Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pygmy Rattlesnakes

See it?


Here's a great example of disruptive coloration in action. With disruptive coloration, you are not trying to match some background perfectly ... like a green katydid on a green leaf ...
Rather, you are using spots, stripes, or a combination of the two to break up your outline so you vanish into whatever background is present.


Some backgrounds are better than others for vanishing.

This pygmy rattlesnake was crossing a gravelly lime rock road in the woods on a wildly productive critter ride last Sunday... more pics to come this week from that ride.

I took a few pics and then encouraged it to slide on off the road into the safety of the bush. This is our smallest rattlesnake here in Florida, but you still need to give it plenty of space as it packs a powerful hemotoxic venom like it's bigger cousins, the diamondback and canebrake rattlers.

...So watch where you step.

17 comments:

tai haku said...

Sweet! I'm heading to the glades to try and find some of these (and one of them Floridian Burmese Pythons) in a few weeks. This has mroe than whetted the appetite

Mark said...

Nice. I had to study that photo to see the snake. I imagine that if it were moving it would be easier to see.

robin andrea said...

You do get to see the best critters, fc. I actually could see the snake in the grass. Disruptive coloration, a very cool adaptive strategy for survival.

Sayre said...

He's a beauty! We have them up here in North Florida too. Not unusual to see them on bike rides in the slash pine forests. When my husband sees one, he rides by extra fast so the dogs won't notice it.

Debris said...

Wow, it makes you wonder about what types of things you pass everyday! My wife and I are on our way to a park today so I'll take some pictures if we see anything good! Nice pictures FC!

Sincerely,
Debris
http://DebrisCentral.Blogspot.com

Dani said...

GORGEOUS!!

Anonymous said...

gee I wish I hadn't seen that, as much time as I spend scuffing around my yard in slippers...

David said...

Def getting to be snake season in N. Fla...especially with all this rain.

Good pics.

Doug Taron said...

Sistrurus miliarius? We have Sistrurus catenatus (Eastern Massasauga) up here. It's the Chicago area's only rattlesnake, and an endangered species. We have a beautiful female on display at the museum. Nice shots, and great illustration of disruptive coloring.

Floridacracker said...

Tai,
You are one travelling dude, dude. Have fun!

Mark,
Yes, a little, but still very missable.

Robin,
This was an especially fruitful spur of the moment ride!

Sayre,
That is always my fear that the dog will take notice before I can grab him.

Debris,
Hope y'all found something good.

Dani,
Really neat colors huh!

Anon,
Look before you scuffle.

David,
Yes, the rain really had the critters moving this day.

Doug,
Strange to think of rattlesnakes as endangered. I see them often enough here, although mainly diamondbacks and never the canebrake (timber) rattler.

Rurality said...

Wow, that is good camo. I didn't see the top one at first and thought you were making a joke and those were rattlesnake ferns in the pic!

Floridacracker said...

Rurality,
Hah!
What me joke?
I was being straight this time!

SophieMae said...

Beauty! We had a cottonmouth in the front yard yesterday. Reckon it's a good year for snakes. I have yet to see a (live) black racer this season, though.

Ericka said...

lol - i missed the snake at first 'cause i was squinting at the leaves, looking for katydids.

ooh, that snake is beautiful! is that black/grey their normal coloration? the rattlesnakes i've seen (only a couple out in the wild) have been brown. beautiful, but brown.

Floridacracker said...

Sophie, The racers were the first snakes of the season for me.

Ericka,
It may be the prettiest rattler ever.

tsiya said...

Out of all the snakes I've messed with a Dusky Pygmy was the only one to nail me. I was pulling weeds on the drainfield.
It wasn't as bad as the Brown Recluse bite, that one almost finished me off,

Stacey063 said...

Don't these look like hognosed snakes? I'm still not sure which kind I was standing next to (once) in my front yard, but we ran quickly without looking too closely!