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What kind of snake is this?

Found this girl in my wood pile. Should I leave her alone or relocate her and the eggs. Is it poisonous? (I'm in north texas by a lake.)

Picture of What kind of snake is this?
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firehazrd (author) 7 years ago
I think those are snake eggs! There's no chickens here and the eggs are actually smaller than normal ones. If it was just the snake i'd let it chill and forget about it, but it looks like a nest. I don't want snakes everywhere! (Do snakes even lay eggs?) I do like the name Ratilla.
only some snakes lay eggs. for example, rattlesnakes give live birth. it looks to me like an indigo snake, or a black rat snake. It could also be a "racer" particularily a yellow bellied racer
Yes snakes lay eggs, soft-shelled I believe. Leave it alone, the snakes will clear off in search of food I should think.
Assuming you're in N America, you could pick through these to be sure:
http://www.pitt.edu/~mcs2/herp/SoNA.html

L
Gorfram lemonie7 years ago
I stand corrected - I'd somehow thought snake eggs would have to look like frog eggs (so much for me as naturalist). These are pics of some Black Rat Snake eggs.

I don't think you'll have snakes everywhere if you do let the clutch hatch - not if you have raccoons, foxes, bobcats, owls, hawks, eagles, cats, and/or any other such predators around.

This site has a lot of good info on Rat Snakes, including the Texas Rat Snake, which I suspect is the one you have. It says in part:
"Rat snakes are very useful around barns and in the farming community. These snakes should be welcome on farms because they help control the pest population (rodents)."
(And since you don't raise chickens, their taste for eggs and nestlings won't be a problem.)

I was afraid it might be kind of presumptous of me to go naming your snake for you like that, so I'm very glad you like "Ratilla" :).
lemonie Gorfram7 years ago
Yes, I like Ratilla too, although I'm slightly more fond of names that end in -zilla. However, if it's the same sound as Attila (The Hun) I like it more. Nice snake... L
Atilla the hun is the name of my dog

Good choice.

L


Gorfram lemonie7 years ago
(The true fact is that I meant "Ratzilla," but made a typo and accidentally left out the 'z'. And since Firehazrd liked "Ratilla," I figured I might as well let it stand.)
firehazrd (author) 7 years ago
Well, here's what the expert says...

"The snake in your photo is an Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer (Coluber constrictor flaviventris). It is HARMLESS. I would suggest that you leave the eggs as you found them. Hopefully they will hatch and the young will go about their business. Keep in mind that most snakes do not stay with their eggs once they lay them so it is possible that unless that snake had just finished laying those eggs when you discovered it, that the eggs might be of some other creature. Perhaps the Racer was exploring the nest with the intent of eating the eggs. They do feed on the eggs of other snakes, lizards and turtles among other things. I'd leave the nest alone and just observe it for the next month or two and see what, if anything, actually hatches out.

Below is a link with a couple of photos of the Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer:

http://southwesternherp.com/snakes/flaviventris.html "

Gerald Keown
The Venomous Snakes of Texas
http://www.texas-venomous.com
Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research
http://www.southwesternherp.com/

Thank you all for your help. General consensus- non-venomous Leave 'em alone. I'll keep an eye on the nest just because I'm curious to see what hatches!
Gorfram7 years ago
Looks kind of like a Rat Snake to me.

If so, the good news is that they aren't poisonous (although they can bite, and it will hurt as bad as a bite from any other animal about that size & could get infected), and they eat rats & mice (hence the name).

The bad news is that they also eat bird eggs and nestlings. I'm assuming the eggs in your picture are chicken eggs that somehow also found their way into the wood pile: I'd move the eggs and their associated hen someplace safer, and leave the woodpile and its rodents to your new friend "Ratilla." :)