Thursday, July 24, 2008

Snake's alive

I caught this beautiful girl sunning herself yesterday during a relatively cool, July afternoon at the base of the CadMur Manor fire pit. She's maybe a foot long. Lara Roketenetz, a former co-worker and current natural-resources specialist at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes in Cleveland, offered a tentative confirmation ID, based solely on the photo. 

"I think it is an Eastern garter snake, spotted phase," Lara emailed. "They tend to be brown and splotchy rather than green and striped because they use camouflage rather than speedy escape to avoid predation." Lara added that the snake looks to be pregnant. 

Garter snakes give birth to live young -- they are viviparous. Newborns are independent upon birth, having spent two to three months developing during gestation. The Eastern garter snake, Thanophis sirtalis sirtalis, is the most common of the Thamnophis genus. 

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