Can You Identify My Garden Pet?

harryshoe zone6 eastern PennsylvaniaMay 20, 2007

I just figured out what this cute little guy is. Caught him sunning himself on our front walk. Can you tell what kind he is?

DW would not let me bring him in the house. She wouldn't even hold him. I think she hurt his feelings.

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pete41(9ab FL.)

Maybe its a snake?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 8:00PM
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pete41(9ab FL.)

Looks like some of the old guys around here.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 8:02PM
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kathy9norcal

Looks just like the deputy directory of the agency I work for. No kidding.
Kathy

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 9:49PM
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paparoseman(z8 WA. PO.)

Pete which one of the old guys around here does it look like? Tell the DW that having one of those fairly cute guys around keeps the much less cute animals away.

Lance

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 11:10PM
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nickelsmumz8(8)

Cute little fella. I've now spent one hour trying to figure out what kind of snake it is. Do you know, Harry? Is this going to keep me up all night?

The closest I can get is a corn snake or milk snake, but his colors just seem too dim (and his splotches are too far apart for a milk snake?).

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 12:59AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

Right Pete.

I was really stumped even when I looked up "Snakes of Pennsylvania".

So I looked at the Bar Association site and found the divorce lawyer my ex used. Close, but not him.

I then check Philadelphia Politics. No, not one of the candidates for mayor, but close again.

I'll give you reptilian types some more time to guess.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 7:18AM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

oh Harry, you are into these gross photos. I remember your beetle invasion photos. I don't care what kind it is. The best kind of snake is a dead one except for black.
I love you Harry but not your pet

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 9:10AM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

No, Carla, lol! He looks like a friendly little fellow... eating those big slugs, I bet! He's awesome, Harry. We just call that a garden snake, lol. Probably not very scientific ;]

Gross, gross factoid: the neighbor-boy and I were walking and heard a snake's tail and looked down: it was one of these guys regurgitating a darker-colored guy so that he could scram fast. Coolest thing! The neighbor boy was not amused. 36 years it took me to see a snake do that.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 9:30AM
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michaelalreadytaken

He's gorgeous--and a pleasure to touch I'm guessing--was he?

MichaelAT

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 9:35AM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Eastern Fox snake... Elaphe vulpina.

That's my 10 minute guess and not bad!

Here is a link that might be useful: Lots of pics

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 9:45AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

Meredith,
I checked those pictures and it sure looks like the Eastern Rat Snake. I had another thought, but you may have one-upped me. More research needed.

MAT,
Yes, he was a pleasure. I find snakes fascinating. DW thinks there is something wrong with me. This type is different than any other I have ever seen. This is the second one of this type this spring.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 10:51AM
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Carol_SE_PA_6

Harry:
Keep him up in your part of the state! Yuk!! But if you want more, I'll send you some politicians from Philly to keep it company!!!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 1:47PM
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nickelsmumz8(8)

Meredith, it sure does look like an Eastern Fox Snake, but is WAY out of range -- well, by a few hundred miles, which seems like an awful lot for a snake if not a bird.

But it looks more like that than the two candidates I mentioned.

Harry, I think you need to submit those photos to a local herpetologist for ID! Inquiring minds...

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 6:21PM
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grasshoppersilks(9, Jax FL)

How did you know he wasn't a poisonous type?

The markings don't look like the fox snake to me, btw

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 6:29PM
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pete41(9ab FL.)

head shape

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 7:28PM
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grasshoppersilks(9, Jax FL)

pete41,

If he were poisionous, what would his head look like?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 8:07PM
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pete41(9ab FL.)

arrowhead for rattlers,copperheads[none in J]water moccasins.Coral snakes-which are plentiful have a different look. Red to yellow kill a fellow.
My son and daughter both live in Jack beach area.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 8:24PM
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pete41(9ab FL.)

rattler

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 8:30PM
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alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)

If he was a poisonous snake he'd have vertical pupils too. You can see that in the photo above.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 9:28PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

Face it Pete. My snake is cuter than yours.

I believe my snake to be a Black Rat Snake which is a close relative to Meredith's Eastern Fox Snake. The immature Black Rat Snake has the dark brown on tan markings and is sometimes confused with a Copperhead. It slowly turns black as it matures. It can grow to 6' long. It eats mice, rats, moles and voles.

We have found 2 near our front door and must assume that a nest of eggs was buried nearby. Maybe under our front step. DW was pleased to learn that we must have at least 2 full grown specimens nearby.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 7:21AM
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pagan(8b)

ok, ya'll are never going to believe I said this, but I am beginning to miss my black snake!! I used snake away, which must have worked cus haven't seen hide nor hair of the fellow since! What I HAVE seen are tons of tunnels in my garden that were not there while Mr. Snake was in residence under the back porch... (how do I know if it is a mole or a vole??) Anyway, I won't treat the tunnels, in the hopes that my snake will return to do so for me...

