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BigJohn
2007-05-29, 18:58
I found him curled up inside the back-end of a log on the side of a lake. Sorry couldn't get a picture of the head. Name this critter...

Skidsteer
2007-05-29, 19:03
Looks like a copperhead.

GGS
2007-05-29, 23:12
I'd guess rattlesnake. Whatever species it definitely looks like a POISONOUS snake!

It would help to know what area of the country you found it in...

GGS
2007-05-29, 23:18
After googling some snake pictures and noting you found it near a lake I'd have to change my guess to agree with Skidsteer. Color patterns look like a "water moccasin", aka. Copperhead.

Take-a-knee
2007-05-29, 23:31
I don't know what it is, I do know what it ain't...a water moccasin. I'm inclined to agree with Skid.

BigJohn
2007-05-29, 23:37
I found that guy in southern Ky. Now I'm confused. I thought that "copperheads" and "cotton mouth" Water Moccasins were different snakes though closely related.

The pictures I found of Water Moccasins showed black shiny scales with a "cotton colored" mouth. The copperheads were lighter in color, more tans and light browns.

Copperhead sounds like the best guess to me though.

dropkick
2007-05-30, 00:32
I'm going with copperhead. If he was spread out a bit more so I could see the pattern better or if I could see his head I'd be sure.

I used to catch copperheads and stomp them when I was in the army.
-I directed clean up crews at Ft. Gordon, Ga. for a couple months after AIT. Lots of snakes around the lakes.

I'm sure it's not a water moccasin or rattler though.

Bear
2007-05-30, 06:50
Copper heads and cotton mouths are two entirely different snakes both in looks and temperment! Cotton mouths are much longer, can get up to six feet, bigger around and can be mean as Hell. Hard to tell from the picture but I don't believe it is either. Judging from the head, and this is not the best angle, I don't believe it is poisonous. All venomous snakes in North America except for the coral snake have a triangular shaped head and nonpoisonous have a more rounded shape. The eyes of venomous snakes tend to be more recessed while the others stick out more like the ones in the picture. Looks like what we call a chicken snake down here. Don't know the proper name but it got its nickname from hanging around barns and such. It likes to climb trees and hing around on rafters. Has similar markings of a copper head but different color and they grow much longer. Some better than six feet.

How do I know they like to hang around rafters?:ahhhhh:

Rhino-lfl
2007-05-30, 09:43
After googling some snake pictures and noting you found it near a lake I'd have to change my guess to agree with Skidsteer. Color patterns look like a "water moccasin", aka. Copperhead.

Water Moccasin and Copperhead are two completely different animals. Water moccasin and Cottonmouth are the same thing though.

Without seeing the head it looks like either a Copperhead or a Midland water snake. It could also be a light/shedding Timber Rattlesnake or Cornsnake/Ratsnake.

All poisonous US snakes (well there are the coral snake and the cat eye snake) are pit vipers, which is why they have an arrow shaped head and distinct heat receptors under the nose. Most of them are actually rather timid, but a few are downright mean. I wouldn’t pet any of them unless you know what you’re doing. Even large (5-8ft) non-poisonous snakes will give you as nasty bite that is very prone to infection due to the bacteria in the saliva and their rows of needle sharp rear facing teeth.

Stick to playing with earth worms :)

GGS
2007-05-30, 14:05
Hey y'all, my bad. I misread the below text,

"The Copperhead is the most common venomous snake found in the eastern US. It is also known by the name "Highland Moccasin." As a species, it belongs to the genus "Agkistrodon" which also includes the Cottonmouth, also known as the "Water Moccasin"." ref http://www.snakesandfrogs.com/scra/snakes/copperh.htm

So a Copperhead and Water Moccasin are in fact two different snakes.

And duh I should know that, used to be pretty knowledgable about snakes as a kid.

Iceman
2007-05-30, 23:42
Well, you remember what they say....it's the mind that ...goes....something...er'...whatever?....... What were we talking about again?

Streamweaver
2007-05-31, 11:49
Id say its either a Water moccasin or a Northern Watersnake.

Frolicking Dino
2007-05-31, 20:42
It looks like a copperhead to me. Our nothern watersnakes are more gray than the pic and the dark part of their pattern is much larger than the lighter part.

Amigi
2007-06-02, 16:04
It's a copperhead, and cotton mouths and copperheads are genetic cousins, damn near brothers. Agkistrodon piscivorus and Agkistrodon contortix, respectively. ( Dont want ya'll to think I'm too smart, had to look the Latin up ;) ).

And to dispell a myth, water moccasins are NOT aggressive at all. And nearly all of the insanely rare human bites that do occur are dry bites anyway. There is a difference between "threat display" and actual aggression. The list of harmless, nonvenomous water snakes that flatten out their heads to simulate this viper is way too long to list. Those are the snakes that often charge and stop or act aggressively toward ppl and over time have given a very helpful snake a bad name.
No snakes, no ppl. We'd all be dead of the plague by now.

Amigi
2007-06-02, 16:18
Here's a really neat snake, the pigmy rattlesnake. You find these on the trails all the time here in Florida. I just move em off to the side so no one comes along and kills them. Only snake here I dont mess with are the canebrakes. Nasty fudgers.
http://www.rlephoto.com/herps/rattlesnake_cb/0526_rattlesnake_cb_wss.htm
Pic of a cane.

Oh, and that spider scares me more than any poisonous snake. Yup, the ol' banana spider. It makes its web across animal trails and ppl trails. Get one of those on you and you'd better have a sat phone to call in the Blackhawks. The bite is slightly less toxic than a widow, but more of it. Full blown invenomations have been known to kill without medical treatment and antevenom.

dropkick
2007-06-03, 00:30
I've always thought the dangers from most spider bite were overblown as I used to catch black widows when I was a kid* and have been bitten many times with no ill effects.

