19 April 2010
Eastern Worm Snake
Posted by Callan Bentley
While on our structural geology field trip this week, my GMU students and I encountered an eastern worm snake, Carphophis amoenus amoenus. The little charmer at first reminded me of a boa, like the ‘rubber boa’ I once found in California (a real animal, not made of rubber), and then I convinced myself it was a glass lizard… But upon the return to civilization, I was able to consult several webpages and confirm that it was in fact an eastern worm snake. Check it out:
A distinctive “thorn” at the tip of the tail:
Very squirmy and constrictional little fellow: nosing into me and poking me with his tail “stinger” repeatedly.
Overall, a cool critter!
…We were also visited by swallowtail butterflies of several flavors:
The yellow is the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the dark one with wings open and (maybe the almost closed wing) is a Spicebush Swallowtail.
Looks like they are puddling and “mineralizing” to get nutrients. Sometimes animal scat and ungulate “patties” will attract large groups to dine!
The snake is absolutely beautiful. What gorgeous colors–it’s much prettier than the butterflies.
And they get all the good publicity.
I agree Joy, snakes do get a bad rap .Look at the butchery they do to rattlesnakes(the annual roundup) in Texas where you are located (and I was born). When you notice the subtleties and nuances of nature, there is beauty in all of it… on a macro and mirco level. Unforunately to our own detriment and to other species peril many of us are oblivious or callous toward it .
Aaah, but they are tasty! Years ago when I spent most weekends in the out-of-doors, I would cook up a pot of burgoo from whatever fauna and flora that I could find, and whatever else that I had… it was when the protein was crawdad, or snake, that the stew garnered the most praise.
I did not imply that we should never eat other animals…just not abuse them or drive them extinct for mindless entertainment or silly trophys. Personally unless it was survival, I would rather observe wild animals and let be free to live their lives out than kill them. Organizations like the Safari Club are dispiscable for wanting to remove endangered status of animals like the polar bear which are having hard enough time existing as it is. If they want to feel like they are such big game hunters confront the bears on equal ground with out a gun and see how far they get.
Nice visit with the worm snake, Callan. Thanks for the close views.
[…] There’s Fun in the Water, but There’s Danger, Too By Solius Symbiosus Recently,Callan Bentley had a post of a few critters that he had encountered, lately. […]