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 8:30AM
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wayne_mo(MO)

Definitely a juvenile Black Rat Snake. Often difficult for folks to identify because the juveniles do not look like the adults.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 11:03AM
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kathwhit(z8, West OR)

Whatever he is, he is very cute and colorful. We have what we call "garter" snakes around here and I welcome them. I am sympathetic to those who are snake phobic though. Hope he eats lots of voles for you!
Kathy

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 12:06PM
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pete41(9ab FL.)

And Wayne Truly is the expert.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 12:11PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Ah! The juveniles look so different, don't they?! Very cool, and he'll eat way more than slugs!

We had a 5-6 ft black snake at work on the lawn! The folks were freaking from inside. I had to arrange for a guy to give him to me after work so he could keep him in his truck, lol. I let him go in my yard and went to bed... then work, then home. That night my neighbors told me the excitement - he had been in her bushes where she was pruning! Oops... oh, yeah forgot to mention the big guy yet...oops.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 12:55PM
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nickelsmumz8(8)

I was wondering about a juvenile Black Snake but even the babies I found pictured online didn't seem to have SUCH distinct markings as Harry's cute little fellow.

But I feel much better knowing this is a snake in his correct range. Phew.

I love snakes, although when I lived in student housing with a rattler in a terrarium by the front door of my suite who rattled every time someone came through the door... it was a little unnerving.

Snakes don't give me the willies, but lots of spiders do, so I can accept that some people's DWs don't appreciate them much.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 2:07PM
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petaloid(SoCal 10a/24)

Cool snake! I wouldn't mind having him in my yard, but my dog would.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 5:27PM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

I was going to say juvenile rat snake...but y'all beat me to it. I miss Fred the Second. Fred the First was chopped into pieces by an elderly neighbor. Fred the Second moved in six months later (I'm pretty certain rat snakes are territorial)and did a yeoman's job keeping the dreaded voles at bay...

But he tried to eat a copperhead (another reason I love my black snakes!) late last summer and lost. The voles are back. I keep hoping Fred the Third will put in an appearance shortly.

Oh, and as mentioned, non-tirangular head and round pupils mean he's non-venomous.

Pagan--silly woman, driving away a rat snake! ;~) They are WONDERFUL for critter control. Hard to say whether it is moles or chipmunks making your tunnels...but voles usually tunnel UNDER the surface. Probably chippers. Moles are carnivorous (grubs and slugs oh my!)and voles are vegetarians (roots of tasty roses.)Chipmunks eat fruits, nuts, and grain...not roots. SO...lets hope it's chippies or molage!

(And be kind to rat snakes...they eat ALL the above varmintry!)

melanie

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 8:35PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Mel, if my big big guy fathers babies this year like he has been, I can promise you one or two black snakes for your garden this year. And there is a 3 footer who's been bugging the neighbor's birdbath and is danger of being shot.

I'll drive them out there, and you can take me to tea ;]

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 12:10AM
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pagan(8b)

we don't get many chipmunks here (in fact, I have never seen one!) So am going to have to go with the mole theory - as long as he leaves the roots alone he can aerate my soil all he wants! I doubt it will take long before Ima Snake returns - or one of her rellies! I understand the Snake Away stuff is only effective as long as it is smelly, and I can't smell it now...

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 7:54AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

We had a King snake that lived in the garden at the old house. I never remembered it was there, so every time I saw it I would scream, and the snake would quickly zip off in the opposite direction. Kept the neighbors amused.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 7:23PM
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cajunrosegal(10 south florida)

I have little brown snakes that dont get that large and live under the grass. They are wonderful brown with a white belly. Besides the cats that live in residence I havent seen a mouse or anything fuzzy near my house. I do however have hundreds of those stupid palmetto bugs I cant get rid of. What eats those that I can move in? I hate hate roaches of anykind...they are disgusting!

I love your snake Harry isnt he just the most silky smooth of anything you have held? I love how they feel. I know I know Im a sick woman...lol
I also feel from viperphobes, my dad is an arachniphobe and wont even come near a cob web spider thats so tiny you could blow it away with an exhale..lol
Ang

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 11:13AM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

Meredith--you are ON! I've a neighbor that is lamenting the loss of a black snake as well.

Tea--or a margarita. Or a mojito! There's a GREAT cuban resatuarant a short walk from my house. I've even got a spare bed.

melanie

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 1:27PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

It's a PLAN, Mel!! I'll lay off the meds that day so I can have a drinkie, lol. Ummm, Cuban food...

'Course I tried to catch the 3 footer once for them already and it zoomed towards me so fast the kids squealed and I fell down laughing instead of trying to catch its tail. Greased Lightning anyway.

