.
Due to lack of teeth, bites are harmless.
Fun Fact(s): Captive-bred specimens much easier to take care of than wild-caught ones.
These snakes uncommon in captivity, due to sensitive temperament & specialized diet.
Often mistaken for venomous night adders. They can be distinguished since egg-eaters have vertical pupils while night adders have round pupils. In SW Africa, mistaken for horned adder.
When threatened, they’ll rub scales together quickly to make hiss-like rasping noise.
They can eat eggs up to 3 times size of head.

Red-Sided Garter Snake

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ANIMAL:                          Red-Sided Garter Snake Thamnophis parietalis
Type of Animal: Colubrid
Habitat: Woodlands, grasslands, farmland, hillsides, marshland, stream/pond sides, meadows, grassy knolls, forests, fields, lawns, wetlands, streams, ponds, prairies, mountainous areas
Location(s): E British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, CS NW Territories, S Manitoba, far SW Ontario, Montana, extreme CN & E Wyoming, far NE Colorado, Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma (except for panhandle), extreme NE Texas bordering Oklahoma, extreme NW Arkansas, W & N Missouri, most of Iowa, & most of Minnesota (not in areas bordering Wisconsin)
Appearance: Thin snakes w/ noticeable red sides, dark green to black w/ 3 yellow stripes, vertical red and/or orange bars, some black patterning, large eyes
Food/Diet: Slugs, worms (especially earthworms), leeches, lizards, amphibians, eggs, small fish, small mammals, insects, smaller snakes, crayfish, young birds, spiders, millipedes, centipedes
Status in Wild: Stable
Conservation: Breeding in zoos & nature centers
Lifestyle: Groups of 10-100 (especially in dens), sometimes even thousands
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Snakelet Knot/Bed
Weight: 4 oz 5.3 oz Gestation:

 

Life Span:

2-3 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 1.3-2 ft 2.5-3 ft 8 in 4-6 years
Tail Length: 5.16-7.2 in 9-10.8 in
Main predators are large fish, turtles, bullfrogs, birds, larger snakes (most snakes), & carnivorous/omnivorous mammals.
These snakes ovoviviparous, in which eggs hatch inside mom’s body & born live.
Females give birth to between 5-95 young.
Sexually mature at 2 years old.
They hibernate in winter in sizeable groups.
They have excellent sense of smell/sight.
They’re diurnal & sometimes, crepuscular (active at dawn & dusk).
Breed in spring & fall.
Breed in mating balls, which can have up to 25 males per 1 or 2 females.
Fun Fact(s): Usually, males & females produce different pheromones but some males w/ high estrogen levels secrete pheromone that females have to attract other males, fooling other males.
These snakes more likely to discharge musk rather than bite if cornered.
Long thought nonvenomous but actually produce very mild neurotoxic venom, which is chewed into wounds since they have enlarged teeth in back of mouth. Bites primarily harmless but may cause minor swelling/itching. Toxins in saliva used on prey.

Argentine Boa

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ANIMAL:                                    Argentine Boa             Boa occidentalis
Type of Animal: Boa/Python
Habitat: Tropical/subtropical forests (both wet & dry, both closed & open), forest clearings/edges, woodlands, semidesert, scrub forest, grasslands, rocky slopes, savanna, swamps, thorn scrub, plains, foothills, intermontane valleys, wetlands, cactus stands, shrubland
Location(s): Argentina & Paraguay
Appearance: Females bigger than males, dark brown, black, or gray w/ pale gold, white or multitude of light & dark patterns, gray belly w/ dark spots, some specimens have varying degrees of burnt orange to red (more prominent in captivity), young have paler dots
Food/Diet: Rats, mice, rabbits, squirrels, agoutis, capybaras, nutrias, guinea pigs, ocelots/other small felines, amphibians, bats, lizards (including larger species), birds (up to size of turkeys), young tortoises, pacas, cavies, coatis, monkeys, young crocodilians, opossums, deer, pigs, other snakes (including young anacondas & smaller members of own species), eggs
Status in Wild: Stable
Conservation: Breeding in zoos, herpetoculture, & wildlife centers
Lifestyle: Solitary
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Snakelet Solitary
Weight: 15 lbs 30 lbs 6 lbs Gestation:

 

Life Span:

4-8 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 6 ft 10 ft 2.5 ft 20-30 years
Tail Length: 2.5 ft 2 ft
Main predators of adults are jaguars, crocodilians, & anacondas. Young preyed on by many snakes (including larger members of own species), predatory birds, carnivorous/omnivorous mammals, predatory lizards, & predatory turtles.
Like other boas, females give birth to live young.
They kill their prey by constricting & swallowing whole.
Sexually mature at 2-3 years.
They’re ambush predators.
They’re hunted for skin, meat, & pet trade.
Farmers kill them because they eat poultry.
They spend lots of time on the ground & in the trees.
They breed from late fall to early spring.
Fun Fact(s): These snakes tend to be fairly docile unless shedding. Younger ones are nippier than adults.
It can take them up to 6 days to digest a meal.
Their loosely hinged jaws can stretch far apart, enabling it to eat prey bigger than itself.
They’re valuable in that they eat lots of small & medium-sized mammals.

