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please help, what is this snake?

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anna View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 Jul 2003 at 10:42pm

We found a dead snake in our garden, it looks similar to an adder, about 35cm long and similar colourings but its markings are not joined the same as an adder. I have a digital photo but don't know how to attach it. Am a bit worried as we have a young baby.

Would be very grateful for any help on this.

anna
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anna View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote anna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2003 at 11:17pm

Just checked the snake and it is actually about 50cm long. Also it had recently eaten a mouse.

anna
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2003 at 11:34pm

Anna,

Send me the photograph as an email attachment to mailto:gemmajfairchild@aol.com I will mount it in this thread for you.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2003 at 11:22am

Anna's Picture,

 

Anna, I can confirm this is not an Adder Vipera berus, or a venomous snake, it appears to be a Leopard Snake Elaphe situla, not a native UK species, but native to the Balkans, Crimea, southern Italy, Sicily and Malta. If found in the UK it is likely to have been an escaped pet. 

I would appreciate verification of the ID by other forum members.

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Matt Harris View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Harris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2003 at 11:52am
Any reason why you wouldn't say it's a corn snake?
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-LAF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote -LAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2003 at 12:23pm
It's corn snake, Elaphe (for the time being) guttata, it's easily identifiable by the tell tale chequered pattern on underside. It a harmless North America snake, commonly sold as pets. They eat rodent and birds. Must be an escapee.

Cheers, Lee.

Edited by -LAF
Lee Fairclough
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Wolfgang Wuster View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wolfgang Wuster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2003 at 1:04pm
Yup, definitely a juvenile corn snake (now Pantherophis guttatus ) - a very common pet snake, obviously someone's CB juvie escaped. They are very god at that, as I know from personal experience...

Anyhow, Anna, your family is entirely safe.

Cheers,

Wolfgang

Edited by Wolfgang Wuster
Wolfgang Wüster

School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor

http://pages.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2003 at 2:31pm
No reason at all Matt, hence why I asked for verification , I have no real interest in species found outside of europe, but I'm glad the snake has been identified.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote -LAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2003 at 2:32pm
Cheers Wolfgang, I knew that change was coming but didn't realise it already had! It seems surprising to find it dead at this time of the year though, they normally do okay in our climate during the summer. I had a 6mth old juvenile escape one May. In November I found it hibernating in a draw in a desk in our summerhouse, which was in orchards a good distance from the house. It's quite funny really, he'd ofen been a picky feeder and the female I had of the same age was noticeably bigger than him by the time he escaped. When I found him in November he had grown LOADS and was noticeably bigger than the female, who was being fed weekly! Although she was a little fatter.
I suppose something like a domestic cat could have killed this one.

Cheers, Lee.
Lee Fairclough
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wolfgang Wuster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2003 at 3:14pm
Funny thing is, the one in the pic above looks like it died while swallowing something - notice the swollen throat. Of course, it could be caused by something after its death, but an autopsy might be revealing. I don't know whether Anna would be game to open it up... hint, hint   

Cheers,

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Wüster

School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor

http://pages.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/
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