Ramble On

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Little Brown Snake

My current workplace is located in a residential neighborhood up in Bethesda.  We back up to a plot of National Park Service land, so sometimes we benefit from a unique proximity to wild life.

And so it was that last Thursday I was outside the building making a phone call when I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye.  Looking closer, I found a little brownish colored snake, only about four or five inches long.

The coloring made me look closely - there's a pattern of black dots.  My first worry was that maybe I was looking at a baby copperhead, but further research proved that wrong.

This is a brown snake. There's a link below to the Peterson First Guides book on reptiles and amphibians, where I found this description of the little snake:

This is a small, secretive snake, brown and usually with two parallel rows of blackish spots down its back,  Young ones have a conspicuous yellowish collar and are generally darker than adults...brown snakes frequently turned up in parks, cemeteries, empty lots...they are such good hiders that few people are familiar with them..."

From the description, this tiny little snake is an adult, since the markings behind its head are tan and not yellow.  My photo has it straddling a sidewalk crack, to give a sense of the scale.  The guidebook says they are are often from 9-21 inches in length.

Here's a link to the guidebook I used:

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