Found two of the guys around my pool in WV some think it's a water snake some tell me maybe a copper head. I have a small child so I would like to know for sure. Any ideas??
Narrow head means NOT a Copper Head. It's almost without a doubt, the Eastern Milk Snake & completely harmless.
Here is a link that might be useful: Eastern Milk Snake
I think you got it, he had a black and white belly as well. Thank you for the info my wife will be relieved.
I don't know what kind of snake that is, but those bold flashy colors are a warning to "back off, I'm poisonous!" . Tame snakes usually camouflage.
"I don't know what kind of snake that is, but those bold flashy colors are a warning to "back off, I'm poisonous!" . Tame snakes usually camouflage."
It is that kind of mis-information that dooms harmless snakes and the role they play in the ecosystem. The snake has already been identified as a non-venomous milk snake. Venomous snakes are very easy to distinguish from harmless snakes in eastern North America...take 5 minutes and learn the differences.
Not so... That's how many people end up in the hospital from snake bites and a dead snake is much better then a dead son or daughter.
Bright colors "like the red, black, and yellow or white bands of a coral snake "mean danger. They warn animals that may try to eat the coral snake that this snakeÃ¢ÂÂs bite is poisonous.
Any really poisonous creature usually has no need for camouflage because most other creatures stay away from brightly colored creatures as they are advertising that you will die/or wish you had if you mess with them.
Now, other creatures often copy these colorations through evolution so that they are confused with the really poisonous creatures and hence left alone.
My only point is if you are unsure of what you are dealing with, it's best to err on the side of caution, especially if you have young children around or maybe smivies can teach a new puppy the differences.
I've sourced "Animal Planet" and "Yahoo Answers" for this response.
@dog_wood Smivies is correct. You CANNOT generalize whether a snake is venomous by colorization alone. Also bright colors do not always mean danger to predatory animals. That is highly geographical, you won't see snakes up here using Batesian mimicry for a coral snake because there are none. Drop a coral snake on the ground here and every predator is going to go after it because they haven't adapted to learn those colors could mean trouble. Just like if you dropped a gophersnske in Australia the predators would not leave it alone because it coiled up and shaked it's tail like a rattlesnake. While a coyote in Texas just might go away.
The statement "Tame snakes usually camouflage" is absolutely wrong. Look at the top three venomous snake bites in the USA and tell me they dont blend with their surroundings. Snakes use camouflage for protection but just as important to hunt with. Same goes with its venom, while it is a defense mechanism, its primary role is to subdue prey.
While you are somewhat correct that posionous creatures don't need camouflage it doesn't pertain to snakes. They are venomous not posionous. If a hawk gets lucky and grabs a coral snake by the head he isn't going to die eating it like he would eating a poison dart frog.
You are absolutely correct that if you don't know stay away. Even non-venomous snakes can give a nasty bite.
BTW, do you know why a large number of bites occur from an eastern coral snake? People don't see them and accidentally step on them. And Why didn't they see them? because they were camouflaged with the surroundings.
SouthCountryGuy I didn't say "coloration alone" There are those that are poisonous, and nonvenomous copycats, such as the scarlet king snake.. It's not easy to tell the difference for the lay person.
"You CANNOT generalize whether a snake is venomous by colorization alone." I never said that. That poison Dart Frog is a lucky critter, but not germane to this.
"They are venomous not poisonous" - what's the difference?
Who knows what would happen if I dropped a Gophersnake in Australia or what a coyote would do in Texas?? I live in New York but I do have Italian Wall Lizards in my garden.
"Even non-venomous snakes can give a nasty bite."- They sure can. There are even those that constrict.
Generally, people get bitten by coral snakes while attempting to pick one up. Dogs and cats are usually bitten as a result of being too curious and getting a little too close, causing the snake to react out of fear, and strike in an attempt to protect itself. Coral snakes are extremely reclusive and generally bite humans only when handled or stepped on. The snake would rather be left alone. Therefore, it is important to treat these creatures with respect and caution.
I've sourced "Animal Planet" and "National Geographic" for this response.
@dog_wood since you don't know the difference between poisonous and venomous actually shows your ignorance.
You need to reread your posts to see how stupid they are.
I've sourced common sense, get off of 'animal planet for kids'
Ug, this is why good snakes are killed, idiots.
Anyways, I am done with this troll.
Oh really? I was hoping you can enlighten me, but I just don't see that happening.
Unfortunately your post in completely void of any meaningful or useful information. "A poison Dart Frog??" LOL!
Try doing some research or be ready to back up your statements when challenged? Poisonous not venomous? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. A 6 year old could do better then that.
