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REQUEST FOR SNAKE SIGHTINGS

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is asking for help in tracking the occurrence of four species of snakes.  The eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the Florida pine snake, the short-tailed snake, and the southern hognose snake.  All four snakes are considered rare and are listed with the Florida Natural Areas Inventory

The coloration of pines snakes varies.  This grayish animal was photographed in Baldwin Co. AL but they can be a light tan color as well.  Photo: Molly O'Connor

The coloration of pines snakes varies. This grayish animal was photographed in Baldwin Co. AL but they can be a light tan color as well. Photo: Molly O’Connor

.  The purpose of this project is to determine the current status of these snake in our state.

 

The Florida pine snake is currently a species of special concern.  It is a larger snake, reaching lengths of 4-6’, and commonly found in dry habitats such scrub oak and longleaf pine but can be found in open fields near farms.  They are most active during the day and feed on small mammals.  They can be confused with the gray rat snake and differ in that they have a larger girth, an enlarged scale at the tip of their nose, have bands across the tail, and can make a very loud HISS.

 

The southern hognose is not currently listed.  This is a relatively small snake reaching lengths between 12-14”.  As their name implies they have an “up-turned” snout.  Distinguishing it from their close cousin the eastern hognose is not easy.  They tend to have more yellow in them and the up-turned snout is more pronounced.

 

The short-tailed snake is a threatened species and is typically only found in central Florida.

 

Most everyone knows the eastern diamondback rattlesnake.  There are records of the timber rattlesnake in north Florida and this could cause confusion with identification.  The eastern diamondback will have dark diamond-shaped patterns along their back.  The timber rattlesnakes have stripes in a chevron pattern and the tail is typically a solid dark color.

 

If you think you have seen either of these snakes you can report them at the following:

Nonvenomous snakes: https://public.myfwc.com/FWRI/DRS/

Rattlesnake: https://public.myfwc.com/fwri/raresnakes/

You can also contact kevin.enge@myfwc.com

 

You will need coordinates (latitude and longitude) for the nonvenomous snakes.  The general location for rattlesnakes is all that is needed.

They would like your name, year/month seen.

PHOTOGRAPHS ARE HIGHLY DESIRABLE FOR CONFIRMATION OF IDENTIFICATION.

 

For more information you can contact Rick O’Connor at roc1@ufl.edu

Permanent link to this article: https://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2013/09/20/request-for-snake-sightings/