Skunk/White-Lined Gecko

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ANIMAL:                                Skunk/White-Lined Gecko       Gekko vittatus
Type of Animal: Lizard
Habitat: Tropical forests & nearby human dwellings
Location(s): Indonesia, New Guinea, Palau, & Solomon Islands
Appearance: Distinguishable white line along back, 3 main colors-dark brown, pale green, & tan, tail has several broad white bands, gold eyes, slender body
Food/Diet: Crickets, roaches, locusts, worms, insect larvae, flies, moths, spiders, fruit
Status in Wild: Stable
Conservation: Breeding in zoos & herpetoculture
Lifestyle: Solitary
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Hatchling Solitary
Weight: 0.5 oz 0.4 oz Gestation:

 

Life Span:

2-3 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 10 in 9 in 3 in 3-5 years
Tail Length: 3.16 in Same
Main predators are snakes, larger lizards, birds, & carnivorous/omnivorous mammals.
Males extremely territorial & will fight to the death.
They’re active at night (nocturnal).
They’re called skunk geckos due to white line running through length of back.
Their toe pads help them move on vertical surfaces.
Collecting from wild could be potential threat in the future.
Females lay only 2 eggs per clutch.
Breeding lasts from mid-summer until mid to late fall.
Mating usually only lasts 2-4 minutes & consists of male biting female’s neck.
Fun Fact(s): These geckos are decent pets but they’re very skittish & delicate, preferring not to be handled.
These geckos are welcomed into homes since they eat lots of insects.
They’re very fast.
They can shed their tails when grasped as a defense mechanism. Like many geckos, they can grow back their tail.
Males make series of 3-5 sharp noises sounding like mix between duck’s quack & small dog’s bark.

Trans-Pecos Copperhead

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ANIMAL:                          Trans-Pecos Copperhead     Agkistrodon pictigaster
Type of Animal: Viper
Habitat: Rocky lightly vegetated canyon areas, under logs/wood piles, woodlands, streams, ponds, rocky outcrops/ledges, flower beds, human neighborhoods, compost piles, rock walls, flat stone structures, building debris,
Location(s): Trans-Pecos region of W Texas & bordering areas of N Mexico
Appearance: Light tan w/ dark brown wide crossbands, color varies from red-brown to light tan to gray-brown, elaborately patterned underside of irregular white & black patterns, young have bright green-yellow tail tip, color fades at 1 year of age
Food/Diet: Rodents, birds, lizards, smaller snakes, amphibians, cicadas, caterpillars, eggs, grasshoppers
Status in Wild: Stable
Conservation: Breeding from zoos, wildlife centers, & breeders
Lifestyle: Solitary or small groups
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Snakelet Den
Weight: 10.54 oz 10.08 oz 2 oz Gestation:

 

Life Span:

3-6 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 1.5 ft 2.5 ft 0.5 ft 8 years in wild, 15 years in captivity
Tail Length: 4 in 3 in
Main predators are bobcats, coyotes, birds of prey, kingsnakes, pigs, racers, corvids, indigo snakes, cats, dogs, & foxes.
They often den w/ other copperheads, as well as rattlesnakes.
Males engage in body-shoving contests over females in breeding season
Like other pit vipers, these snake are ovoviviparous, giving birth to live young that hatch inside mom’s body.
They usually breed in spring.
If disturbed/threatened/agitated, they coil body up & raise head at 45-degree angle from ground in defensive posture. They also vibrate tail.
Also called chunk head, pilot snake, death adder, dry-land moccasin, & cantil cobrizo (these names apply to all copperhead species).
People sometimes kill these snakes out of fear.
These snakes are ambush predators.
Fun Fact(s): If it loses a fang, it can produce replacement from set of 5-7 spares in gums.
Northern Democrats who opposed Civil War known as copperheads.
These snakes are nonaggressive & never bite unless provoked.
The venom of baby copperheads is just as potent as that of adults.
Death very rare from bites from these snakes since venom not overly potent. However, medical attention should always be sought since venom is hemotoxic, causing tissue damage.