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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We've had lots of "what kind of snake is this" threads lately. Is it feasible to do a snake identification thread? There's plenty of links that do that, such as this one:

http://srelherp.uga.edu/snakes/

If you can identify all the venomous snakes native to GA, you should be pretty well able to dismiss anything else as harmless, even beneficial.

It's amazing how often any brown colored snake is misidentified as a copperhead. It would be a shame to kill a corn snake or rat snake because of that.

Here is a copperhead:



Note the hour glass shaped pattern. It has a heavy body, arrow shaped head, and slit pupils, like a cat. Scales are keeled. It has heat sensing pits below its eyes, hence "pit viper".

The young ones have a bright yellow-green tail.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Smooth versus keeled scales.

Do you have a Zookeper holster with rattler, copperhead, or cottonmouth inlay? Check the scales. They're keeled.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A Timber Rattlesnake, also known as a Canebrake Rattlesnake. Another heavy bodied pit viper, with angular head, slit pupils, and keeled scales.



 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Eastern Diamondback. The biggest and meanest looking venomous snake in GA. Like the others, it is a pit viper with heavy, thick body, angular head, keeled scales, slit pupils.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cotton Mouth, or Water Moccasin. These can be harder to identify, because their coloration varies greatly. A dark color can almost totally obscure the pattern. But it is a pit viper, sharing the same characteristics as the others.



Commonly mistaken for cotton mouth is the northern water snake. Note the very different head shapes.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The highly secretive Coral Snake. Remember, red meets yellow can kill a fellow. But I've heard they are hesitant to bite, and would rather get away. Of all the venomous snakes that you might consider letting live, this one probably never wants to see you again.

Smooth scaled & round eyes, not a pit viper.



Don't mistake it for a scarlet king, scarlet snake or milk snake (red meets black is a friend of Jack).

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Then there's the Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake. Another pit viper. Small, usually less than 2'.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
If you memorize these, you should be good to go, at least as far as native species go. But with all the exotics and non-native species that people bring in, it might be good to familiarize yourself with the more common non-venomous species, too. In other words, it's not a good idea to pick up an escaped Gaboon Viper because you know it's not a rattlesnake, copperhead or cotton mouth.

You could quiz yourself. What are these (often called "copper heads" although they bear no resemblance):

1)


2)


3)


4)


5)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rough Green Snake. I saw one of these in the wild when I was 8 years old. My 10 year old cousin tried to kill it because he thought it was a Green Mamba.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A hog nose snake is worth watching a video, to see his defense mechanisms in action. It hisses, flares its neck like a cobra, strikes, then when all that fails, plays dead.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
1) Black Rat Snake
2) Corn Snake (aka Red Rat Snake)
3) Black Racer
4) Mole King Snake
5) Eastern King Snake
 

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Nice post. On my small farm, no snakes of any kind are killed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Coach whip

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Then there's small, bug eating snakes:

Eastern Ringneck


Garter Snake


Brown snake
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Pine Snake

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yellow Rat Snake

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Non-venomous doesn't mean docile. They'll bite, sometimes aggressively. Some species spray you with poop or musk. But they eat rodents and bugs, and the king snake will kill any other snake it encounters, even venomous ones.

I don't suppose you'd want to capture a protected species and keep it as a pet (although king snakes and corn/rat snakes make great pets). I've often wondered if you can legally keep a corn snake as a pet, assuming it was bred in captivity, if it's also native to GA. Does anyone know the answer to that?

Thanks and please post pics of other species if you can.
 

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I could be wrong, but I do not believe you can keep found wildlife as a pet.

Rat snake
 

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