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Snake Identification Challenge of the Week!

This snake was seen in Kansas City MO, on 22 April 2016. It was found under a canvas tarp in a field alongside a creek with standing water. It did not show much aggression or open it’s mouth, I did stay pretty far away from it. It did shake it’s tail very rapidly as a rattler would, but there was no rattle. The head was very distinctly triangular although the picture does not show it. You can see the back of its head right on the edge of the picture. I did not get close enough to see it’s eyes as I was afraid it was a cottonmouth. Hoping it is some sort of black snake as there are a lot of mice and rats in that field although I was sure if that coloration would be seen on one?

Hoping to assuage my wife’s fears about poisonous snakes on the property as we are building a house and have a young son. Thanks for any help, sorry the pictures don’t show better the head.

Kennard M.

David , my daughter took this at a park in Kennett square pa. I think it’s a water moccasin. What’s your thought.


Can you tell me what this is? I was at the Susquehanna State Park, in Northeast Maryland. 


Deb G.

What Are These Snakes?

Snake Identification Post Ground Rules
-Guesses are welcome and encouraged. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert, wrong guesses allow us to talk about how to distinguish between the various species and that’s why I run these posts.
-If you can’t explain why you think a snake is a particular species, go ahead and just say what you think it is. But otherwise please do let us all know how you identified the animal. If you’re wrong, we can explain why. If you’re right, this helps everyone learn how to identify snakes, which is the point of these posts.

-This is not a pop quiz, any kind of research is encouraged and I hope you will engage with other commenters to try to figure these snakes out. I will eventually chime in with my thoughts.

-Assume I know what kind of snake is in the picture. I run these posts because they are outreach opportunities. Please don’t send me private e-mails with your guesses, include them below.

-Remember, the person that sent me the picture is probably reading your comments. Although it is frustrating to know that many of these snakes have been killed, these people do want to learn more about them. More snake knowledge will lead to fewer snakes being killed. Don’t hate, educate.