Sunday, May 22, 2011

what kind of snake is this?


Blogger Anna M said...

It looks like a King Snake somtimes called a Milk Snake.

May 22, 2011 at 6:12 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The milk snake has given rise to more misconceptions than perhaps any other species. Its name is derived from the decidedly false belief that it will milk cows! It is, however, frequently encountered in barns in search of its rodent prey (it also eats other snakes). The milk snake is a boldly patterned serpent (brown or reddish blotches on a light grey to tan body) that vibrates its tail when annoyed. These characteristics are undoubtedly responsible for its being called "spotted adder" in some regions, an unfortunate name because it brings to mind the truly venomous snakes of Europe and Asia. The milk snake is harmless.

The largest species in New York is the black rat snake, reaching lengths of eight feet! These largely black-colored snakes are found primarily along cliffs and rocky slopes but are absent from most of the Adirondacks. It is an impressive animal that overpowers its bird and small mammal prey by constriction.

Other kinds that occur all across New York in appropriate habitat are the green, redbelly, brown, and ringneck snakes; all four of these are small, slender, and completely benign species that feed on insects, spiders, earthworms and slugs. Each is described quite well by their common names.



May 22, 2011 at 6:17 AM  
Blogger MIB said...

My husband, who know A LOT about snakes (and may or may not have brought snakes back from Florida in his jacket when he was a teenager--I'm just sayin'), says this is a corn snake. "It's a harmless snake and is commonly sold in various color morphs by the pet industry. They eat insects, small amphibians... they're actually quite beneficial around the yard." (Side note: when I first met my husband, he had two pet copperheads that he handled barehanded; he said gloves freaked them out and made them more likely to strike.) (I didn't start dating him until a couple years later, when he had gotten rid of them. Although, at that time he had a Solomon Island Ground Boa [I think], a Nile Monitor, and some other reptiles.)

May 22, 2011 at 6:57 AM  
Blogger MIB said...

(I should have said "brought snakes back from Florida in his jacket on the airplane"--sorry-haven't had any coffee yet)

May 22, 2011 at 7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd say corn snake. Not poisonous, I've been bit by one before.

May 22, 2011 at 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only identify poisonous snakes, Jenna. The only non-poisonous snakes I've ever seen was a Garter snake.


May 22, 2011 at 7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always had problems identifying snake species. Then I was told to look at the head and tail. A non poisonous snake has a long, skinny tail that tapers to a thin point and their head is not triangular (it is like the tip of your finger). A poisonous snake has a thick, stubby tail and a triangular head, which is distinctive of their body. Some snake colors freak me out because they look like a poisonous snake, but then I look for the head & tail.

May 22, 2011 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger {hip} said...

it is a baby corn snake, possibly black rat.

May 22, 2011 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

It's definitely not a black rat snake. Baby black rat snakes are black and white, period.

I'd go with corn or milk snake without a better picture. They are snakes you want around to keep rodents down! Very beautiful snakes.

May 22, 2011 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger lmel said...

Looks like a young milk snake to me. I found one crawling out of my cellar bulkhead last spring. Hope they eat mice!

May 22, 2011 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger lmel said...

Looks like the young milk snake I found near my cellar bulkhead last spring!

May 22, 2011 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

That is an Eastern Milk snake which are commonly called Checkeredadders or Checkadadders in your locale. You are fortunate to have one as they are superior rodent eliminators. Don't let anyone talk you into getting rid of it.
In elementary school, I hit a boy with a baseball bat because he was going to kill one of these snakes. I've had them off and on here. When they are around the chipmunk population decreases and that is a good thing.
By the way, there are water snakes in Hedges Lake or there always were.

May 22, 2011 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Lavigne Photography said...

Yeah I was going to say milk snake too. Had one that lived in a cabin I lived in and we just avoided each other. Good for mice but might like eggs and chicks too?

May 22, 2011 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger rabbit said...

milk snake for sure, we have them up my way also, as well as the rat snakes, which p.s. are arboreal! nothing unerves a person more than 8 ft of black snake hanging out of a tree! completely harmless (milk and rat).

May 22, 2011 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Phiddy said...

This sure looks like the same snake... a milk snake.

May 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Either way, that chicken doesn't give a damn.

May 22, 2011 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

I would say it's a milk snake. There is a good article with photos at the SUNY Environmental Science & Forestry site here:

May 22, 2011 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Cynthia R. said...

It looks like what we call a Texas rat snake. We had some last year. They do eat mice. They also eat baby chicks and eggs. I had a hen sitting on eggs last year and ended up with one live chick. The hen was in a brooder like your, but with one inch chicken wire. One morning I was in the feed room getting the feed and heard the hen having a fit. By the time I got around there the snake had eaten one of the chicks. Once they start eating your eggs unless your there to gather your eggs (three or four times a day)you will not get very many eggs. They also will get under a laying hen and eat the egg as soon as it layed. The large one's get mean and will bite. I looked then up on the Internet last year when I was having so much trouble with them.

May 22, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Sonya --Dime Store Thrift said...

Holy Mother. A snake that makes me rethink ever having chickens and living on a farm. That thing is HUUUUUGE!

May 22, 2011 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Velma Bolyard said...

milk snake

May 22, 2011 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Sue Sullivan said...

I would have called it a king snake but I'm not expert. King snakes can eat rattlesnakes back where I used to live, so we loved em. I'm surprised your girls are not trying to eat it though!

May 22, 2011 at 11:28 AM  
Blogger Toni aka irishlas said...

I hope your mother didn't see it!