--Though I've also wondered if I might just be odd and the venom doesn't effect me like it does most people - wasp and bee stings don't bother me much either (different venom, but still).

After my Great Grandmother had scarlet fever and she became toxic to ticks, they would bite her and die. Her temperature rose so high it may have changed her dna. I've often wondered if I inherited anything from her.

*I would bring black widows to school and chase the other kids with them, I also had a trick where I would get someone near a bee or wasp nest and then slap the nest - I was a nasty little kid.

BigJohn
2007-06-03, 02:53
Since we've now gotton on the subject of bites and stings...for dangerous bites/stings from snakes, spiders, bees, wasps etc. what sort of medicines do you carry to slow the poison on your potentially long trip to the hospital?

I often walk through alot of tall grass where copperheads such as this one often lay. Bee stings are also always a threat.

In one of the first aid threads an epinephrene shot was recommended to prevent anaphylactic (sp?) shock from bug stings. Is this just for people with allegeries to bug stings or will doctors prescribe based on your activities? I figure one bee sting for someone not allergic is no problem but what if you stumble into a whole hive?

Will this work for snake bites as well? One website on snakebites said that taking aspirin and an analgesic was no longer recommended.

Since an epinephrine shot is basically just a big dose of adenaline would this be the best plan of attack for all? Maybe one of you guys could give me a definitive answer on the lot?

Bear
2007-06-03, 10:45
Hey Amigi, I beg to differ with you about water moccasins NOT being aggressive. I know all animals and reptiles will be aggressive when cornered but, out of all the snakes I have encountered in my 49 years in the swamps of Louisiana, water moccasins are by far the MOST aggressive. That does not mean that they will seek you out to bite you but, if encountered, they are less likely to run. As a kid, I spent most of my spare time in the woods and swamps by my house. I came home with snakes, poisonous and non poisonous, alligators, nutrias, turtles, etc… Out of all creatures, the water moccasin was the most aggressive when encountered.

If I am not mistaken, even the late Steve Erwin said, out of all the snakes, the water moccasin is the one he did not trust because it was too unpredictable.

Take-a-knee
2007-06-03, 11:38
Big John, epinephrine can be a lifesaving drug when someone is having a full-blown anaphylactic reaction to an insect bite. Time is of the essence, that is why the epipen was developed. Once a victim goes into shock, the blood starts to pool, and only IV epinephrine is effective at that point. Thankfully, this type of severe reaction is rare. This is an immune response to the miniscule amount of protein in the sting. A snake bite is completely different, you have been poisioned, the best approach is good wound care and possibly antivenin. The antivenin must be given in a hospital setting with skilled care available in the event of, suprise, anaphylaxis (to the antivenin). The reaction to a pit viper bite is dose dependent, the best immeadiate treatment is a Sawyer extractor, which is proven to remove a significant amount of venom if used promptly.

JAK
2007-06-03, 11:49
Well, you remember what they say....it's the mind that ...goes....something...er'...whatever?....... What were we talking about again?Well... in matters such as this... ahhh... very important matter... being a life and death situation which could mean all the difference between... life and death. I thinks its important to be honest... ahhh... right from the start. I don't understand the question.

Amigi
2007-06-03, 15:33
It's a myth, dude. Aggression and threat display are two very different things, ESPECIALLY regarding snakes. If you thing a snake hissing or rattle its tails, or bearing its fangs is scary, then you can think that's aggression I guess. But it's not. It a threat display. Aggression is when a snake actually takes a stab at you, spits venom at you, or actively pursues you. There isnt a venomous snake in N. America that is considered "aggressive" by herpetologists. Trust me, man. There isnt a venomous snake in N America that doesnt make a home here in Florida. None I'm aware of anyway, excluding subspecies, I'm sure. I worry a whole lot more about spiders, scorpions, swarming bees ( #1 ), and pythons ( ppls escaped pets, we have 1000s of them ) when out in the bush that I do of any poisonous snakes.
The epi discussion,
I have to carry an epipen with me at all times. I used to ( before age 20 ) get stung by bees and they looked like mosquito bites on other ppl. Then at age 21, I was stung twice by an africanized hornet. I aint never been the same since. I have no tolerance anymore to bee stings, scorpions, or spiders. Each has resulted in another trip to the e-room, another 5 hours laying around getting benadryl, pepcid, hydroxin, and antevenom pumped into me. It sucks. I live in the frigging insect/reptile/snake capital of N. America, and have to keep an epipen within reach at all times.

This whole discussion reminds me of the two guys out in the woods and one gets snake bit on the balls while taking a dump...

Skidsteer
2007-06-03, 16:09
This whole discussion reminds me of the two guys out in the woods and one gets snake bit on the balls while taking a dump...

Lol. Remember the Lone Ranger version?

'Tonto say you gonna die, Kingosabe'

Bear
2007-06-03, 19:21
Amigi, it has been my personal experience, not necessarily what the experts say. All I know is I have run in to many snakes both poisonous and non poisonous. Of all the encounters, the water moccasin is less likely to give ground and more likely to come after you. To me, that makes them more aggressive. That may not fall into Websters exact definition of aggressive, I did not look it up, but of all the snakes I would least like to encounter, the water moccasin is tops on the list strictly because of past experience. In my book, he’s one mean dude!

GGS
2007-06-03, 21:45
My understanding of spiders is all spiders are poisonous. The more harmless spiders just can't penetrate your skin with its fangs, or can't or don't inject you with venom when they do. Or at least that's what I read long ago.

