Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Eastern Gartersnake (pre-molting/shedding)

Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis

Description:

An Eastern Gartersnake spotted at Huntley Meadows Park. Did you notice the fly (Family Muscidae) perching on the snake’s head, as shown in Photo 1 (of 3)? When I saw the fly through the camera viewfinder my first thought was, “Either pre-molting snakes are vision-impaired/blind or this fly has a death wish!” Turns out I was partly correct. "Blue-to-gray eyes are usually a sign that the snake is about a day away from molting/shedding its skin. When the eyes are blue-gray their vision is impaired — they can still see some movement and light versus dark, but not much detail." Source Credit: Kevin Munroe, Park Manager, Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County Park Authority. Special thanks to Kevin Munroe as well as all the BugGuide group (on Facebook) citizen scientists who helped me with this spotting, especially Michael Butler, Jeff Beane, and Aaron Belulz! Related Resource: Muscidae http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscidae

Habitat:

Huntley Meadows Park, a 1,425 acre wetland area in Fairfax County, Virginia USA. Related Resource: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/huntl...

Notes:

Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Species ID Suggestions



Sign in to suggest organism ID

1 Comment

Nathan Kutok
Nathan Kutok 7 years ago

Nice pic

Geodialist
Spotted by
Geodialist

Virginia, USA

Spotted on Sep 27, 2013
Submitted on Dec 17, 2013

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors

Join the Project Noah Team Join Project Noah Team