Snake in the grass (harmless)

Posted: February 13th, 2009 under Wildlife.
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Though we have some large snakes on the place, most of the snake species are small, and we’re lucky if we get a glimpse of them.   This little gray snake with the black head and orange “collar”  is barely a foot long and skinny as a pencil–easy to miss, if it weren’t that we’re in severe drought and the grass to hide it just isn’t there.

This is a Prairie Ring-necked Snake, Diadophis punctatus arnyi, a shy little creature that sometimes freezes long enough to have its picture taken.

Prairie Ring-necked Snake

Prairie Ring-necked Snake


These snakes eat slugs, earthworms, lizards, and even smaller snakes.   They come out of hibernation and go looking for a place to lay eggs, and since it reached 80 degrees F. today, and we’ve had a mild winter…it’s time for them to be on the move.

Fire ants like to eat their eggs, so they’ve declined in some areas with heavy fire ant infestations, but the good thing (the only good thing) about the past 17 months of drought is that the fire ant population is down.   So maybe the ring-necked snake population will rebound.

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