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Unnamed spotting


Found him on our walk tonight. He was rather still and docile. I walked past him and he didn't move. Any ideas what it might be? It was right next to a water drainage ditch. Taken with my 300mm.


I added a close up of his eye. :)

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JackieHolmesBurns 9 years ago

Beautiful A. piscivorus head study. I love the blockiness of the heads and the chocolate coloration. Color and pattern vary so much on this species, depending on the age of the snake, whether or not recently shed, whether or not wet. You should join our Under a Low Country Moon mission. We're focused on the Francis Marion National Forest, but are especially interested in low country snakes and are not limited to that location

Aaron_G 9 years ago

Thank you for reiterating the fact that these animals are sometimes defensive and NOT aggressive. I tell people that all the time and they just don't understand the behavior. To put it into perspective I say, "Imagine if you came out of nowhere and began hitting me with a stick. I'm going to defend myself. That's not aggression on my part."

harsuame 9 years ago

Bella cabeza

JamieDorton 9 years ago

Im 100% sure...Trust me.

JamieDorton 9 years ago

Thats a Cottonmouth Moccasin. Good thing ya kept your distance. For future reference, North American snakes with elongated pupils (vertical slits) means its venomous. ;)

barbarossa 9 years ago

Livan- I'm on your side now, good call on the eyes and pits. I didn't know they could be that dark. I better take a closer look every time I think it's a rat snake in front of me!

TeresaBurke 9 years ago

He was very black. But I have a feeling he might have been a cottonmouth water moccasin. Although he wasn't holding his mouth open. But he probably just had a snack. :)) Thanks guys!

LivanEscudero 9 years ago

I say that head still looks cottonmouth to me. I don't know if I'm seeing things but I see: slit (cat like) pupil, pit in front of the eye, and arrangement of large scales on top of head are all reading as poisonous to me. And the FL Museum of Natural History says: "The pattern darkens with age so adults retain only a hint of the former banding or are a uniform black."
Again I'm no expert and not 100% sure.
But see more here:

TeresaBurke 9 years ago

Hmmmmm. All great suggestions. His eyes were kind of golden with black slits, if that helps. He was long and thick, but I couldn't see his tail. He wouldn't flinch. I followed the rule of thumb with this guy and kept my distance. He looked like he could have been venomous. Thankfully I had my 300mm with me. :)

barbarossa 9 years ago

I don't think this is a cottonmouth or anything venomous, the head is too small and round. That photo on wikipedia is not representative of what they really look like, they are brown and have banding. This is either a black racer or black rat snake. Here is a good site for snakes of the southeast.

Cottonmouths are most often found in/around water and are anything but docile, even this time of year.

Liam 9 years ago

I'm thinking Eastern Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) also. Look like s/he just had a meal also.
Here's a photo for comparison:

LivanEscudero 9 years ago

I think that is an Eastern Cottonmouth. Not 100% sure.

Spotted by

South Carolina, USA

Spotted on Apr 9, 2012
Submitted on Apr 10, 2012


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