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Natural History/Field Observation Field observations of corn snakes, field collecting, or just general topics about the natural environment they are found in.

Field Herping Charlotte County FL
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:29 PM   #1
Field Herping Charlotte County FL

I was wondering if anyone is doing any field herping in Charlotte County Florida? I walk with my dogs almost every day, and cover a lot of ground on my bike too. I've seen some awesome corn snakes, including one that appeared to be a Butter. My latest sighting was an adult corn that was very dark brown with dark burgundy colored saddles. I've seen sub-adults here with the same color pattern, and the colors are muted almost like the snakes were about to shed. Anerys are common to the south of us and Pine Island isn't too far, where the Charcoals are said to be found. I saw one smaller sized Anery last month.

Within the past 3 years I've seen Legless lizards, Brahminy Blind snakes, an awesome Yellow Rat snake, Ringneck snakes, Ribbon snakes, Garter snakes, Coachwhips, lots of Black Racers, a Scarlet Kingsnake, Banded Watersnake, and two Diamondback Rattlers. A few more I haven't identified yet. I haven't taken any snakes from the wild, but I may capture a few to take pictures and release them where I found them. (except the rattlers)
Old 01-28-2017, 01:27 AM   #2
Rich Z
Connie and I used to vacation in Englewood nearly every May and September years ago, so of course we were out herping a lot of times. But the place has been so developed lately, that the places we used to hunt and road cruise are either gone, or developed way beyond recognition. For instance at the intersection of routes 771 and 41, where the town of Murdock is located, 771 used to dead end at 41, and on the east side of 41 was an old abandoned cement factory of some sort. That is where I caught a female corn that wound up carrying the Lavender gene. You know all the strip malls and housing developments there now? Nothing like that back when we used to prowl that area. The roads were all there, apparently from failed development projects, so we used to road cruise there a lot in the mornings and late evenings.

Kind of amazes me that indigo snakes used to abound in that area, but that fact didn't slow down development even a little bit.

Anyway, my mom used to live down there near Manasota Key, and we used to visit with her fairly frequently until she passed away a couple of years ago. Honestly, with the rampant development, it breaks my heart seeing the way it is now, and knowing how it used to be. So except for an occasional passing through trip, Connie and I don't visit the area any longer. Heck, I remember when Manasota Key Road was mostly unpaved, and I found snake trails literally covering the sandy road that went through the southern end of the peninsula to Stump Pass. My parents first took me to that area when I was a young kid, and to me, the place was absolute paradise. It truly sickens me to see what the land developers and real estate agents have done to the place.

Had a memory just pop into my head. Last year Connie and I were passing through the area and we went to the house where my mom lived before she died. She was living with a guy, sort of a mutual support thing for an aging man and woman, and the house is now vacant as he passed away not long after my mom did. Felt very odd see the place looking abandoned with a FOR SALE sign out front. Funny how you think time should just stop at places that are out of sight.

My mom and dad had bought a place right on Englewood beach that they had till they divorced. That is another odd feeling seeing that place. I can remember my dad coming home from work while we were visiting and just change into his bathing suit, grab a beer and walk out into the gulf just up to his knees and stand there looking out over the water. In a way, I think Englewood was his paradise too, because he never left there, even after the beach house was sold during the divorce. It was alcohol that finally killed him.

Sorry about going WAY off topic...
Old 01-28-2017, 11:46 PM   #3
I live just a half mile from Englewood off Gasparilla. There's a subdivision nearby that never quite took off, so the roads are there but few houses. There's also Rotonda and on my end there are few houses, so I can bike through miles of streets. We used to have a lot of wild hogs in my area and I believe they killed many of the snakes, but we would hear shots at night and the hogs have all disappeared. Bad for the hogs but good for the snakes. I should probably start carrying a camera to get some pictures of the corns I see, but I may not see any for a month and then see two on the same day.
Old 01-29-2017, 12:13 AM   #4
Rich Z
Have you seen any indigo snakes back in there?

Also, have you tried cruising Burnt Store Road down to Cape Coral?
Old 01-29-2017, 12:54 AM   #5
I haven't seen a single indigo yet, but still looking. I have been on Burnt Store Road all the way to Ft. Myers and back several times, also cruised around Cape Coral. I've also driven to Immokalee, Arcadia, and Pine Island several times. I've driven around east of Murdock several times and also North Port. I saw one of the most beautiful albino coral snakes coming out of a ditch near North Port. It was about 3 feet long but very quickly beat a hasty retreat when I tried to get a better look at it. I told my friends to keep an eye out for interesting snakes and to call me.
Old 01-29-2017, 10:01 AM   #6
I live near jacksonville Florida. And I have only seen two indigos in the wild myself one was about 8' and in baker county and the other was in keystone and was about 5' - 6' that one was trying to get across 100 and I stopped to help it go I just gave it a foot to push off of. It was funny to see it trying to cross and not going anywhere like me on ice lol

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Old 01-30-2017, 02:28 PM   #7
I'll tell you something about Eastern Diamondbacks here. One 5 footer was run over crossing the street by my house. It was fat and healthy looking right up to the point that a car ran it over. The funny thing was that its rattles were so small that they made no sound when you shook them. The tail was long and pointed, but I thought it was still possible that it had suffered some damage at some point. About a month later my brother-in-law called and said he killed a rattlesnake in Lehigh Acres. I told him it may have been just a hognose snake, because he said it had no rattles, and he didn't need to kill it. But it had bitten his large dog, and he showed the snake to the Vet so they could provide the proper anti-venom. It was identified as an Eastern Diamondback for sure. He sent me a picture of it and it was 6 feet long. Unfortunately the dog died despite having anti-venom shots for two days. Now I'm extremely careful herping in the scrub brush
Old 03-13-2017, 08:47 PM   #8
I have 2 "Snake Hooks" that I carry when I'm out in the rough. One is a small Telescopic Hook that goes from about 12 inches long to about 3 feet. It's light weight and cheap, for smaller snakes. I bought it online for a few bucks. The other is a more sturdy one that I made at work. It's made of steel and about 4 feet long.

I don't dare go "Snake hunting" without them, for several reasons - 1. They come in handy to fend off the "Bad Ones you don't see" after they have you in the crosshairs, 2. It's easier to pick up a snake in order to move it to another location. Almost any wild snake will try to bite, although most rat snakes, corn snakes and king snakes will mellow out after they realize you mean them no harm.

We have lots of Corn Snakes as well as Eastern King snakes, and Grey Rat snakes here in Tennessee, but also Copperheads, Water Moccasins, Timber Rattlers, and Eastern Diamondbacks. I've heard we also have Pygmy Rattlers here but I have never seen one yet.

Interestingly - It's against the Law in Tennessee to kill a snake. Period! Any kind! Although a lot of people still do.
Old 03-13-2017, 09:49 PM   #9
Rich Z
Connie and I still have our Furmont stump rippers. ->

Of course, we call them "rump rippers".

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