Monday, June 29, 2009

Eastern Ribbon Snake/CORRECTION: Eastern Garter Snake

I found this (and 2 others) along side the mountain trail at the Salmon River Falls in Altmar, NY. Originally, I thought it was a Common Garter Snake, but on closer look, it is definitely an Eastern Ribbon Snake.

The Eastern Ribbon Snake is in the Garter Snake family and look very much alike. However, the Eastern Ribbon is much more slender than the Garter Snake, but you can't tell that unless you see them both together. The definitive identification is by looking just below his mouth and at his eye. The Garter Snake has a white elongated dot in front of his eye and black lateral lines extending from his mouth to the lower edge of his jaw. This snake has neither, so it is definitely an Eastern Ribbon Snake. It doesn't really matter, since neither are poisonous and not aggressive at all. I'm just a curious sort and need to know everything. Don't ask me why, I've always been like this.

As you can imagine, I have no fear of snakes, spiders and bugs. However, I'm terrified of the Palmetto Bugs we have here in Florida. I know they don't bite, but they're so fast and so hard to kill. It's probably the only bug I kill other than Mosquitoes and Flies. Palmetto Bugs are Cockroaches, but fortunately don't nest in the house, but like flies are filthy and covered with all kinds of germs; and we all know why I kill Mosquitoes. Other than that, I have a problem with killing any living thing. They're all here for a purpose.

Enough about my philosophy, I'll be back tomorrow with another post. Stay tuned...

UPDATE: 8/8/2009
After an anonymous comment, I did some research, that is after he researched, and it seems that this Eastern Ribbon Snake is actually an Eastern Garter Snake. After a closer look at the lips and his eye, this snake has dark lines on his lower lips and no white spot in front of his eye, so he is indeed a GARTER snake.

I must apologize for leading you all wrong. I don't remember where I read the information I got on the internet, or a book, but either I got it mixed up, which is entirely possible, or the information I read was incorrect.

This article, click here, which the anonymous commenter so generously pointed out, explains the difference rather clearly and shows a photo of both snakes together. When seen together, they don't even look alike; but apart they are easily mistaken for one another.
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