A spider feeds by capturing its prey (usually insects) live then injecting it with digestive juices through its fangs. The digestive juices turn the insect's innards to a liquid that the spider can then suck out.

Obviously any venom that can do that can cause a lot of local damage on a larger animal. That would explain some of these photos, http://www.spiderzrule.com/reclusebitethumb.htm.

Skidsteer
2007-06-03, 23:00
....Obviously any venom that can do that can cause a lot of local damage on a larger animal. That would explain some of these photos, http://www.spiderzrule.com/reclusebitethumb.htm.

FYI. If you ever are so unfortunate as to get bitten by a Brown Recluse(I have), DON'T! google photos on the internet.

Unless ass-clenching terror is your thing.:bandit:

GGS
2007-06-04, 01:18
FYI. If you ever are so unfortunate as to get bitten by a Brown Recluse(I have), DON'T! google photos on the internet.

Unless ass-clenching terror is your thing.:bandit:

LOL! Well it would definitely get you hustling your a-- to the emergency room...

Hopefully your experience wasn't as severe as some of those photos.

Frolicking Dino
2007-06-04, 17:06
Re: Water Moccasins - Moccasins are the only snakes I've ever had chase me when I tried to back slowly away. I wasn't even close enough to be a real threat (more than 10 ft away) so I'd have to say they are aggressive critters IME. I don't normally kill snakes, but some moccasins have left me no choice. It was the only way to get away from them.

Amigi
2007-06-04, 20:29
The thing is, guys and gals, are you SURE they were moccasins? Unless you see the white mouth, they could be many other snakes. Like I said, there are many snakes that impersonate this pit viper. The common brown water snake is almost indistinguishable from a w.m. It will flatten out its head and hiss just like a w.m. Others include the hognose, the milksnake, and the ultimate Robert Deniro-esque snake, the Banded Water Snake.
To quote timberrattlesnake.net about the BWS:
"These are NOT Water Moccasins, there are NO Water Moccasins in the Northeast( Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. A true venomous Water Moccasin requires the warmer temperatures of Southern United States. This thick bodied heavily keeled animal has a broad head and a possibly menacing appearance."
This is the only dangerous water moccasin I know of,
1 oz peach schnapps
1 oz Crown Royal® Canadian whisky
1 dash triple sec
1 oz sweet and sour mix
:D
I had this same disagreement on WB awhile ago, someone saying they were charged by a w.m. on the AT up north. And then I tried to explain that there arent any w.m. up North....
All I'm trying to do is dispell a common myth, and ease your fears. Continue to believe whatever you'd like folks...

dropkick
2007-06-05, 03:30
FYI. If you ever are so unfortunate as to get bitten by a Brown Recluse(I have), DON'T! google photos on the internet.

Unless ass-clenching terror is your thing.:bandit:
I didn't run into the recluse when I was a kid, which is really odd as they live in the same places as black widows and I would find widows all the time. Maybe the widows ate them? I'm glad I didn't.

Now that I'm older and hopefully wiser I find them occasionally and I take care not to get bitten (I've seen the pictures too).

side note: I like to call them by their other name - fiddleback spiders - their back does look like a fiddle and using that name makes it easier for people to recognize them (plus it sounds way cooler).



On stinging insects:

disclaimer no.1: I don't think telling you this will actually help anyone, as I have been telling people this since I was a young child and have never had anyone take it to heart and actually use this knowledge, but just in case.....

If you stay calm bees and wasps normally won't sting you.

This is why I can slap the nests, rile them up, and get off scott free without any stings.
I also occasionally remove wasp nests from around my home with my bare hands. I have had wasps crawling on my hands while I do this.
(disclaimer 2: it is better to do this to a wasps nest early in the morning while it is still cool out, as they are slower and less aggressive then)

If after seeing a bee/wasp fly near you, you jump around and slap at the air you are asking to get stung

If you ignore it and leave it alone it will most likely leave.

If it really bugs you stay calm untill it lands somewhere and then squish it in a napkin. Flailing at them in the air is stupid.

Almost everytime I've told this someone says "But I'm deathly allergic" to which I reply "Then wouldn't it be smarter to stay calm and not get stung?"

(disclaimer 3: If you get swarmed run away, as staying calm and ignoring them won't help much - unless they have another target)

Iceman
2007-06-05, 10:18
yeah but,....yeah but,....yeah but,....Oh hell, never mind. Everytime I get a nest all riled up I spaz' and break dance around the yard like I'm on fire. You have never seen three hundred pounds move so fast or so stylishly in all your life. :biggrin:


:elefant: :marchmell :trytofly: :vroam:

jessh
2007-06-05, 14:04
the best immeadiate treatment is a Sawyer extractor, which is proven to remove a significant amount of venom if used promptly.
The more recent studies that I have read about the Sawyer extractor seem to show that it doesn't remove any significant amount of venom. It is the best of the sucking methods, but studies show that while it sucks out significant amounts of blood, it is only removes about 0.04% of the venom after sucking for 15 minutes. This isn't enough to have any significant effect.

An abstract of one of the studies can be found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WB0-4BGH766-M&_user=10&_coverDate=02%2F29%2F2004&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=5056b65943bd717615bb6786d328be58

It used fake venom injected into people. I also read another study that used real snakes and pigs which had similar results.

You will hear lots of stories about people using all sorts of methods to suck the venom out and claiming that this totally cured them. The truth of the matter is that just becauseyou were bit by a venomous snake does not mean it injected any venom. Dry bites are common. There is also the fact that there are many non venomous snakes that are often mistaken for venomous. This does not mean that you should not seek treatement immediatly.