Of course you're going to degenerate to insults and name calling because you can't do any better. How pathetic can you get?? A 6 year old can do better than that.
A poison is something you ingest (eat) or inhale. While a venom is injected usually by a bite or sting. That is why a poison dart frog is poisonous and snakes are venomous. Make sense now?
Try sourcing Wikipedia. I am sure that is what it will tell you.
@SouthCountryGuy - It's really not worth the effort anymore. I think anyone who is actually open to learning will have realized at this point who (and where) the more credible source of information is.
SouthCountryGuy Let's try the dictionary - 1
Venom: poisonous matter normally secreted by some animals (as snakes, scorpions, or bees) and transmitted to prey or an enemy chiefly by biting or stinging; broadly : material that is poisonous.
smivies - Why not learn how to have intelligent dialogue and use this forum as an educational tool rather then mindless babble? You sound very foolish.
I've already demonstrated that you cannot always tell a venomous from a nonvenomous snake and cited very credible sources. If you disagree, you are free to explain yourself and say something intelligent. Be ready to defend your point of view when challenged. Grow up!
Also, be careful with your language and how you use this forum. You are bordering on violation of "Terms of Service."
Lol smivies yeah I realize that most people understand yet if one person can be saved from a bite or one innocent snakes life saved it is worth it.
dog_wood maybe I am the one that doesn't understand. Can please explain again how you cannot always tell the difference between a venomous (nice to see you changed from the improper poisonous) and non-venomous snake.
One must remember that when giving definitions we must take into fact the field in which we are speaking, in this case herpetology. While in layman's terms your definition is 'broadly' correct, within zoology it isn't.
Lets look at Wikipedia:
Venom is the general term referring to any variety of toxins used by certain types of animals that inject it into their victims by the means of a bite, sting or other sharp body feature. Unlike poison, which is ingested or inhaled, venom is usually delivered directly into the lymphatic system, where it acts faster.
Poison - In the context of biology, poisons are substances that cause disturbances to organisms, usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when a sufficient quantity is absorbed by an organism. The fields of medicine (particularly veterinary) and zoology often distinguish a poison from a toxin, and from a venom. Toxins are poisons produced by some biological function in nature, and venoms are usually defined as toxins that are injected by a bite or sting to cause their effect, while other poisons are generally defined as substances absorbed through epithelial linings such as the skin or gut.
Can you elaborate on these for me?
SouthCountryGuy - I see your point and I don't disagree with you about terminology. You probably have seen a lot more snakes than I have since I live in New York City. I don't know why you think i'm out to kill snakes. They are not even part of my world.
I'm just looking at it in the narrow focus of this thread and the person who posted this thread in the first place is a lay person asking about a snake. We are talking about snakes here as per the headline topic "Snake ID". Not Dart Frogs or Coyotes. Stay on topic.
"Can please explain again how you cannot always tell the difference between a venomous (nice to see you changed from the improper poisonous) and non-venomous snake."
Sure I thought I covered that but here again. There are those that are poisonous, and nonvenomous copycats, such as the scarlet king snake.. It's not easy to tell the difference for the lay person. Like if my grandmother took the dog out for a walk into the woods and the dog found a snake?
Of course a zoologist would know the difference, but I'm talking about the lay person. Like if me and my college buddies went camping to the Adirondacks and a random snake crossed our path unexpectedly - a common scenario over here. They will even slither into your sleeping bag during the night. Who knows if it's poisonous or a copycat?
A poisonous snake has venom, a non-poisonous snake does not. A big difference. That's the first question the doctor will ask you when you go to the hospital for a snake bite.
It was very pompous and arrogant of you to mock my references. Are you the know-it-all? The reason I cited "Animal Planet" and "National Geographic" is for you to check it out for yourself. Just go to the freakin website and do some research. You just might learn something from the experts. I'm done here.
It is very easy for the lay person to differentiate between a king snake and a coral. Remember the saying "red on yellow, deadly fellow...red on black, venom lack" If unsure what I mean exactly please ask and I will extrapolate or google it.
In the adirondacks the only snake you have to watch out for is the timber rattlesnake. It is uncommon for this snake to bite without warning first.
Polyvalent antivenoms are usually available in areas of North America with venomous snakes so identification isn't as important. As well bite characteristics coupled with a brief description is usually sufficient in identification, if required.
Have a great day.
Sounds like you looked at some websites. Good job, but keep studying. There is so much more to learn.
Its a milk snake. They wont hurt you. I found one and it started shaking its tail. They pretend to be something they aren't to scare away predators.