May 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Living with a beneficial snake is hard, if sudden movements in the grass give you starts. I'm trying to peacefully coexist with a garter snake in my garden because I know they're good for eating all kinds of things I don't want in my vegetables. However, when I happen on him, I scare him, so he slithers quickly out of range, which always scares the dickens out of me until I sight him and relax because it's just the garter snake.

Good thing I'm not addicted to adrenaline....

May 22, 2011 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger m. said...

A scary one.

May 22, 2011 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger cloudberryjam said...

Wow! At least people seem to think it's harmless and possibly even a good thing to have around, but geesh!

May 22, 2011 at 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MIB - Snakes on a Plane!

May 22, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Eastern Milk Snake Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum, not actually a king snake but they are they are in the same genus, Lamropeltis. He's a good guy to eat mice!
We actually hatched a bunch of these from eggs a few years back, then released them near our house to help reduce the rodent population!

May 22, 2011 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Bullwinkle said...

[Gawd! I love the internet! Ask a question - get answers.]

He's a big snake. And I'd leave him alone.

(Hey, if he were a green mamba, I'd know more.)

May 22, 2011 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Colchicine said...

Eastern Milksnake! There is NO doubt about it.

JustAnotherGraphicsGirl- relying on the head and tail shapes are completely WRONG. Most all venomous snakes in the US have vertical pupils like a cat. Except for the uncommon coral snake, all nonvenomous snakes have round pupils.

May 22, 2011 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Broadfork Farm said...

I don't know what kind of snake it is....I just wanted to say I think your t-shirt design for Kilpatrick Family Farm is awesome!

May 22, 2011 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger frakier said...

I go by the head, if it's arrow shaped it's poisonous, if the nose is blunted it is not, however even the non-poisonous can make you very sick if you are bitten, bacteria and such.
I would treat them all as poisonous till you know for sure, Take a long garden fork or something and remove the snake as far away as possible from your chickens. If you can keep them away from your chicken they are a help with rats etc. They are rough on small chicks, eggs, rabbits, etc.
Every once in a while you will get a snake that will kill adult chickens and rabbits even though they cannot eat them, kill that snake if you can find it, it's usually sick or hurt and cannot hunt anymore so it is going for any and all easy targets in the hopes they can eat it, one like this can wipe out your smaller animals.

May 22, 2011 at 5:21 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Frakier, you can easily pick up an Eastern Milk Snake, and relocate it with your hands. In the Northeast, unless you are in an environment of ledges such as along the northern Hudson or in the Adirondacks, there should be no snake fear. Here in Maine there are no poisonous snakes and their existence is pretty limited in NH and VT.
In the Northeast the only thing we have to fear is a repeat of 2009's weather.

May 22, 2011 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

looks like a milk snake! Very pretty! No need to be afraid - they are not poisonous and will keep your rodent population down. We used to love seeing some BIG black rat snakes sunning themselves on a stone retaining wall we had in the yard. I hope he survived that encounter with your chickens, he's pretty likely to have been pecked to death, but such is life! THey would eat eggs, but that doesn't mean that this one snake will. I hope you give him a chance to coexist with the rest of the farm.

May 22, 2011 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

OMG, but that scared the crap outta me! I can't even look at a picture of a snake and when I came on here and saw that, I screamed! I know I'll get some people mad at me, but the only good snake is a dead snake! I hate them. I have cats, dogs and chickens to eat mice. I don't want snakes here.

I had a big ole shiny black chicken snake in a nest in the corner of the barn the other day. That's all it takes for me. I just knew what it was and out I go screaming like a mad woman. I called my friend up the road and he came and asked me what I wanted him to do with it. He came out of the barn with his arm all the way up and that thing was dragging the ground. He took it with him.

May 22, 2011 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger admin said...

Sure looks like a pine snake, but they're not supposed to be in your area-kind of a southeastern snake, but some have been found in New Jersey.

May 22, 2011 at 7:27 PM  
Blogger Colchicine said...

Frankier: A triangular head on a snake is MEANINGLESS. This is outdated information that leads to needless killings of harmless snakes because people see a triangular head on EVERY snake.

Snakes killing chickens for no reason is also nonsense.

May 22, 2011 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Rosie said...

I had a big one just like it in the garden last week.Here they are called California King Snakes. Good to have in the garden but watch your baby chicks and eggs.

May 22, 2011 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger frakier said...

Colchicine: I had a snake kill too chickens when I was younger, it was trying to eat a whole grown chicken. Grandfather called a friend with the game warden that brought, I think they called him a rescue vet, he said the snake had been run over it was literally starving. He said it probably killed the first and could not eat it so the snake went to the next chicken and could not eat it as well. It was beyond repair and he put it down. Most the snakes we have around here are chicken snakes, king snakes, rattlers and copper heads. No I do not condone killing a healthy snake or even one in doubt.
doglady: Yeah I have stopped and rolled king and rat snakes up like garden hoses to get them off the road but figured I would advise someone not sure to use a tool, just to be safe.

May 22, 2011 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger kylieps said...

Wow. That's a lot of snake lore in one place. I've been making rock piles in my garden on the advice over at hoping to encourage insect eating snakes. I'm glad you posted this picture Jenna because if I just saw that hanging around while I was out weeding I would have truly freaked out.
As for the advice on identifying poisonous snakes, I'm not sure I'd get close enough to see if their pupils were slitted or round!

May 25, 2011 at 7:45 AM  
Blogger Jeremy and Jenny said...

Just to throw it in the mix the only thing in the Rockies that looks like that is a bull snake.

May 28, 2011 at 1:48 PM  

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