~Jess

dropkick
2007-06-06, 02:02
The more recent studies that I have read about the Sawyer extractor seem to show that it doesn't remove any significant amount of venom. It is the best of the sucking methods, but studies show that while it sucks out significant amounts of blood, it is only removes about 0.04% of the venom after sucking for 15 minutes. This isn't enough to have any significant effect.

An abstract of one of the studies can be found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WB0-4BGH766-M&_user=10&_coverDate=02%2F29%2F2004&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=5056b65943bd717615bb6786d328be58

~Jess
The problem with the study you sited is that they didn't attempt suction untill 3 minutes after the fake bite. And according to all the studies I've read you want to use a suction device (Sawyer, your mouth, etc.) within the first 3 minutes. After that they don't do well, and after 5 minutes you might as well skip it.

Iceman
2007-06-06, 09:36
Jessh, the Saywer "Extractor" is simply named poorly. The benefit of this device is that it attempts to reduce the rate at which venom is spread through the body. Have you played with one of these? They are awesome. They will maintain a negative pressure at the wound site. From what I understood, if venom does appear in the cup, you are advised to wipe it off, and then reattach the device, to slow the rate of venom progressing into the body. I am a big fan of this device, and carry one in my pack all year.

Note to others; you may wish to replace your extractor every few years? Not sure how often... My guess is that the rubber device inside the extractor may degrade over time. Anyone have any experience with this, just my inclination. Besides, we practice with mine every year, thought it may be wise to replace periodically.

Amigi
2007-06-08, 12:32
I side with JessH on this one. The ranger at DeLeon Springs ( where I play with pygmy's ) told me all the extractors are good for is giving the person who got bit something to do until they die. BUT, I have also been told that if you get the limb tourniquetted off very quickly, and lance the bite between the marks, you stand a good chance of reducing the envenomation.

Where's Alex Trebeck. He would know the answer to all of this.
Oh shit, no he wouldnt, he'd only know the question....

BigJohn
2007-06-08, 14:33
BUT, I have also been told that if you get the limb tourniquetted off very quickly, and lance the bite between the marks, you stand a good chance of reducing the envenomation.

But isn't it dangerous to tourniquet a limb that has been bitten because you are simply concentrating the poison into a small region where it can do significantly more damage? I also though that cutting the bite was no longer recommended because it incites infection.

The only consenus I am drawing on the issue is get your butt to the hospital ASAP! Does a sound tried and true method (other than hospitalization) that everyone agrees upon even exist?

Amigi
2007-06-08, 16:51
The only consenus I am drawing on the issue is get your butt to the hospital ASAP! Does a sound tried and true method (other than hospitalization) that everyone agrees upon even exist?

My question also.

BDawg
2007-06-08, 17:09
Jessh, the Saywer "Extractor" is simply named poorly. The benefit of this device is that it attempts to reduce the rate at which venom is spread through the body. Have you played with one of these? They are awesome. They will maintain a negative pressure at the wound site. From what I understood, if venom does appear in the cup, you are advised to wipe it off, and then reattach the device, to slow the rate of venom progressing into the body. I am a big fan of this device, and carry one in my pack all year.

Note to others; you may wish to replace your extractor every few years? Not sure how often... My guess is that the rubber device inside the extractor may degrade over time. Anyone have any experience with this, just my inclination. Besides, we practice with mine every year, thought it may be wise to replace periodically.


I can attest to this statement.

Several years ago i got struck by a very large diamondback, I used the extractor right away, 3 times on each fang hole. I got quite a bit of venom as a result. I made it a to ranger station and then to a hospital. The doctor treating me got the story and he told me the same thing Iceman said. He said that it slowed the venom down enough to not cause as much damage and allow me to get to help.

The large amount of venom would have started to break down the tissue in my leg the pain would have sped up my pace to get help, thus spreading the venom faster.

However I could also see how the extractor might not help, Ie a coral snake bite, or a pigmy bite. A knaw bite or small fangs would hinder the suction ability. Or if its not used properly.

As always your best bet on a venomous bite is a cool head and steady and moderately slow pace to get help. The extractor can keep you moving.

Amigi
2007-06-10, 17:10
I can attest to this statement.

Several years ago i got struck by a very large diamondback, I used the extractor right away, 3 times on each fang hole. I got quite a bit of venom as a result. I made it a to ranger station and then to a hospital. The doctor treating me got the story and he told me the same thing Iceman said. He said that it slowed the venom down enough to not cause as much damage and allow me to get to help.

The large amount of venom would have started to break down the tissue in my leg the pain would have sped up my pace to get help, thus spreading the venom faster.

However I could also see how the extractor might not help, Ie a coral snake bite, or a pigmy bite. A knaw bite or small fangs would hinder the suction ability. Or if its not used properly.

As always your best bet on a venomous bite is a cool head and steady and moderately slow pace to get help. The extractor can keep you moving.

Ok, I'm buyin' it. And that means I'm buying one. You buyin' what I'm saying?
Goodbye.

Frolicking Dino
2007-06-11, 19:31
Amigi - I did see the white mouth on both WM I killed. Maybe they are more aggressive in the northern part of their range???? I killed one near Chattanooga, TN and the other between Atlanta and Dolonaga - both in swampy areas with lots of rotting vegetation (which produces some heat)

Spice1
2007-06-15, 03:38
I tend to be pretty calm around whatever. I'm not so proud to say I somehow got matching brown recluse bites while serving. One on each arm, just below the elbow. Carved out the early blisters with a pocket knife. GREAT fun to freak out kids at the Zoo. (my fiance said it was mean) Find the brown recluse in the insect area, and go up to a kid, and let them feel the "holes" under the skin in your elbows.