Angie, you hit on MY PHOBIA -- ICK!! I've had some embarrassing episodes because of those bugs and my innate reaction to even one. I use like 50 baits forming a huge perimeter around my safe zone... not a granola girl when it comes to poisoning those horrid things ;]

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 3:19PM
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cajunrosegal(10 south florida)

Oh Meredith I hate those things with a passion! They are disgusting and icky...anything that can survive a nuclear war needs to be expunged! ACK! Least they dont live thru the great shoe war! STOMP!
Angela

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 7:22PM
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wild_rose_of_texas(z8b TX)

LOL!
I agree wholeheartedly with the Shoe War strategy.... but could it be DH's shoe? I just don't want to have to go near the dang things!

Allison

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 1:21AM
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pagan(8b)

I remember hearing about one of my aunts who was trying to kill a rattle snake in her yard. She threw several large rocks at it and missed repeatedly. Finally she got so mad she went over and stomped on it's head!!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 10:03AM
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cajunrosegal(10 south florida)

DH shoe DW shoe ( for the roachphobe male ) anything that rids the world of those creatures is fine by me! They need to come up with a new robot like the roomba that targets and kills roaches!! ROOACHBA!!!
Angela

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 12:06PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

LOL... I'm not thinking about those things anymore, though, ick!

Pagan's aunt sounds like my dad's side of the family. Also, I dated a guy from Lousiana who grew up on a swamp, with a pier for the front walk. He said that alligators would climb up and sun on the walk, and his grandmother, thinking this would be impolite for visitors to encounter, used to shoo them off with a broom each morning!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 2:24PM
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vjcamp(Z7 Euless, TX)

My daughter says Elaphe Guttata
Some sort of Rat Snake
She is into "Herps"

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 6:12PM
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pagan(8b)

As I understand it, there is no cure for herps yet...

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 8:26AM
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kittymoonbeam

I wish I had some snakes in the garden. We only get lizards. Snakes are so soft to touch. Especially the young snakes. And they tickle when they touch you with their tongues. I like how you can feel all their muscles as they move. Snakes are just so neat! I would never keep one as a pet though, they deserve to be free. Why people fear the non venomous ones, I don't really understand.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 10:47PM
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farmgirl(9 NoCA)

From one who fears Slithers, the only good snake is a dead one! They make wonderful belts, boots and hat bands. I grew up in Rattler country. Had a fair number of encounters with kings, gophers, garters and red racers. Having two brothers who thought snakes of any kind were ideal tools to scare the begeezus out of me. I dread snakes of all kinds. Brothers would keep smaller rattlers in quart jars in their bedroom. Mom didn't know cuz it wasn't her job to clean the room. When informed, she made them get rid of the snakes. They were relocated to the grain barrel I kept in the milk barn. I found them when I tried to scoop grain out for the cows. Not a good thing to find nearly a dozen of the creepies in there!

Carol

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 2:54AM
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cajunrosegal(10 south florida)

Well being that Im from Louisiana I would agree that an alligator on the front walk would definitely keep visitors at bay unless they are from this neck of the woods and just kick them out your way...
Personally they scare me way more than anything out there other than my mom during her menopause moments...that was a terrifying time...like a wolverine on her period and a thorn in the paw to boot...
Gator I can handle as long as its in sauce piquant...fried...cort bouillion...etc...feeling Forrest Gumpish with the recipies..LOL
Angela

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 4:54PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

OK all you herp experts. My vegetable garden in the Catskills has been overrun with voles this year. I caught 18 of them in just a few days. I don't think my trapping can keep up. Do you think I can bring in a rat snake to hunt for the summer?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 9:31PM
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aeiger(Z7bNC)

Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum) /Abi

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 10:24AM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

nygardener,

I think it's fine if you find someone who sells species native to your area. If they aren't native, you don't want them messing up the balance of things. I have seen local species on sale before, so it's possible.

You might put a want ad up where kids/teens go to have them catch you some extra local ones. Or tell animal control to let you know if they get snake calls.

My big guys were 'rescued' from work, and they really upped the population here, where there have been black snakes for eons [but one neighbor had started killing them...]

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 10:02PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Thanks, those are good ideas!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 7:50PM
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SweetTart(8b AL)

I'll guess rat snake. We have lots of them in our barns. I don't like snakes much, but have had to learn not to freak out every time I see one. Over the years, we've seen rat snakes, corn snakes, garter snakes, rattle snakes, cotton mouths, hog-nosed snakes (UGLY-- looks like a cobra), black racer, black snake, king snake, copperhead, water snake (that's all I can remember now)... We only kill the poisonous ones. I always look at the pupils to tell the difference.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2007 at 2:11PM
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