06 May 2011

Water snakes of Ding Darling

One of the parks we visited when we were in Florida last month was the J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. We did the 4-mile hike hoping to see an alligator, but there was none around.

The highlights of our hike were mating horseshoe crabs and a couple of water snakes.

This was one of them.

Here is a closer shot of its head.

A display near the visitor center listed the mangrove water snake (Nerodia clarkii compressicauda) among the snakes that had recently been spotted in the park. According to A field guide to reptiles and amphibians (Conant & Collins, 1998), this snake, which they call the mangrove salt marsh snake, has "extremely variable" patterns and coloration, the latter varying from black to red. The book also states that "identification is often best accomplished on basis of habitat". So, based on that, I am tentatively identifying this snake as Nerodia clarkii compressicauda.

What was the 2nd snake?

Perhaps a black variant of the same species?


Zombie said...

Hope they dont eat me! lol.

Adorably Dead said...

I love snakes they are so beautiful! I also originally misread that sign as telling you to feed and harrass the aligators. *sighs* I am the people they make signs for.

The Walking Photographer said...

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The Walking Photographer

Vivarjitha said...

hello....you have a wonderful blog....the photos are beautiful:-)

Coyote said...

It looks like that second snake has a different-shaped head than the first.

A said...

Nice snake, pity that I hate them though.

jessiethought said...

Cool post! Nice pictures.
Two questions:
Why would anyone want to harass an alligator, anyway? Who would be so stupid?

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ewoodland said...

Just out of curiosity,the pictures
of those snakes is interesting,are
these reptiles venomous?(dont know
much about snakes)

Michael said...

In reply to "ewoodland" comment: No these are not venomous. I don't think that there is any water snake that is venomous but water snakes do known as one of the most aggressive snakes.