Banded Water Snake

While at Chinsegut WEA with a friend… we ventured out to take some photos of some bullfrogs and came across this Florida Banded Water Snake.

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Florida Banded Water Snake | Photo by Alice Mary Herden | October 14

The Florida Banded Water Snake is a non-venomous snake and solely relies on freshwater habitats and with all the rain last month this snake has a plentiful food source of bullfrogs.

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Bullfrog | Photo by Alice Mary Herden | October 14

Just because this snake is harmless, it still can bite…. so snap your photos from a distance and let it be.


Links:

http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/water_moccasin_watersnake_comparison.shtml

https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/herpetology/fl-snakes/identification/snake-id-q27-southern-water/

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Black Racer…Good to have around.

Black Racer…. very, very good to have around your yard. Why? Well, they eat other snakes, mice and rats!

Black Racer
Juvenile Black Racer | September 11

Juveniles are often mistaken as Pygmy Rattlesnakes.

Breeding: March thru June | Eggs 6-20: May thru August

Like the baby alligators, snakes also have a egg tooth that helps them rip open the egg and falls off within a couple of days.  Neonates or hatchlings are on their own once they emerge from the egg, feeding on insects and other small amphibians.

Southern Black Racer
Southern Black Racer | August 21

 


Links:

http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/snakes/blackracer.shtml

https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/herpetology/fl-snakes/list/coluber-constrictor-priapus/

http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/snakes/florida.shtml

http://www.pbase.com/dydmd/non_venomous_snakes_of_florida&page=all

 

Baby Gators… Survival vs Nature

Breeding season ended in May/June, nesting was in July/August and with the incubation period that lasted up to 68 days, hatchlings are breaking out of their shells to make their way into the world while being supervised and guarded by their mother who is close by.

The mother can produce an average of 30-40 eggs… however a good percentage of them may be crushed by their mother or taken by raccoons.

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American Alligator Hatchling | September 4 2018 | Canon 7D Mark II | Canon 400mm | Canon 2x extender

Mother gators are very protective of their young, so keep your distance around any water areas like ponds and lakes and having a good telephoto lens is a good idea.

Raccoons, otters and even birds are main predators for these little ones.  It is sad to think that these little hatchlings, as cute as they are, most will not survive to reach a year old.

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Possible Gator Nest | September 2018

The nests looks like a mound of grass and other vegetation and usually close to water. The mother gator will continue to use the nest to protect her young from the cold winter months as well as from predators.


Links:

http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/alligator/facts/
https://www.clearlanding.com/alligator-reproduction-and-nesting-facts/