4.22.2007

Eye Spy



The snake in the top photo is a black racer (Coluber constrictor), non-venomous. The lower photo is of a cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus), venomous. Click on the photos to enlarge and take a good look at the eyes. The racer has a round pupil and the cottonmouth has an eliptical pupil. In my area of NC that is a sure way of telling a non-venomous snake from a venomous one. The only venomous snake in NC that has a round pupil is the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius) and we are well north of its range here in the home swamp.
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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The rat dog and I appreciate the new picturessince they aren't of the eight-legged variety.


Your SIL

swamp4me said...

Happy to oblige :) Give the little rat a kiss from her auntie.

Cindy Lee said...

While out and about yesterday south of Oregon Inlet I came across a beautiful snake. He was copper in color but you know I stayed away from that bad boy. There was no way I was going to get close enough to see his eyes. I did shoot a photo of him and the preserve volunteers told me it was a corn snake. non-poisonous

Cathy said...

OK. I clicked. I was scared. Then I thought: Swampy took that picture of the venomous snake. Hmmmm.

I don't think I want to get close enough to examine the shape of those pupils. *Shudder*

LauraO said...

I didn't know that about the snake's eyes - but, umm, I don't think I'll be getting down there to look up close either so I'll take your word for it.

Anonymous said...

You must remember that I LIKE snakes...spiders, too. :)
You can see the eyes from a distance - really, you can. Just remember, the elliptical pupil thing does not apply everywhere - there are venomous snakes with round pupils -- just not where I live.
- swamp4me

Anonymous said...

These were great photos. I agree with swamp4me that snakes and spiders (and bats and toads and . . . ) are beautiful, and definitely an important part of the ecosystem. I used to be fearful of snakes, too, but I began to study them and learn more about them and I now I respect them and leave them alone. There are folks around here who will kill *any* snake they see -- they don't care whether they are killing a poisonous or non-poisonous creature. I don't understand that attitude *at all*. I have known people who were out four-wheeling and killed snakes they came across just to attempt to get rid of the poisonous ones! And they were out in the woods, where snakes belong! I just don't get it! I think this is a *sin.* - Kathy in Kentucky

Anonymous said...

like i would ever get close enough to examine their pupils!