I'm chill around all kinds of bees and wasps. Had a wasps nest in my shop for the last three weeks. Kept looking up to see if it would leave to eat. Never caught it gone. Today, talking with some volunteers, a wasp flew by my head and I looked up in the corner of the shop. Sure nuff, wasp was gone. four foot dowel, and smoosh! Kids freaked out, "ew, what was that that came out of it?"

. . . babies.

Seriously, last summer, I caught hell. Got a hornet in my beard, stung on the forehad by a wasp, and something stingy got me square on the scalp, but I never figured out what it was.

Now, I hear a rattle though, and I do the Iceman. High stepping, usually backwards, making a uh uh uh uh sound while franticly looking for the bastard. What's funny is we have seed pods up in the main ranch's garden that sound like little rattles. What isn't funny is that we also have rattle snakes all over up here. Everybody just thinks I like to dance. Got struck through my shoes back in boyscouts, and after all the hubub, I wound up more hurt from the scout leader's expert use of a razor blade. Still have a retarded scar on my ankle from it.

Amigi
2007-06-15, 19:53
Amigi - I did see the white mouth on both WM I killed. Maybe they are more aggressive in the northern part of their range???? I killed one near Chattanooga, TN and the other between Atlanta and Dolonaga - both in swampy areas with lots of rotting vegetation (which produces some heat)

I believe you, of course ( hug for the Dinos ), but I see these things everytime I go canoeing. They just arent aggressive at all.
Maybe your right, the more north you go, the more aggressive they are due to lower stored body heat. Alligators are the worst early in the morning when they're trying to heat up, so maybe the same goes for snakes...

Frolicking Dino
2007-06-16, 12:03
I believe you, of course ( hug for the Dinos ), but I see these things everytime I go canoeing. They just arent aggressive at all.
Maybe your right, the more north you go, the more aggressive they are due to lower stored body heat. Alligators are the worst early in the morning when they're trying to heat up, so maybe the same goes for snakes...Hugs to you as well, Amigi. My son's iguana is far more irritable when she is cold.

Seeing them while canoeing my also be the key -- the size of the canoe likely makes them a bit more fearful of approaching -- and the fact that they are in water deep enough to swim down and hide (as opposed to the somewhat shallow swamps where I found them) may lead them to choose flight over fight.

dropkick
2007-06-16, 22:15
I believe you, of course ( hug for the Dinos ), but I see these things everytime I go canoeing. They just arent aggressive at all.
Maybe your right, the more north you go, the more aggressive they are due to lower stored body heat. Alligators are the worst early in the morning when they're trying to heat up, so maybe the same goes for snakes...
Don't know about gators, but rattlesnakes (the snake I've had the most contact with - grew up having to watch for them) are slower and less agressive when they're cold.

Wasn't ever around moccasins or copperheads in cool temperatures, so I don't have any first hand knowledge of how it effects them.

BDawg
2007-06-16, 23:19
OK peeps heres the skinny on Moc's, i do belive the debate on there aggression has gone on a bit to long.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agkistrodon_piscivorus

Behavior
Within their range, cottonmouths have a reputation as being aggressive snakes. However, in tests designed to measure the suite of behavioral responses by free-ranging cottonmouths to encounters with humans, 51 percent of the test subjects tried to escape and 78 percent used threat displays or other defensive tactics. Only when the snakes were picked up with a mechanical hand were they likely to bite. [5]


In addition, many of the snakes that did bite did not inject venom. Such a "dry" bite could also be another, more serious threat display. Unlike most snakes, including the copperhead, when startled the cottonmouth often will stand its ground and open its mouth ("gape" or "smile") to warn predators to stay away. That behavior is many times seen as aggressive, but if left alone they will leave.
These snakes are semi-aquatic, spending almost all their time close to permanent water sources. They swim with much of their bodies floating above the surface distinguishing them from water snakes, which tend to swim mostly below the surface, sometimes with their heads protruding.

They take a wide variety of prey including fish, small mammals, lizards, birds, small turtles, baby alligators, and even other snakes. Usually a victim is envenomated quickly with a bite and then released. If the prey does not succumb immediately, it is tracked by scent. Like all pit vipers, the cottonmouth has pits on the sides of its nose that sense bodyheat of warm blooded animals in the form of infrared light, thus its hunting ability is not impaired at night. The name "cottonmouth" is earned by the snake's tendency to open its mouth widely, displaying white tissue inside as a warning gesture. See picture on right.

Frolicking Dino
2007-06-17, 10:24
Toward the end of the article cited by BDawg, it notes their are three separate subspecies of cottonmouth. Perhaps some are more agressive than others? The cottonmouth I encountered near Chattanooga, TN, actually chased me when I tried to retreat from it and attempted to strike. The one in the woods of N. GA acted in a similar manner though it never attempted to strike. I agree this is not normal snake behavior and I have only seen it in this species.

Amigi
2007-06-19, 12:31
Well, as an amateur herpitologist ( very amateur but I try to keep up ), almost all subspecies of snakes are currently being reclassified. Too much of the old classification dealt with appearance and geography instead of venom, behavior, organ function, and appetite. As such, my least favorite snake, the canebrake, is no longer deemed seperate from a timber rattlesnake.
But interesting note, the "canebrake" or whatever it will be called, can actually have hemotoxic venom OR neurotoxic venom! I'm not aware of many species of snakes that can have one or the other. It makes bites by this animal very hard to treat, hence why I dont like them! ;)

Take-a-knee
2007-06-19, 13:54
Amigi, that is fascinating(and a bit scary) that a canebrake can have a neurotoxic venom component. I had read that many years ago about rattlesnakes in the Mojave. I don't think there is much in the way of treatment for neurotoxic venom, except supportive care.

dropkick
2007-06-20, 01:25
This is neat, learning is fun.

