Category Archives: Reptiles

Rat snake Black racer and dogs 2024-06-06

Update 2024-06-16 The snake experts say it’s a black racer (Coluber constrictor). I’ve come around to that identification, because it doesn’t have the narrow neck and wide head of a rat snake, and its body is round in cross-section, not loaf-shaped. Also, it struck like a cornered black racer. See this reference. I was just surprised it didn’t run away fast like a typical black racer. Maybe four dogs made it think cornered. Anyway, black racers also eat rodents, so happy munching, snake.

All four dogs didn’t like this rat snake at the workshop door, although only Blondie and Honeybun feature in these pictures.

[Dogs, snake]
Dogs, snake

It appears to be an eastern rat snake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis), with the white under its chin and side of head and otherwise black body.

It did try to strike at the dogs when they got close, but once I called them off it slithered back under the bench, and onwards.

Here’s a video: Continue reading

Turtle, dogs 2024-06-09

A small turtle crossing the path to the garden. It’s maybe 4 inches long.

[Turtle, dog leg]
Turtle, dog leg

That’s Sky’s dog leg.

None of the dogs noticed until I’d been looking at the turtle for quite some time. Blondie, Honeybun, Sky, and River sniffed and moved along.

I think it’s a box turtle, but I didn’t pick it up to see, since it wasn’t in the way and it was in no danger.

[Turtle and dog leg]
Turtle and dog leg

[Turtle back]
Turtle back

[Turtle front]
Turtle front


Turtle or tortoise? 2024-06-05

I can’t find a turtle species that quite matches this reptile crossing the road. But the yellow inside shell isn’t like a gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus).

[Turtle or tortoise?]
Turtle or tortoise?

So what is it? Tortoise or turtle? And if turtle, what kind?

I set it on the other side towards where it was going. It hissed at me. Continue reading

Turtle in road 2024-05-24

This turtle was in the middle of the road as I drove home. It was in Quarterman Road, near Redeye Creek, which runs to the Withlacoochee River.

[Turtle in road and on the other side]
Turtle in road and on the other side

So I carried it to the other side. It was about a foot long.

What kind of turtle is it?

My guess is river cooter, Pseudemys concinna.

Could be the subspecies Suwannee cooter, Pseudemys concinna suwanniensis. Or the subspecies Eastern river cooter, Pseudemys concinna concinna first described by my cousin John Eatton LeConte Jr. in 1830.

Or maybe a Florida cooter or some other species.

What do you think? Continue reading

Turtle 2024-05-10

What kind of turtle is this? It’s about 5 inches long, so presumably quite young.

[Lively small turtle]
Lively small turtle

The triple ridges with radiating patterns look to me like an Alligator snapping turtle, Macroclemys temminckii. I don’t see anything else among the 29 turtles of Georgia that is even close.

I don’t know what it was doing out in the open, 500 feet from the nearest water, which is our cypress swamp.

Anyway, it provided yet another opportunity to remind our dogs: no turtles!


Snake in the bricks 2024-04-02

When I moved this piece of steel roofing so I could park the truck there, a thin black snake looked at me startled.

Then it ran towards the bricks, then into the leaves.

[Snake in the bricks and in the leaves]
Snake in the bricks and in the leaves

I think it’s a southern black racer (Coluber constrictor priapus). Am I right? Continue reading

Nellie discovers a gopher 2021-03-10

I figured she must have discovered a nest of venomous serpents. Nope, Nervous Nellie was barking up a storm over a gopher tortoise.

[Gopher, Nellie, Honeybun, Yellow Dog]
Gopher, Nellie, Honeybun, Yellow Dog

That threatened species Gopherus polyphemus was actually somewhat threatened, since Nellie was trying to gnaw on her shell. Continue reading