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Not only the most widely distributed snake in Western Massachusetts but the most commonly observed species. These small-sized snakes are about 2-3 feet in length and its body is covered with a unique brown or reddish tint. This non-venomous snake is often confused for a rattlesnake, but it lacks the rattle, keeled scales, and cat-like pupils. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Natural History, Behavior, Identification, and Total Joy. Massachusetts has an abundance of snakes, from venomous pit vipers like copperheads or rattlers, to harmless snakes like rat snakes and garter snakes. The Eastern Garter Snake or Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis is a common snake found in Massachusetts. Venomous, the timber rattlesnake is extremely rare and localized. They come in many patterns and colors, and their diets and habitats vary. As the winter approaches, large numbers congregate in the same area to go into a dormant state known as “brumation.” After brumation, the masses emerge and mate before parting ways again. These snakes are carnivores, which means that they eat other animals. They come in many patterns and colors, and their diets and habitats vary. Capture for the pet trade impacts some species, and causes population decline. When threatened, this harmless snake may flatten its head like a cobra, and then play dead. In zoos and private collections these snakes require certain care parameters. White crescent in front of eye. Like most animals Gartersnakes have regular activity patterns. However, they are absent from northern Canada in the polar regions, and a portion of the southwestern United States. Some common prey items include frogs, frog eggs, small fish, salamanders, lizards, and small mammals. This snake is ovoviviparous, which means it retains the eggs in its body until they hatch, and the snake gives “live” birth. This snake may be more prone to striking if threatened, but this behavior is a bluff; it is non-venomous. It’s fairly small, between 9-13” long, and is skittish and shy. All photos used are royalty-free, and credits are included in the Alt tag of each image. The most distinguishable feature of garter snake is a light shaded stripe running along its back. Venomous, the northern copperhead is extremely rare to encounter. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Animals.NET aim to promote interest in nature and animals among children, as well as raise their awareness in conservation and environmental protection. The two venomous species, the timber rattlesnake and northern copperhead, are very rare, and prefer rocky, forested hillsides. When disturbed they may inflate with air, swelling their bodies. It’s found in the Connecticut River Valley, and eats small mammals, birds, and amphibians. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. A female garter snake may also store sperm in her body and delay fertilization until the weather becomes favorable for baby snakes. These snakes actually do have incredibly mild venom, but it is not dangerous to humans in any way. However, recent research has shown us that is not the case. Smaller snakes feed on smaller prey, while larger snakes can take on larger animals. Female gartersnake in defense mode and pattern. Each species is slightly different from the next, and has its own unique distribution. Endangered in Massachusetts, and, under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act, it is illegal to kill, harass, or possess this snake. Gartersnakes are diurnal, live in many ecological communities (including around humans), and eat a wide variety of prey from earthworms and other inverts, to small mammals, birds, and amphibians. Timber Rattlesnake — Venomous and Endangered. They reach sexual maturity when they are between 1 and 3 years of age. Riparian areas are those that lie in close proximity to a water source like a lake, pond, swamp, or wetland. This snake is named for its turned-up nose. The eastern black racer grows fairly large, up to 73” long. Elegant and slender, the eastern ribbon snake has keeled scales. Their prey varies based on where they live and how large they are. There are more “common” names for this snake than any other in Western Massachusetts. It’s fairly small, usually measuring from 7-11” long. However, the name “garter snake” comes from the old fashion of wearing garters—strips of fabric that held up stockings. This snake is slender and small, usually measuring from 10-15” long. No, this snake does not typically make a good pet. If there’s one on your stone walkway it’ll most likely be there tomorrow at the same time; and the next day after that, too. Allen gemeinsam sind die meistens hell abgesetzten Rücken- und Seitenstreifen, denen … Unfortunately, humans do pose a risk to these snakes. Forest, meadows, house foundations, stone walls, debris piles, ponds, lakes, bogs, fens, streams, and rivers. Young snakes are mottled grey-blue and brown. Males ave 1.5 feet; females a bit larger. Imagine a raccoon getting a mouthful of that stuff! It has long stripes down its body, but lacks the burgundy stripe and white eye spot of the rarer eastern ribbon snake. Its brown and orange body is well-camouflaged against the forest floor. Although we don’t know all the details of how these ectotherms survive winter extremes, the many snakes gracing my yard and garden in the spring provide living proof that they have managed to survive and thrive. Throughout its range, researchers have identified 13 genetically unique subspecies! Many of these snakes live in urban or neighborhood settings in the city of Boston. This expansive group of snakes occupies a wide variety of habitats. The eastern worm snake is smooth and pinkish-gray—much like a worm—and, in fact, earthworms are its main prey. Adults are mostly black, with a white throat, and juveniles are mottled grey. It has a variety of colors it comes in, but most typical is a light brown base, with a light brown stripe down its top, and a darker … Though all the different species share the same typical snake-shaped body, these creatures vary in size and coloration. If you need to handle a Gartersnake (or really any of our snakes) be prepared for it to bite (a surprisingly good pinch) and for copious amounts of musk to be discharged from special glands near the cloaca. It lives in wetlands and eats amphibians, fish, and sometimes insects. Lateral stripe on scale rows 2 and 3 from the bottom row (which are the ventral scales). Read on to learn about the Garter Snake. People often mistakenly call this snake a “garden snake,” because it can sometimes be seen in gardens. Many species also range into areas near human activity, like farms, pastures, parks, gardens, and more. You can use this guide in several ways. They like sources of water to swim in like their wild counterparts. They are immune to the toxins of most frogs and toads. The eastern milk snake has a mottled grey, brown, and reddish body. Some live across huge expanses while others live in just a small region or a single state. It is creamy beige-brown, with keeled scales, and dark brown spots down the back. Most species are non-venomous, including those most often found in yards or basements: the eastern garter snake and eastern milk snake. You can find a wide variety of different Garter Snakes throughout North America. Its diet is varied, but it prefers to eat toads. It has a heavy body, a triangular head, a slitted, cat-like pupil, and a rattle that it uses to warn potential predators.

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