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HELP Can Anyone ID This Snake?
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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Jefferson
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    6,663
    RR take a real close look at the dark patterns on the head and the unique body banding between the two photos.




    If you blow up both of these images and compare them closely I'm pretty sure what you have is a Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon) as I posted earlier.
    We have done so much, with so little, for so long....We can now do anything, with nothing, forever.

  2. #42
    If the colors in the original post photo are accurate then this could be an immature cottonmouth. They will have a very similar set of patterns and in the same colors up until they are about two years old. The snake will begin to turn black at the head and then the color will slowly spread down the back all the way to the tail. I've caught several like that when I worked along the Mississippi, and in the swampy areas of West Tn.

    The problem is that the pattern and color scheme are also extremely similar to several other snakes as well. While hognosed snakes are aggressive (or as my grandfather used to say, "meaner 'n shit"), they aren't venomous.

    Cottonmouths are deadly. I'd definitely kill this one or else walk wide around it, just to be safe.


    Bad


    PS: snakes differ in different parts of the country, so what little I know from my own small corner of the world may mean exactly nothing in another area
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  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Vermont
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    Agree with ShadowMan about Northen Watersnake. Here's another view that pretty much perfectly matches the pattern, and there are other photos showing a triangular head shape when they are preparing to strike.
    Attached Images
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  4. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Missouri
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    1,266
    Quote Originally Posted by Reasonable Rascal View Post
    Sorry, only pic I have. Apparently was seen next to my son's house. Thought the vaguely triangular head was 'interesting' but the tail is quite clear - no rattles. Wrong coloration for a copperhead, and we don't have them in Iowa anyhow.

    RR
    Was reading on the IowaDNR site http://www.iowadnr.gov/About-DNR/DNR...tected-in-Iowa

    Iowa has only four venomous snakes, and their bites are rarely fatal if treated. The massasauga and timber rattlesnakes are rare, but found in eastern and southern Iowa. The prairie rattlesnake and copperhead are even rarer in our state. Only garter snakes can be legally caught, collected or killed in all counties. Timber rattlesnakes are protected in 14 of Iowa’s 99 counties, excluding within 50 yards of an actively occupied residence. All other Iowa snakes are protected in all counties, and cannot legally be collected (without a scientific collector’s permit) or killed.

    and this one, http://www.herpnet.net/Iowa-Herpetol...on-contortrix/
    Status

    ENDANGERED. It is illegal to kill or collect this species by law in Iowa. Although copperheads may be quite common in other parts of their range, they are at the northern limits of their range here and are one of Iowa’s rarest snakes. Copperheads are known from only a few small localities in southeastern Iowa. Persons living in extreme southwestern Iowa should keep their eyes open for copperheads. They have been found in western Missouri not far from the Iowa border. We would greatly appreciate any reports of copperheads at all in Iowa.

  5. #45
    It is definitely not a copperhead.

    Copperhead stripes are hour glass shaped, thick near the belly and thin near the spine. The pattern is present from 4" long (the smallest I have dispatched) to 3'+ long and thick as a large man's wrist (the largest I have dispatched).

    The only way to be absolutely certain if a snake is a pit viper or not is the shape of the pupils. Pit vipers have slits, non venomous have round.

    As far as killing non venomous snakes......DO NOT DO IT. They are much more territorial and keep the venomous snakes in check. If you want more venomous snakes make sure you kill the non-venomous.

    Oh, and as far as the 'law' is concerned, hunting endangered species is positively illegal. Elimination in the name of self defense for you or your pets/livestock IS NOT.
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  6. #46
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Back in Iowa, where I belong
    Posts
    2,490
    The banding doesn't match with Shadowman's water snake, but it does with Vtshooter's. It was reported to have been acting aggressively. I had considered a bull snake, though personally I have not seen one in about 45 years or more, and that one (deceased) was an honest 6 feet or darn close.

    RR
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  7. #47
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Central Iowa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reasonable Rascal View Post


    Found in the Des Moines, Iowa area.

    RR
    Didn't realize you were that close to me and Meemur.
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  8. #48
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Central Iowa
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    38,283
    Quote Originally Posted by mom2many View Post
    Was reading on the IowaDNR site http://www.iowadnr.gov/About-DNR/DNR...tected-in-Iowa

    Iowa has only four venomous snakes, and their bites are rarely fatal if treated. The massasauga and timber rattlesnakes are rare, but found in eastern and southern Iowa. The prairie rattlesnake and copperhead are even rarer in our state. Only garter snakes can be legally caught, collected or killed in all counties. Timber rattlesnakes are protected in 14 of Iowa’s 99 counties, excluding within 50 yards of an actively occupied residence. All other Iowa snakes are protected in all counties, and cannot legally be collected (without a scientific collector’s permit) or killed.

    and this one, http://www.herpnet.net/Iowa-Herpetol...on-contortrix/
    Status

    ENDANGERED. It is illegal to kill or collect this species by law in Iowa. Although copperheads may be quite common in other parts of their range, they are at the northern limits of their range here and are one of Iowa’s rarest snakes. Copperheads are known from only a few small localities in southeastern Iowa. Persons living in extreme southwestern Iowa should keep their eyes open for copperheads. They have been found in western Missouri not far from the Iowa border. We would greatly appreciate any reports of copperheads at all in Iowa.
    We have cottonmouths here in central Iowa, I have photographic proof!
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    38,283
    Quote Originally Posted by bad_karma00 View Post
    If the colors in the original post photo are accurate then this could be an immature cottonmouth. They will have a very similar set of patterns and in the same colors up until they are about two years old. The snake will begin to turn black at the head and then the color will slowly spread down the back all the way to the tail. I've caught several like that when I worked along the Mississippi, and in the swampy areas of West Tn.

    The problem is that the pattern and color scheme are also extremely similar to several other snakes as well. While hognosed snakes are aggressive (or as my grandfather used to say, "meaner 'n shit"), they aren't venomous.

    Cottonmouths are deadly. I'd definitely kill this one or else walk wide around it, just to be safe.


    Bad


    PS: snakes differ in different parts of the country, so what little I know from my own small corner of the world may mean exactly nothing in another area

    They are also aggressive as hell! And they swim as we found out the hard way. DNR denies their existence in this part of Iowa but trust me they are definitely here. And they are often confused with the northern water snake.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    38,283
    Quote Originally Posted by Reasonable Rascal View Post
    Sorry, only pic I have. Apparently was seen next to my son's house. Thought the vaguely triangular head was 'interesting' but the tail is quite clear - no rattles. Wrong coloration for a copperhead, and we don't have them in Iowa anyhow.

    RR
    Wrong, there are definitely copper heads and cottonmouths here in the state of Iowa, and definitely here in central Iowa and well north of Des Moines. We also have rattlers here and don't listen to anyone who would tell you otherwise.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.

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