A black snake a couple of feet long took off across our yard and jumped about a foot off the ground to go through a small hole in the fence. What kind of snake is this?
Christy from Lake Dallas, TX
Let's see. If y'all are in Texas, you have a couple different kinds that it could be. First off, though, I think just about any snake can jump if it gets going fast enough and wants to get out of the picture asap. The ones that come to mind first are coachwhips and kingsnakes, neither being poisonous. (05/21/2007)
By Beth - MA
It could be a chicken snake if you have chickens near your property. (05/23/2007)
This is interesting, because I really wanted to know I looked up a "snake myths" thing on my search engine. It seems that "no" snake can jump, they're not built that way. What they can do is fall off things, ie, a ledge, a tree branch giving the appearance of "jumping". Also, because they are mostly long and sinewy, they can give the appearance of "jumping" by stretching their bodies upwards to get through a hole that's not too far off the ground.
It sounds like a bull snake. My mom had some in her yard and yes they can jump. And I hate snakes. But a bull snake is useful to the yard, eating things you don't want there. They are not poisonous, just big and if you hate snakes like I do, scary.
Please make sure that it is a bull snake and not a poisonous snake of some type and don't approach it because they will bite when cornered. Sounds like it just wanted to get away. (05/23/2007)
Maybe it's a a black racer. We have lots of them in FL. I saw a snake the other day, black with a white face. It watched my every move and it was in my path. I think we were afraid of each other. If anybody knows what kind of FL snake is black with a white face, I would like to know. Maybe it was just an unusual racer. It had a cute face and it was a rather small snake. I'm sort of sure it wasn't a pygmy rattle snake, but not positive. (05/29/2007)
First of all, snakes really can't "jump". It probably just extended its body to crawl up through the hole.
There are a variety of snakes in the DFW metroplex that get reported as "black". Racers can be quite dark, although they usually aren't black. Kingsnakes would be black with yellow speckling, so they wouldn't look black. A Texas ratsnake can look quite dark at times, and they are commonly seen in yards. Some species of water snake in you area can get quite dark as adults, particularly the yellow-bellied watersnake.
The best suggestion I can offer is to check out Terry Hibbit's excellent website - Amphibians and Reptiles of the DFW Metroplex: http://www.kingsnake.com/dfw/ (07/20/2007)
By snake expert
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