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Identifying a Snake

Does anyone know what type of snake resembles a garter, but is the color of a dull penny all over its body? It has no patterns. Thanks for all info!

By Trudy from in the woods, PA

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May 31, 20110 found this helpful

Google snakes my area and put your local. This should get you the types in your area but I think it is a rat snake and eats small mice, rats, roaches and bugs probably a young one, not poison.Though it might scare you to death sometimes but leave him and he will stay out of your way.

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June 13, 20110 found this helpful

Pa. Copper heads? They are poisonous.

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June 13, 20110 found this helpful

Garter snakes are striped; is this one completely solid, but copper brown? Around here, we call those "grass snakes" if they are a coppery brown with absolutely no markings (stripes, mottling, spots) on top. Do you mean that by being like a garter snake, it's long and thin and sleek rather than short, fat, chunky, triangular headed? You might consider the Northern Red Belly. There are some good photos on google if you search there - they look different in different circumstances. Around here, we have what we colloquially call a "grass snake" that is the color of an old penny with no real pattern (unless you look very very close, like within a foot or so - which most people aren't willing to do).


If you're concerned about whether or not it is dangerous, here are some hints. Pit-vipers (what we call poisonous snakes in the states) have very triangular heads, their 'jaw points" usually easily distinguishable from their neck. Non-poisonous can be either smoothly joined into the body, or a slight difference, but not like a big triangle at the end of a rop. Pit vipers also have pits on the side of their face between their nostril and eyes - but again, who gets that close? Also, non-poisonous snakes will ALWAYS have round pupils; pit vipers have slits. This is the easiest way for me to tell the difference. The reason is that sometimes non-poisonous snakes will distend their head and body to appear triangular like pit-vipers. It's their defence mechanism.


Most nonpoisonous snakes have a very vital role in keeping pests at bay, and unless this is a baby copperhead (which has a triangular head - you might google those), I suspect it's non-poisonous. But better safe than sorry!! Usually your local reptile stores are helpful in telling what snake you have, too.

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September 8, 20110 found this helpful

Garter Snakes sometimes lack stripes or a pattern and are plain brown all over. More likely though, you're looking at a Brown Snake, Storeria dekayi. Google that latin name and see if you agree.

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