I had thought the only snake in the U.S. with a neurotoxin was the coral snake. Now I find that there are 3 (coral, timber rattler (canebrake), & the mojave rattler).

I also didn't know there are more than 20 different types of venomous snake in the U.S. (I thought there were only 6)
Most are different types of rattlers. There are 17 different sub species just in Arizona.

In general we only have to worry about the 4 types - rattlers, moccasins, copperheads, and coral.
And this is only my opinion but rattlers aren't much of a threat unless you startle them, or do something stupid with them.

I base this on having grown up in an area where they live.
Also on having both killed and left alone many of them in my life (I've actually accidently stepped directly onto 2 - my advice is take the next step quickly).
In all that time I've only come close to, or worried about being struck one time.

Here's a good fact:
Approximately 8,000 people a year receive venomous snakebites in the U.S., 9-15 victims die. (FDA)

Amigi
2007-06-20, 15:18
GREAT POINT, dropkick. Only 1 in 800 bites cause a fatality. That's not to say the other 799 folks didnt suffer quite a bit, but it helps to calm irrational fears about snakes.
Coral snakes have very small rear fangs, so pose little threat to intelligent ( key word ) humans. They are the only New World snake related to cobras. But the most interesting thing about coral snakes is that their venom toxicity is WAY stronger than what's needed to subdue their usual prey. Most snake's venom, similiar to felines teeth, is adapted to their prey. Coral snakes are the proverbial sledgehammer for the fly. They also have the highest human mortality rate of any rear fanged snake in the world, killing 10% of all victims before the antivenom was developed.

And the old folklore "Red on black venom lack, red on yellow kills a fellow" ONLY applies to southern US corals. S American corals can be any combination, but since there arent many mimickers like the Scarlet or Milk, you really just need to avoid them all.

For those who find this stuff interesting:
http://www.littleriverresearch.org/Venom%20Research.htm
Note the point about how many rattlers have hybrid venom... scary. But check out the last part about my buddy the canebrake!

dropkick
2007-06-21, 03:06
Reminds me of a story from my army days:

A battalion was on jungle maneuvers and a Colonel was sent down to see why one company had so many soldiers hospitalized and on sick call.
He went to the Company Commander and asked him what the problem was.
The Company Commander told him "It's these damned orange and black striped snakes, they're everwhere and they keep biting the men."
The Colonel (a Texas boy) said "I can show you how to handle them. Gather the men."
He got his audience, and picking up a snake, he said "You just take hold with your left hand, and then grab them with your right hand, slid your hand up until you come to the head and then pop it off with your thumb."
Soon he was hearing little popping sounds coming from all over camp.
Feeling pleased, he headed back to Brigade headquarters.
A few days later he was touring the hospital and was suprised to see the Company Commander there. The man was covered from head to toe with bandages.
"Lieutenant" he said "what happened to you?"
In a weak voice the Lieutenant said "Well, we were doing like you showed us sir. and things were going great, until one day I saw an orange and black snake. I did just like you showed us. I took hold with my left hand, and then grabbed it with my right hand, slid my hand up, and was looking for it's head with my thumb, and then it happened...."
"What!?" said the Colonel, "What happened."
In a low voice the Lieutenant answered "Tigers get really angry when you stick your thumb up their rear."

Amigi
2007-06-24, 13:05
I'm going on a little jaunt today out to Rock Springs Run. It's hot as hell, like 93F with 65% humility. 6L of water for 4 hours. That's Florida.
Anyway, my purpose is to check out the abundance of rattlers that the park has experienced since spring sprung. Hopefully, I can get some pics and post'em. See ya'll in about 8 hrs hopefully.

Hollowdweller
2007-07-22, 12:50
Here's a cool water snake that hunts the hole where my creek crosses under the road. Sometimes he (or she) has a buddy out there with him. They crawl out on this little bit of brush that overhangs and I assume hunt for minnows.

Take-a-knee
2007-07-22, 14:12
I think it is a brown water snake, often mistaken (and shot) 'cause they are colored like a moccasin.

Hollowdweller
2007-07-22, 15:02
People mistake them for Copperheads here. They have that same fat short shape but if your looking at them is more than a passing glance you can tell they aren't

GGS
2007-07-22, 23:21
People mistake them for Copperheads here. They have that same fat short shape but if your looking at them is more than a passing glance you can tell they aren't

Hollowdweller, please correct me if I'm wrong...

A copperhead has a triangular shaped head, where these harmless snakes do not?

Hollowdweller
2007-07-23, 13:52
Yeah more or less, and the pattern is difft.

yuppie_redneck
2008-01-15, 15:35
I found him curled up inside the back-end of a log on the side of a lake. Sorry couldn't get a picture of the head. Name this critter...


That 'ther is a SNAKE! If yer hungry kill it n eat it. If yer skeered, walk around it. And if'n you be just durned curious enough to photograph it...... pray it don't bite yer ****, cause if it do - you gonna die!


By the time I got here others had addressed the question - just wondered why more ppl didn't smart off!

yuppie_redneck
2008-01-15, 15:49
It's a myth, dude. Aggression and threat display are two very different things, ESPECIALLY regarding snakes. If you thing a snake hissing or rattle its tails, or bearing its fangs is scary, then you can think that's aggression I guess. But it's not. It a threat display. Aggression is when a snake actually takes a stab at you, spits venom at you, or actively pursues you. There isnt a venomous snake in N. America that is considered "aggressive" by herpetologists. Trust me, man. There isnt a venomous snake in N America that doesnt make a home here in Florida. None I'm aware of anyway, excluding subspecies, I'm sure. I worry a whole lot more about spiders, scorpions, swarming bees ( #1 ), and pythons ( ppls escaped pets, we have 1000s of them ) when out in the bush that I do of any poisonous snakes.
The epi discussion,
I have to carry an epipen with me at all times. I used to ( before age 20 ) get stung by bees and they looked like mosquito bites on other ppl. Then at age 21, I was stung twice by an africanized hornet. I aint never been the same since. I have no tolerance anymore to bee stings, scorpions, or spiders. Each has resulted in another trip to the e-room, another 5 hours laying around getting benadryl, pepcid, hydroxin, and antevenom pumped into me. It sucks. I live in the frigging insect/reptile/snake capital of N. America, and have to keep an epipen within reach at all times.

