14 October 2009

Nerodia sipedon on the road


I found this dead juvenile northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon) on a nearby road late one afternoon a few days ago. I poked it a few times and after I convinced myself that it was indeed dead, I wrapped it with a paper napkin and brought it home in my pocket (it was exactly 20.5 cm long—quite suitable to carry in one's shirt pocket).

The snake's body was supple without a noticeable odor and the eyes were still bright.


It had apparently died recently. But from what? There were no visible external injuries.

As its vernacular name implies, Nerodia sipedon lives in and near water. Interestingly, the spot where I found it was near where I had found a dead spotted salamander last November. How and why do these aquatic animals leaving their normal habitats and ending up on a road to die possibly from exposure?

The snake is now resting in alcohol. I will try to dissect it one day after I dissect the salamander first.


M. Gillilland said...

I just emailed you regarding Cepaea nemoralis and was looking at your blog. Your citation for Nerodia is very good... I wrote it :)

xoggoth said...

Oooer. Serious snail comment. Silly snail comment urgently needed.

Snails eating the mail.