Possible Hybrid

Trenched ditches, like at Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, may or may not have alligators lurking within the waters. But it never occurred to me to look for snakes in those very shallow ditches with just a few inches of water.

Watersnake

Watersnake | Alice Mary Herden

Once I saw this snake near the edge of the road, I stopped immediately. At first glance, I thought it was a Southern Black Racer, but the markings underneath and the way its jaw was shaped, I knew it wasn’t.

There’s a little debate whether this is a hybrid between two different watersnake species. Once I find out, I will post an update. You can view my observation here: iNaturalist

Watersnake | Alice Mary Herden

Watersnake | Alice Mary Herden

These shallow ditches with the right amount of water seem to be an essential crossing zone for these snakes. These ditches are perfect when seeking out frogs and other small amphibians while they are traveling from one water source to another.

Sadly, 4-wheelers use them too.

 

 

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