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Readers Write In: What is This Pair of Nocturnal Swamp Snakes?

Hello –

We live on a neighborhood pond in a Roswell, Georgia which is just about 15 miles north of Atlanta. My six year old daughter is a budding herpetologist and really likes exploring the pond banks at night looking for Bullfrogs, Bronze Frogs, Fowlers Toads and Pickerel Frogs. Occassionally we run across a snake doing the same thing as us – out looking for frogs.
Can you help me identify two snakes we’ve seen while out looking for frogs?  That night was particularly dark and the picture didn’t come out too clear.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Jeff G.
Roswell, GA

    Hoo boy, night photography can be a tricky thing, can’t it? I told Jeff that I also got my start in herpetology by looking for nocturnal swamp creatures, so I’m particularly keen on identifying these animals for him and his daughter. That’s why I’m asking the sharpest group of online snake ID folks I know: you all.

    Now, I believe we will be able to quickly narrow down the list of suspects by considering the habitats and body forms of these snakes but it might get a little tricky after that. When you’re making your guess, make sure to give careful consideration to where these snakes were found (the region, that is, not just the habitat).

    I’m looking forward to hearing your identifications!

In a follow-up e-mail, Jeff says his daughter is excited to hear everyone’s thoughts on these snakes.