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Readers Write In: Clyde Has A New Friend, Can You Identify It?


Last year I was put into contact with you for help in identifying a rather large Black Snake I had named Clyde. I live on a farm north of St. Joseph, Missouri. (Which is an hour north of Kansas City.)

I was hoping you’d be willing to help me again. I have photos of 2 different snakes.

The first one, I think might be another black snake, but it’s belly seems to be a speckled pink, and the top of it seems to have some silver rings on it. This snake is at least 5 feet long- but far skinnier than Clyde was last year, with a much smaller head. It looked similar to a photo of a hog-nosed snake, but I don’t think that’s accurate. Where Clyde was aggressive, this snake was absolutely passive. Played “possum” the first time I saw it and ignored my dog completely, even thought the hole I think leading to it’s den was right beside it and it could have easily escaped before we were aware of it. 

The second snake unfortunately is dead. I must have driven over it when coming home Saturday night around 10 pm. I remember seeing what I thought was a stick on the gravel driveway, until I found it the next day, then thought it was odd for a snake to be out so late at night. I took a photo of it, because it’s a snake I’ve NEVER seen around here. (Neither has my 80 year old mom.) She thought it was a bull snake at first, but thinks the copper color in it is too bright. I’m wondering if it’s a milksnake? It was quite short, perhaps 2 feet long. It’s so dusty here I had to pour water over it to get a clearer photo. 

Just hoping they’re both non-venomous. Thanks so much for your time,

Beth M.


I live in Bowling Green, KY. I found this snake entering my front yard from the road. It seemed to be full of circular objects as you can see in the pictures. Do you know if it is venomous? Also do you know of any humane snake traps, that I can use to capture the snake and release it into a nearby national park. 


Ganesh B.

 (Editor’s Note: after learning more about the snake Ganesh was pleased to leave it alone and was not going to attempt to trap it.)

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.