First snake of the year.

Accounts and photos of non-captive reptiles in their natural habitat outside of South Africa. Try to record with your account details such as time of day/night, temperature, weather conditions, lunar cycle, sex, rough age of reptile, and so on.

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First snake of the year.

Postby croteseeker » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:42 am

Weeks of herping in the snow have finally paid off with my first snake of the year. I've always wanted to photograph an emergent garter with snow in the background. Another item to cross off the bucket list. :D :D

Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis
Image
Juvenile Eastern garter by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

Image
Juvenile Eastern garter by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

Thanks for looking. :smt006
" a squat, scaly worm with, 'don't touch,' on one end and, 'that's why,' on the other."

-Thomas Palmer
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Re: First snake of the year.

Postby Westley Price » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:45 am

How such a tiny snake does not freeze rock solid blows my mind.

Surely they have some sort of anti-freeze in their blood and tissue.

How active are they at that sort of temps? Are their prey items also active or do they starve until it warms up more?
"I am dying by inches from not having anybody to talk to about insects." - Charles Darwin
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Re: First snake of the year.

Postby RaD » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:01 pm

beautiful pics croteseeker.
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Re: First snake of the year.

Postby croteseeker » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:03 am

Westley, I've often wondered that myself. I know they brumate below the frost line, but they're still incredibly cold-tolerant. The temps were just a few degrees above freezing when I took these shots, but he was cruising around like it was a mid-summer afternoon. Regarding their prey, they are actually even more cold tolerant than these guys are. As an adult, he'll eat frogs and small rodents, but right now he'll be more inclined to seek out worms and other inverts. To the best of my knowledge, all potential prey animals emerge before the garters, though I'm not sure if the garters' cold-tolerance extends to their digestive systems. I think the primary reason for their early emergence is competition over mates.

RaD, thank you for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed. :D
" a squat, scaly worm with, 'don't touch,' on one end and, 'that's why,' on the other."

-Thomas Palmer
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croteseeker
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:05 am
Location: Vanderbilt, Michigan, USA


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