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Snake Identification Challenge of the Week: From the Dock to the Island to the Pool


Can you help me identify this snake from the Florida panhandle? I’ve run into him 2 or three times a week for the past year on my dock and don’t want to keep chasing him off if he’s not poisonous. He’s shown no aggression at all even when almost tripped on.

Dan H.


I appreciate your blog. I ran across this interesting snake while working on the corner of my property on Palm Island, a barrier island in SW Florida. This fellow was not happy to see me so close, and he folded up and opened his mouth to reveal a white interior. I took a pic and backed off to let him go on his way. He was at least 3 feet in length with a darker head and front part of the body than the back portions. Can you please help me ID him? We appreciate the natural rodent control of these beautiful snakes and I will try to be more cognizant so as to not invade his personal space and to protect my own as well.

Ralph A.

Dr Steen.

Thank you in advance for identifying this bugger. Found him in our pool skimmer. I thank you cause I’m just not sure.

Patrick C.

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.

Enjoy what you read and learn here?