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Need Help Identifying a snake
Old 07-18-2007, 09:35 PM   #1
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Need Help Identifying a snake

I just had a snake slither through my back yard and I'd like to know what type it is. Even thought I live near a (creek 20 - 30 feet from my back fence) and have an open wrought iron fence to the 'outside', this is the first snake I've seen in the 3 1/2 years I've lived here.

It was a slim reddish brown snake with cream colored banding. The banding is pretty even, maybe every 1/2 inch alternating brown and cream. The brown is the color of my shredded redwood bark.

I've done some searches, and can't find that particular snake. I don't want to let my cat outside until I know it isn't poisonous. Or me too.

I live in California, east of Sacramento 25 miles or so. I'd appreciate any help. Thanks.
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:42 PM   #2
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Highly unlikely that your snake is poisonous. Sounds like one of the many varieties of what are commonly called "grass snakes".

There are only 4 venomous snakes in North America, although there are several varieties of some (rattlesnake, coral snake). This site will show you photos of each variety.

Poisonous Snakes In North America
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:52 PM   #3
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i used to take care of the snakes and the bunnies at summer camp.

here's your snake...

california king. never saw one before. very pretty. according to wiki it eats venomous snakes. sounds like you should keep him around. also says they make good pets. you gotta name picked out yet?
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:02 PM   #4
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I think you're right...California King. Though this one had more even banding, but maybe it was a youngster. The color is right on. It was maybe 2 to 2 1/2 feet long.

I'm not partial to snakes so now I'm going to be watching for it every time I go outside. Thanks for the ID help. I just realized I really hate snakes..
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:21 PM   #5
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I came across a 5'+ California King while hiking out of the Eastern Sierra a few
years back. Very impressive. It was stretched out sunning, almost as long as I am
tall (I laid down and compared). One of their occasional meals is rattlesnakes.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:10 AM   #6
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Wadda forum. If I have weird questions I always post here first. Chances are I won't have to go to a specialty site.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:17 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Wadda forum. If I have weird questions I always post here first. Chances are I won't have to go to a specialty site.


I have dropped off 2 other forums because I get more info here than anywhere else.
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:53 AM   #8
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OH MY GAHD!!!! THAT'S A DEADLY CORAL PITBULL VIPER MAMBA SALSA COBRA MOCCASIN!!!! Even it's path is deadly!









or not. bad info a specialty.
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:09 AM   #9
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I stepped over, unknowingly, a 3 foot bullsnake right at our front door a few weeks ago. Once I realized it, I damn-neart shat myself. Not a big snake fan. But I'm willing to put up with if it helps control the rodent population, though. If only I could tell if the scaley little sucker is doing it's job
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:41 AM   #10
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Hey KB, since it sounds like you live about a mile from me...what you're seeing is either the king snake, a racer or a common garden/garter snake. I've lived around here for over 11 years and havent ever seen an actual rattlesnake.

On the rattler, the head is bigger than the neck. On the others its a pretty smooth transition from head size to neck size.

Most snakes are way more afraid of you and if given the opportunity will just slither away and go off to eat some nice mice and maybe other snakes.

The wild turkey and peacocks allegedly eat the smaller snakes.

If it bugs you, call animal control and they'll come out and remove it.
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:09 PM   #11
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"Most snakes are more afraid of you."

Does the snake know this??
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:57 PM   #12
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CFB, I'm just over the hill from you.

I didn't see any rattles, the tail end was very tapered and slender. I didn't see the head...or didn't realize it was the head. Believe me, I didn't go near it. Just looked across the yard.

I do have wild turkeys wander by occasionally, and there are peacocks across the road and up the hill...hopefully they keep the snake population down. I haven't seen it today, hopefully it headed back to where ever it lives.

And I'll keep animal control in mind. It if hangs out, I'll certainly call them.

Are you on the west side of EDH?
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:07 PM   #13
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Wadda forum. If I have weird questions I always post here first. Chances are I won't have to go to a specialty site.
This is exactly why I posted this here. So many people with different interests and knowledge.

Plus, a lot of people on this forum are home during the day
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:43 PM   #14
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We're darn close to becoming the SOAK.

(Source Of All Knowledge)
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:46 PM   #15
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CFB, I'm just over the hill from you.

I didn't see any rattles, the tail end was very tapered and slender. I didn't see the head...or didn't realize it was the head. Believe me, I didn't go near it. Just looked across the yard.

I do have wild turkeys wander by occasionally, and there are peacocks across the road and up the hill...hopefully they keep the snake population down. I haven't seen it today, hopefully it headed back to where ever it lives.

And I'll keep animal control in mind. It if hangs out, I'll certainly call them.

Are you on the west side of EDH?
It's almost certainly a king snake. Exact patterns vary between snakes of the same species, so the picture posted earlier may look slightly different than the snake you saw. These snakes are extraordinarily beneficial and are not poisonous.

This is an excellent site with pictures of a wide variety of cold blooded California vertebrates
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