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Snake Skin Identification

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alkynance View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 Oct 2016 at 12:46pm
We found this snake skin under the compost bin lid which had been left on the ground. This is in a wild cottage garden near the Quantocks in Somerset. We want to know if it's a grass snake or an adder. Thanks
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Iowarth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2016 at 5:35pm
Hi there

To my ageing eye, markings retained on the skin are hardly noticeable. This tend to rule out an adder and in any event the compost location would strongly suggest grass snake.

Chris Davis, Site Administrator

Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme (RETIRED)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote PondDragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2016 at 10:06pm
Look out for a cluster of empty egg shells when you turn/use the compost. They're fairly obvious as they stick together in a group of about 20 or so. Female grass snakes lay their eggs in the heap around June. The eggs hatch out August/September so good to avoid turning the heap during that time.

The female grass snakes shed before laying so you can sometimes find the skin on the heap then, although this one looks quite fresh so must be more recent. The hatchlings also shed soon after laying so you can potentially find their skins as evidence of successful breeding - about 7" long.

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