This whole discussion reminds me of the two guys out in the woods and one gets snake bit on the balls while taking a dump...


Hey Amigi, I thought I lived in the WM capital of the world. I'll hike with you ANY TIME!!! (Just let me tether your shoes together a bit first, so I can be sure to run faster.)

THEN tell me if that WM is aggressive or threatening!

(You might have to yell.)

Amigi
2008-01-16, 18:35
That 'ther is a SNAKE! If yer hungry kill it n eat it. If yer skeered, walk around it. And if'n you be just durned curious enough to photograph it...... pray it don't bite yer ****, cause if it do - you gonna die!


By the time I got here others had addressed the question - just wondered why more ppl didn't smart off!

Well, we joke, but most here like to keep this site a bit more .... grown up, than say Whiteblaze.

I've handled poisonous snakes, I hunt them for census in my two local parks/hiking haunts, and I take tons of pics of them from a foot away. It's all about how you approach, how you behave, and how you breathe ( yup ). Never handled a water moc, but I see them whenever I go canoeing. It's been awhile but not once has one ever chased me. I really believe most of these "chase" encounters are by mimicker snakes and not WM.

My fellow Floridian brethren here can back me up on this, there aint a more dangerous place in the US than Florida when it comes to the kinds of flora and fauna you need to be careful of, but the fear of that should never stop you from enjoying the outdoors. Just educate yourself, and others, and you'll be fine.

Do you have any evidence, yuppie, that any snake in the US is aggressive? Any, either scientific or anecdotal?

yuppie_redneck
2008-01-17, 00:16
herpetologists may not back me on this.

But if a guy takes a swing at me, whether he is wearing poison fangs on his knucles or not, I call it aggressive.

WM at the local lakes here don't always, but often enough to increase pucker factor every time I see one, chase me. They frequently strike dogs and cats (leg bites usually - not snout like the pet was harassing it.) If there are a bunch of people in the water, they get scarce. But a lone hiker.... I swear some of them just want to seek you out. Maybe they are like chows and they are prone to insanity as they age? Perhaps it's all the moonshine in the water? (We mix a fair amount of antifreeze in it round these parts.)

Regardless, if you hike up here - give them a wider margin than you normally would.

I can guarantee one thing, if the ability to come into a camp full of loud, obnoxious boy scouts is a measure of a reptile's aggression - these are the OJ Simpson of snakes. It's the only snake the boys have ever seen hiking or camping as a group. The mimics, racers, lizards, birds, deer, and intelligent people avoid em! (A boy scout will rub the warts off a toad showing it off.)


I know what our WM look like - and have handled quite a few of the mimics with no problem. I'm not skittish about cold blooded critters either. I've played with, fed, and worn many of them (Steve Irwin style - alive that is).


I don't WANT to be anywhere near a WM.

Seeker
2008-02-28, 20:57
i live in snake heaven (shudder)...

one of my local buddies grew up here (50+ years worth or hunting, fishing, and hiking) and told me that water moccasins will chase you. whether or not that's officially "aggressive", i don't know. but i steer clear of them (and carry a large pointy stick, ala Moses and Aaron of Exodus fame, should i need to 'charm' a few snakes myself).

enviro
2008-03-10, 13:15
I've had racers chase me, but then read that the defense mechanism for a racer is to charge the threat. Sometimes its hard to identify a snake over your shoulder as you are running.

Most of my WM encounters have resulted in the snake dropping off a branch or limb into the water as I approach.

For me, not many things give you that extreme pucker factor like hearing that plop of a snake dropping in the water as your standing aboout thigh deep in a creek fishing.

vonfrick
2008-03-11, 11:47
i don't know why i read this thread last night...guess what I dreamt about?

i am irrevocably creeped out. :afraid:

i'm staying in new england.

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-11, 12:37
i don't know why i read this thread last night...guess what I dreamt about?

i am irrevocably creeped out. :afraid:

i'm staying in new england.::: Dino curls a protective and comforting tail around vonfrick :::

vonfrick
2008-03-12, 11:16
::: Dino curls a protective and comforting tail around vonfrick :::

i'm guessing this is because your silly little arms are too short for hugging? :ahhhhh:

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-12, 11:33
i'm guessing this is because your silly little arms are too short for hugging? :ahhhhh:That and big ol' belly gets in the way...

Wise Old Owl
2008-03-12, 23:50
Yes they will chase you faster than you can react!

Personal Experience, Jumped out of a canoe several years ago and went looking for a tree away from others, while wearing wet flip flops I just began to think the sound of me walking in the feild sounds like a frog.... Just then a long object "Black Racer" was wrapped up my leg and up my shorts! I hollard & jumped and He jumped off.... True stuff is stranger than fiction.

vonfrick
2008-03-12, 23:54
Yes they will chase you faster than you can react!

Personal Experience, Jumped out of a canoe several years ago and went looking for a tree away from others, while wearing wet flip flops I just began to think the sound of me walking in the feild sounds like a frog.... Just then a long object "Black Racer" was wrapped up my leg and up my shorts! I hollard & jumped and He jumped off.... True stuff is stranger than fiction.

la la la la la i'm not listening la la la

enviro
2008-03-13, 01:00
So are you saying that you were attacked by a southern black trouser snake?

