Sunday, October 01, 2006

Serpent in the Garden

While moving piles of dirt around the yard on Saturday I was surprised by the sudden appearance of a rather large snake. It quickly slithered under the shrubbery by our front gate, but I was able to peer through the branches and get a decent look. Its color was bluish-gray with some lighter speckling and a pale belly. Although definitely of the non-venemous type, it was clearly agitated, and shook the tip of its tail in warning. I've seen Gopher Snakes engage in this sort of mimicry before. I tried to prod it out into the open to get a picture, but it darted between my feet and away across the driveway at high speed.

Consulted the literature, and based on coloration, shape, and behavior I've identified it as a Buttermilk Racer, Coluber constrictor anthicus. So I get another addition to my herps list, and a cool new species for the yard. Too bad the neighbors kill every snake they encounter - if they weren't so keen on exterminating them I'd probably see more around here.


At 9:41 AM, Blogger Stormy said...

Hi John,

I'm sure you've probably seen these while doing your homework, but I wanted to see a picture.


Herps of Texas doesn't show any racers in my county (if I'm reading the map right), so I guess we'll have to get busy and find one. ;-)

Thanks for sharing!


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