Patterned Snakes


Watersnake at Reservoir (1 of 1)


Typically these are the most difficult snakes for people to identify. No wonder; most snakes evaporate from view within seconds and even those that sit still may have parts of their body hidden or covered by confusing shadows. 


Some snakes throughout the world exhibit fascinating Batesian Mimicry where a non-toxic mimic looks like a potentially dangerous model. We may or may not be seeing this with Milksnakes that look an awful lot like Copperheads, but more on this later.


Hognose head lifted-1

The species in this group have a base (or background) color, on top of which is imbedded varying colored bands, blotches, saddles, splotches, or whatever descriptor you can imagine. Several of our snakes show quite obvious patterns when they are young, but become either solid color or very dark as adults. 


Two patterned snakes (Copperhead and Timber Rattlesnake) are VENOMOUS—the only ones in Western Mass—and found only in central Hampden, southern Hampshire (both species) and southern Berkshire counties (Timber rattlesnake only). LEARN TO IDENTIFY THESE —they are truly rare and endangered in the state.

© Tom Tyning 2013