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-13, 06:39
::: Dino seen mopping coffee off keyboard and monitor :::

Amigi
2008-03-13, 07:29
Not The Southern Black Trouser Snake!!!!

Bear
2008-03-13, 19:22
I thought the snake was always trying to get out of the trousers, not in?

vonfrick
2008-03-13, 19:42
out of some and into others

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-13, 19:46
Most trouser snakes seem to like to explore ladies' pants, thought some like men's pants.....

warraghiyagey
2008-03-13, 19:47
out of some and into others



(gasp)




:embarasse

dixicritter
2008-03-13, 21:52
LOL... y'all are just bad. That was just wrong on so many levels.

warraghiyagey
2008-03-13, 22:07
LOL... y'all are just bad. That was just wrong on so many levels.

That's what I was thinking. Shame on all of them.
:angel:

enviro
2008-03-14, 15:30
I am ashamed to have started this, but feel that it is important to send along some important information on the trouser snake.

It has been proven that the trouser snake may behave in a very aggressive manner with little or no concience. The venom of the trouser snake while rarely fatal has been shown to cause very pronounced swelling and mood swings in the victim over an extended period of time (typically 9 months).

warraghiyagey
2008-03-14, 15:34
From whence Lorena Bobbit lunges.

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-14, 22:00
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b47/lowcarbscoop/Snippers-lorenaBobbit.jpg

enviro
2008-03-14, 23:11
Must say that gives me the creeps.

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-15, 12:39
Must say that gives me the creeps.Dixi has come to your rescue....
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b47/lowcarbscoop/DixieDino.jpg

warraghiyagey
2008-03-15, 17:01
Dixi has come to your rescue....
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b47/lowcarbscoop/DixieDino.jpg

Have you seen his avatar??
I say let Dino have those clippers!!

enviro
2008-03-16, 15:34
Unless the clippers are for a haircut, fight the good fight Dixie.

FireFighter56
2008-03-25, 03:36
it's a northern water snake cuzz to the water moc of pennsylvania......also known as the water snake...... Non-poisonous ....and he looks like he is about to shed also due to the light color of his skin....so next time u run into him...he will be 5 in. longer lol....they get to about 4 foot as an adult .....and tend to run from humans.....lol....growing up in PA we have lots of snakes here and i rasied snakes and iguanas for years....my fav pet was my iguana named spike she was a 6 foot blue iguana and my boa named tessy....she was 9 foot long and she slept in the bed with me....she was very friendly and loved ppl....i would let he wrap around me to keep warm....sounds odd but she was a great pet...i miss her....but yes this is a water snake....a copper head.....would be more aggressive if u got that close and a rock rattler u would be bit by now and a copperhead as most call them because....(there black) thata a BlackSnake....we have them all over in PA....there bite can make u sick but not deadly....i see about 5 a day on a hike i'v walked right over a 10 foot blacksnake once...and it didn't even stop to care...i did lol...they like to lay out on railroad beds alot.......hope this helps u out some

FireFighter56
2008-03-25, 03:41
also a snake will know u are there befor u see them...they can feel u coming so most will as we call it run ....but some will just hide themselves like this little fellow tried ......that and the breakup on his back was a dead giveaway to me.....i had to look it up quick in a book of snakes i have but he will not harm u....

Wise Old Owl
2008-06-30, 23:46
Should we revitalize this??????????

LSUtiger
2008-07-20, 19:42
I have grown up in the south and had pet snakes much of my life. The snake in the pic looks to me like an EASTERN HOGNOSE snake. The markings are of an eastern hognose and the scales-----you can see raised parts of the scales in the center----- are characteristic of hognose snakes. These snakes are 100% harmless and actually interesting to catch b/c they will flatten their heads, rattle their tail, and play dead to first intimidate and then fool their prey. Actually only 8 out of every 100 snakes you see in north america will be poisonous so the odds are very much in our favor.

As you can see, snakes and reptiles are one of my passions and and I try as much as possible to educate folks to save as many as possible. Spiders on the other hand......... I want them all dead.:biggrin:

Notorius tic
2008-07-20, 22:04
:albertein
Water Moccasin and Copperhead are two completely different animals. Water moccasin and Cottonmouth are the same thing though.

Without seeing the head it looks like either a Copperhead or a Midland water snake. It could also be a light/shedding Timber Rattlesnake or Cornsnake/Ratsnake.

All poisonous US snakes (well there are the coral snake and the cat eye snake) are pit vipers, which is why they have an arrow shaped head and distinct heat receptors under the nose. Most of them are actually rather timid, but a few are downright mean. I wouldn’t pet any of them unless you know what you’re doing. Even large (5-8ft) non-poisonous snakes will give you as nasty bite that is very prone to infection due to the bacteria in the saliva and their rows of needle sharp rear facing teeth.

Stick to playing with earth worms :)

Amigi
2008-07-21, 21:20
The water moccasin fear on here is funny, even from ppl in Penn or further north. WMs dont go much more north that Virginia, at least not in numbers.

No non poisonous snake that I am awere of has triangle on their body that large that are nonpoisonous. Correct me if I'm wrong, having grown up and lived with Copperheads my entire life, but how could that be anything else?

Amigi
2008-07-21, 21:25
Oh, and glad we're back on the subject since the rude thread swerve from earlier. If you want to whup(sic) on up someone or get in shape, make a seperate thread about it, dont swerve another thread to satiate your need for attention. This is Rock's place and no one elses, no matter how well connected you may be. Take that to heart. You damn near ruined the last good site about hiking on the internet with that pedantic meandering. This aint WB.

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