10 November 2008

Juvenile Northern Brown Snake

I came upon this tiny snake while looking for snails under a small log near College Park, Maryland last week. The Triodopsis shell next to it was probably about 12 mm in diameter. Using that as a scale, I have estimated the length of the snake as 13 cm.


According to Butch Norden of the Maryland DNR, whom I always turn to whenever I photograph a reptile or amphibian I can't identify, this is an immature Northern Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi dekayi). He also noted that these snakes are known to feed on slugs and snails.

In Amphibians and Reptiles of Delmarva (by James F. White, Jr. & Amy Wendt White, 2002), the length range of adult Northern Brown Snakes is given as 23 to 33 cm. So this individual has some growing to do. They also indicate that these snakes feed on earthworms, slugs and snails among other invertebrates. Perhaps it was not a coincidence that I found it where I usually find snails.

Although I am not particularly interested in snakes, they have been featured on this blog several times. The previous one was a Black Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for helping us to identify the small Northern Brown Snake we found. It's so hard to find photos of juveniles. We were grateful for the info!

J, in Maryland