Rick O'Connor Sea Grant Extension Agent

Author's details

Name: Rick O'Connor
Date registered: March 19, 2012

Latest posts

  1. Do Constricting Snakes Really Kill Their Prey by Suffocation? — August 14, 2015
  2. The Giant Banana Spiders – part of our panhandle summer — August 7, 2015
  3. Living with Snakes; the Eastern Indigo — August 23, 2013
  4. Copperheads and Cottonmouths — June 27, 2013
  5. Snakes of Northwest Florida — June 27, 2013

Author's posts listings

Do Constricting Snakes Really Kill Their Prey by Suffocation?

Most people, including myself, have been taught this. Snakes are in an unusual situation of trying to kill prey with no hands or claws. A few can inject venom, others either swallow it whole (such as an egg) or the coil around their prey “suffocating” it – or so we thought. It has been my …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/wwww/2015/08/14/do-constricting-snakes-really-kill-their-prey-by-suffocation/

The Giant Banana Spiders – part of our panhandle summer

TELL ME NO!  Please tell me these huge spiders are not a part of our summer. People are afraid snakes… that’s a given – but there are just as many afraid of spiders.  Honestly, after years of leading field hikes into the north Florida environment, when we encounter a spider web on the trail I …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/wwww/2015/08/07/the-giant-banana-spiders-part-of-our-panhandle-summer/

Living with Snakes; the Eastern Indigo

There is no doubt that many people are uncomfortable when they see snakes but seeing an 8 foot one will strike terror in their minds.  This reaction has probably cost the lives of many indigo snakes in our area.  The largest of all North American snakes this harmless non-venomous snake actually consumes venomous ones as …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/wwww/2013/08/23/living-with-snakes-the-eastern-indigo/

Copperheads and Cottonmouths

Growing up in Northwest Florida I always understood that the “copperhead” and the “moccasin” were two different venomous snakes.  As I grew older and talked with locals, I have found that the name “copperhead” is often used when talking about moccasins.  I was puzzled by the confusion, I thought they looked completely different, but now …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/wwww/2013/06/27/copperheads-and-cottonmouths/

Snakes of Northwest Florida

There are many animals that strike fear in humans but little cause more than snakes.  Interestingly kids seem to like them, it is when we become an adult that we do not; why is that?  There are several explanations and all have merit. One are stories and legends. As we get older we read and hear …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/wwww/2013/06/27/snakes-of-northwest-florida/

Living with Snakes – Rat Snakes

Rat snakes are one of the more commonly encountered snakes in our area.  They truly do eat a lot of rodents and so this draws them towards human habitation searching for food.  As a group they can grow quite large and for those of us who do a have a fear of snakes – we …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/wwww/2013/06/27/living-with-snakes-rat-snakes/

Kingsnakes

Anyone who has been to the Roy Hyatt Environmental Center in the past 21 years has probably met “Regis”, our eastern kingsnake.  “Regis” has been our “poster-child” for snake biology and conservation for 1000’s of visitors to the center, numerous talks in our schools, and he has done an excellent job.  When we began this …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/wwww/2013/06/27/kingsnakes/

Rattlesnakes

Rattlesnakes   There are few words that strike more fear in humans than the word ‘SNAKE!’, but ‘RATTLESNAKE!’ may be one of them.  In Florida we have three species of rattlesnakes but when people talk of them they are generally speaking of the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus).  The legends and stories of this animal …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/wwww/2013/02/22/rattlesnakes/

Swamps in Escambia County

The term swamp brings to mind a dark place, full of large spooky trees, overhanging with Spanish Moss, still… green… stagnate water that has the odor of rotten eggs.  It is quiet with little wind blowing at all.  What noises you do hear are the shrill of some strange bird, the croak of a large …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/wwww/2012/09/14/swamps-in-escambia-county/

Bogs in Northwest Florida

The term bog brings to mind something similar to the term swamp… how is it different? Swamps generally have standing water most of the year; a bog appears dry… until you walk in it and then you then discover that it is wet and mucky.  It is a wetland with moist hydric soils that squish …

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Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/wwww/2012/08/31/bogs-in-northwest-florida/

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