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#20303 - 05/12/06 11:26 AM our reptilian friends
museumdork Offline
Site Supporter

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 110
Loc: new paltz
folks -

any armchair herpetologists out there? I'm interested in knowing more about a big (4ft+) dark-scaled snake, takes to water easily (a family of three has nested and sun themselves by the pond then head in if approached), and possibly has a white underbelly with coral-red splotches. It's not a rat snake; this guy is more dark brown than shiny black. Nor is the pattern really obvious, like a two-tone milk snake.

Additionally, am I correct in saying we have only two venomous species--copperheads and timber rattlers--in the area?

I did take a picture hoping to post here but am too simpleminded to reduce it from its 2.5mb file size.

cheers
dell

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#20304 - 05/12/06 11:58 AM Re: our reptilian friends [Re: museumdork]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3764
Loc: Ulster County, NY
I can only answer on your second question. There is a third poisonous snake in NY, the Eastern Massasagua (sp?). Not too common round these parts though. I'm pretty sure their habitat is around the souther tier of NY.

RR

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#20305 - 05/12/06 01:18 PM Re: our reptilian friends [Re: RangerRob]
Smike Offline
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Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
That sounds like a Water Moccasin. Nasty pit vipers which can be very aggressive. I've seen many in Eastern PA, not sure how far north they go, but I'm sure around here in the gunks seeing one would not be out of the question.

Coloration can vary, Most are dark grey/brown, some are more brown, and most have a barely noticeable pattern. They are not shiny. All will swim with their heads sticking above water and body just at the water surface. They are usually found lying out getting sun on rocks near water or wet lands. I’ve only had one come after me, most will retreat to the water as you have witnessed, but if threatened they will stand their ground.

http://www.wf.net/~snake/moccasin.htm

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#20306 - 05/12/06 06:45 PM Re: our reptilian friends [Re: Smike]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4275
Loc: Poughkeepsie
A friend of mine has a picture of a brown snake at her local pond. There's a caption that says what kind it is, but I don't remember. Next time I see her I'll ask about. Just because it's in water don't mean it's a moccasin. But if it has a broad triangular head, I'd stay away from it.

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#20307 - 05/12/06 07:29 PM Re: our reptilian friends [Re: Mike Rawdon]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
Could be a Northern water snake

http://www.fcps.k12.va.us/StratfordLandingES/Ecology/mpages/northern_water_snake.htm

They are 'usually’ (not always) more grey and dusty looking then a Moccasin. Moccasins are mostly darker and look kind of ‘chubby’ but it’s hard sometimes to tell them apart. (Even water snakes can appear to have a triangle shaped heads) The best way to tell the difference is how pissed it gets at you. (not recommended) The more pissed off ones are usually the Moccasins. Unlike other poison snakes such as copperheads that are non aggressive.

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