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Anery Glades Rat - Field Account

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Posted by: foxturtle at Mon Jul 16 12:53:22 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by foxturtle ]  
   

This past March I spent a couple weeks in South Florida taking care of some business, and I had the opportunity to do a little snake hunting while I was down.

One afternoon I met up with my friend Alan Rivero to flip a few of my old spots in the canefields south of Lake Okeechobee. We were actually hoping for kingsnakes. As luck would have it, one of our first stops in Hendry County produced this gravid female Florida kingsnake:



Alan decided he wanted to keep this one. On his way back to the car, he flipped this large, gravid pygmy rattlesnake under tin:



A few minutes later we stopped at an old spot in Glades County. While nothing was found under cover, I spotted this pale orange rat snake out on the crawl on a canal bank covered in discarded sugar cane:



Mere minutes later, we progressed to another site, and spotted an unusual looking snake on the road. A familiar shape, but the color was all wrong. The first time in a while that I've felt at all puzzled by a snake I could plainly see in the wild. I realized it was an anerythristic Everglades rat snake! I wish I'd grabbed my camera to get a picture of it as found, but instead I grabbed the snake:





Compared to the rat snake we had found only minutes earlier:





Alan was especially excited to see this snake, as it was his first unexpected wild morph. I've found a fair number wild morphs, so I've come to almost expect this kind of thing.

Just 15 minutes later we found an expected wild morph, an anerythristic corn snake:



We went out to the Devil's Garden from there, and roadcruised about 15 snakes after dark. Not a bad day...

I left the anerythristic Everglades rat snake on breeding loan with Daniel Parker of Sunshine Serpents. We have given him the nickname Ole Smokey. He was a great feeder, and docile right out of the wild. He has since proven himself to be a good breeder, siring 3 clutches this past spring.

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