This snake (and several others) lives in a hole in the ground near my house. Can anyone identify it? We live in upstate NY.
thanks!
You can see the pic at:
http://f2.pg.photos.yahoo.com/vociferouscarthusian
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Its a Thamnophis sirtalis, or more commonly known as a garter snake. Totally harmless.
Kurt Kunze
IPMS/USA Patriot - President
New England Herpetological Society - member
http://www.neherp.com
"When planes are outlawed, only donkeys will have guns"

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I don't know Kurt, this looks more like a Northern Black Racer, and if i'm right this is a rare find in upstate
NY as they are predominantly found in the southern portions.

Garters typically don't get over 2 feet and this guy looks longer than that. Racers can grow to six feet.
Spit
I am sticking to my guns on this one. There is a slight stripe and a subtle checkered pattern on this snake indicating its a garter. I have seen plenty of garters that look this way at Wompatuck State Park where the NEHS meets. (The ones around my house are more of the black w/ yellow stipes variety) Garters are very common, so that makes it all the more likely that it is a garter.
Kurt Kunze
IPMS/USA Patriot - President
New England Herpetological Society - member
http://www.neherp.com
"When planes are outlawed, only donkeys will have guns"

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wow. you must have access to a more detailed pic than i do.

i see a big black patternless snake longer than 2 feet. (which is max for a garter).
if it's a garter, it's been preying on some steroids somewhere.

racers are common as well, just not so much in the northern part of the state.
the fact that garters are common really doesn't add to the argument that it is something different.
diamondbacks are common where i live, but i hardly ever see them.

spit
wow. you must have access to a more detailed pic than i do. if it's a garter, it's been preying on some steroids somewhere.

It's a garter. The head shape and pattern alone give it away.
i see a big black patternless snake longer than 2 feet. (which is max fora garter).

My garter is 30 inches long. I've seen bigger than that too. Maybe adjust your monitor's colors? I could make out the checkered pattern on the snake (typical of some garters).

Chris
http://www.mcmartinville.com
oh, you mean sort of like this:


and this:


and this:
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/gaston/Pests/reptiles/pages/bracer.htm
i downloaded the picture and zoomed in on it. the snakes head changes to a light brown. wow, JUST LIKE the
Northern Racer.
garters have a definitive side body pattern which is nonexistent on this one.
you're right, the head shape and lack of patern do give it away. the "pattern" you see is highlights from the brown grass beyond the snakes body.
Spit
i see a big black patternless snake longer than 2 feet.

How do you know its two feet? What are you using for scale?
Kurt Kunze
IPMS/USA Patriot - President
New England Herpetological Society - member
http://www.neherp.com
"When planes are outlawed, only donkeys will have guns"

Remove "clothes" to e-mail me
oh, you mean sort of like this:

Are we looking at the same picture? I see a snake more like this:

"pattern" you see is highlights from the brown grass beyond the snakes body.

I looked at the original pic again. It's not "highlights" or "shadows," but the patterning of the highly-variable Thamnophis sirtalis , in my opinion. Besides, the build is way too heavy for a racer.
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