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Surrey Smooth snakes

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    Posted: 09 Jul 2006 at 5:57pm
No
Steve Langham - Chairman    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vicar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2006 at 8:41pm

OK...But why would they pick on the cryptic Ca in preference to VB or Nn ?

MANY more Ca tails munched that other snake Spp.

Confused of Farnham.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vicar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2006 at 6:17am

Could have knocked me over with a feather yesterday, when I saw this basking openly on a heather bank after rain:

It was quite docile when caught (which means it wasn't happy, but didn't bite). Unfortunately, with struggling with camera settings  and GPS whilst holding the snake in one hand, I failed to notice this swelling behind its head until I looked at the photograph. Any ideas ?

Viewed from another angle, its not such an obvious lump, but looks swolen overall. Sorry about limited pictures, but with the lens I had, minimum focal distance is just about the same length as my arm....so hard to get anything hand-held in focus . (I so need a 90mm macro lens!).

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arvensis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2006 at 4:53am
Nice find Steve!  Yet to see one out in the open yet, even spent half hour looking at a known site for La but no luck. 

 Anyway, back onto topic... Maybe why it was so docile and to explain for that lump is the fact it had just eaten?  Or have you already discounted that as an explanation.   I'm sure TP will be along shortly with an idea...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vicar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2006 at 7:57am

Mark,

I dunno . It was an option that occurred to me, by looking again at the pics, the 'lump' appears to be offset onto the snake's left side a little. I remember Tony mentioning head deformalities at one site, but don't know what sort of deformation.

One thing that did immediately strike me, was how pink the eye was compared to the specimens at Hankley (only a couple of miles away). Again, I'm clueless as to whether this is within normal variations or a heredited characteristic.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vicar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2006 at 4:41pm

Tony,

I think it was an old male, very large snake with mottled ventrals and a distinct penial swelling. I let it go after logging position and taking the snaps, as the swelling wasn't very noticeable until I saw the images. I did think the overall girth of the snake was a little on the large side.

No oral examination, but on the bottom image there maybe scarring adjacent to the lump, adding credence to your hypothesis.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arvensis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2006 at 7:17pm
Tony,
       Well I wouldn't notice a basking Ca(or any other reptile) even if I was virtually treading on it!  Seriously, on my site in East Hampshire I don't think that Ca are there in abundant numbers but I could be wrong - it is a fairly big site and I haven't explored all of it yet.    You've had many more years experience than I so in time, I'm sure I'll notice things that I wouldn't have before.

I had a female Af underneath a piece of plywood at work yesterday during a brief look yesterday.    As for the lino tiles, I don't have tiles as such, but if I get hold of some lino and cut it up to a suitable size(say 2ft x 2ft) then I'm willing to give it a go.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vicar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2007 at 10:11pm
They're out !




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote *SNAKE* Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2007 at 6:01pm
nice one steve
PAUL SMITH     
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2007 at 6:21pm

Great I think I may pop up to Lightwater Country Park considering the high density of smoothies up there should be a dead cert - I will post the head photos for comparison with your photos TP & GS

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JC

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