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Old 01-15-2008, 10:36 AM
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Default Distinguishing Between Venomous & Nonvenomous Snakes



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Interesting article on snake ID, follow the link for pictures.

DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN VENOMOUS & NONVENOMOUS SNAKES
North Carolina's non venomous snakes have many tiny teeth. These small teeth will make superficial cuts similar to briar scratches. If you, a child or a pet is bitten by a nonvenomous snake, the bite will look like a horseshoe of tiny scratches. Clean the area well with soap and water and wipe it with hydrogen peroxide. If only one or two puncture wounds are present, or if you are allergic to snakes, or if you are not sure the snake is nonvenomous, go to a doctor. Unlike venomous snakes, most nonvenomous snakes cannot bite through clothing.
Many times people kill snakes such as the young black or gray rat snake and the young racer snake, thinking they are copperheads. This is really a shame, because rat snakes and others do no harm and help keep the rodent and insect population down. Besides, most snakes -- even venomous ones -- are not aggressive and would rather avoid a confrontation with people. A snake can only strike with authority within a distance of one- half its body length. So a reasonable distance will keep you safe. Give the snake time to go on its way.

If a confrontation is unavoidable, how can you tell the difference between a venomous copperhead and a harmless rat snake? The rattlesnakes, copperhead, and cottonmouth are pit vipers. They are characterized by a pit between and slightly below the eye and nostril, long movable fangs, a vertically elliptical "cat's eye" pupil, undivided scales on the underside of the tail, and a large triangular-shaped head that has a small, smooth, shiny cap over the nose. Nonvenomous snakes have round pupils, a large smooth cap over the top of the head past the eyes, divided scales on the underside of the tail, no pits and no long fangs.



Of the 37 species of snakes throughout North Carolina, only six are venomous:

Copperhead (found throughout NC)
Canebrake Rattlesnake (found throughout NC)
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (found in southeastern NC)
Pigmy Rattlesnake (found in southeastern NC)
Cottonmouth or Water Moccasin (found in wetland areas in the eastern half of NC)
Coral Snake (the rarest, found in the south and southeastern areas of NC).
The odds of getting a serious snakebite in the Southeast are low for several reasons. The first is that only 6 of the more than 40 species of southeastern snakes are venomous. The second is that the five species with the most potent venom and greatest potential danger are less likely to bite a person than the sixth one. That sixth snake is the copperhead, North Carolina's most numerous venomous snake.

Copperhead Snakes
Keep in mind the reason for the copperhead's popular name. A copperhead has a rusty patch on the top of its triangular-shaped head. Copperhead markings look like a string of rust-colored hourglasses. Incidentally, the hourglass shape is a warning sign elsewhere in nature, the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider come to mind. So think, 'Hourglass shape, move in haste.' Young copperheads are easily distinguished from nonvenomous snakes by the lemon-yellow tail, which young copperheads will retain for about a year.



If you or your pet are bitten by any snake that you suspect is venomous, get medial attention immediately. For the most part, if you let snakes alone, they'll leave you alone.


Information for this article came from NCADM No. 20, published by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/gaston/Pests...s/venompix.htm
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:50 AM
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Visual familiarization is the key! That's IF you see it. The best way I've found to avoid them when traveling through woods or brush is to step heavily, stay alert, and keep away from likely hiding spots like downed timber, stumps, or sunny spots.
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:05 PM
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here in Texas, the rattlesnake is the most common variety. There are some 64 different rattlesnakes. Particularly in Texas, the Western Diamondback is considered the most venomous.

Of course, rattlesnakes are quite easily identified by their very obvious rattle, but there have been reports over the past few years about rattlesankes "evolving" and no longer using their rattles to notify predators of their presence. This behavioral change is currently under study and time will tell if they are changing as a species or if it is geographically limited.

Old 01-15-2008, 02:15 PM
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Good policy is to treat them all as venemous and stay away from the business end. What we do need is way to tell us which ones are the tastiest and the best way to cook them and which wine goes bestwith which species. Which wine would go best with snake? I'm thinking a nice dry, white, cabernet would go good, because they are really dern close to chicken.
Old 01-16-2008, 07:02 AM
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They all eat the same, bash its head in, cut it off then skin it out and cook. Like barba said treat them all as venomous... with the exception of you king snakes and Garder/garden snakes. they eat rats and kings keep other snakes out.
Old 01-16-2008, 07:08 AM
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Respect them all as venomous, I agree. Kill them all? Er....no. Unless of course you like living with rats and mice.
Old 01-16-2008, 08:12 AM
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No need to kill em all unless you need them as food.
Old 01-16-2008, 10:18 AM
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No need to kill em all unless you need them as food.
100% agree there. If you're in need of food it's game-on! :D
Old 01-16-2008, 10:22 AM
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I'm so happy to say we don't have snakes here.They are one critter I can live without!
Old 01-16-2008, 10:40 AM
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I'm so happy to say we don't have snakes here.They are one critter I can live without!
What your nearest neighbor is Santa Claus ?:D
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:44 AM
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rattlesnakes are actually quite tasty. But please don't try them if you don't know how. Their venom is quite powerful.
Old 01-16-2008, 01:06 PM
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Should you kill a rattlesnake find a stick or something to hold it's head down and then cut it off and bury it. A dead snake can and will strike you!!!!!
Do not pick up the head with your hands either!
I have had many headless snakes strike me so use caution around them.
Old 01-16-2008, 06:53 PM
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Madcritter,santa is a long way off but in the boreal forest of northern saskatchewan there really are no snakes.Why I don't know but don't mind a bit.
Old 01-16-2008, 09:10 PM
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So the nice looking smiling snake is ok but stay away from the frowning mean looking snake? I like those pictures.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:34 PM
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I have on page 65 of my personal SOP's to not get bit to begin with.
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:28 AM
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just a thought for those of you with families or just plain curiosity, why not head down to the local zoo (if you have one) and familiarize yourself with the local types of venomous snakes. This way you get to enjoy seeing them and learning about them from the safety of quarter inch thick glass. That way should you encounter them in the wild you will have at least an experience with that snake. I've never seen a venomous snake in person (zoo excluded) and i can tell you that i dont want to figure out what it is after i step on its @$$
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:29 AM
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just stay away from them all and you should be ok. as far as killing them is concerned, killing the occasional snake you come across is not going to impact the local rodent population much at all. if a venomous snake is on your homestead, kill it if you want, you arent hurting the environment. not to mention, all snakes in north america aside from water snakes taste great.
Old 01-18-2008, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by JNasty4 View Post
just a thought for those of you with families or just plain curiosity, why not head down to the local zoo (if you have one) and familiarize yourself with the local types of venomous snakes. This way you get to enjoy seeing them and learning about them from the safety of quarter inch thick glass. That way should you encounter them in the wild you will have at least an experience with that snake. I've never seen a venomous snake in person (zoo excluded) and i can tell you that i dont want to figure out what it is after i step on its @$$
Excellent advice.
Old 01-18-2008, 08:54 AM
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Out west certain populations of rattlesnakes have been losing their rattle ability through genetic selection. The ones that do rattle are the ones that are getting displaced and killed by man leaving only the ones that never rattle to breed. This causes their following offspring not to rattle. This is becoming very common place in states that have large animal ranches and such. Snakes should only be killed IF they bite you to facilitate identification by a medical proffesional or in a survival situation. If there is one in your home call animal control and let them get bit!!!
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbarossa View Post
Out west certain populations of rattlesnakes have been losing their rattle ability through genetic selection. The ones that do rattle are the ones that are getting displaced and killed by man leaving only the ones that never rattle to breed. This causes their following offspring not to rattle. This is becoming very common place in states that have large animal ranches and such. Snakes should only be killed IF they bite you to facilitate identification by a medical proffesional or in a survival situation. If there is one in your home call animal control and let them get bit!!!
Agreed. People need to think long-term.
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