Identifying a Shed Snake Skin

Lawrenceville snake

Snakes are known for their contribution to managing rodents and insects, making them a significant asset in agricultural areas. They have also been purposely introduced to some communities to avoid the damaging effect of pest invasion. Beyond the service to the ecosystem, they are also known for their unique ways of shedding their skin. Compared to most animals that will gradually shed their skin, snakes will do this in one go. It is a process known as ecdysis.

What are the Things That You Can Learn from the Shed Snake Skin?
Shed pertains to the outer layer of the snakeskin that they will release during ecdysis. It is more common to be found in your garden than the actual slithering creature. The frequency that the snakes will shed their skin will depend upon the heath, species, and age of the snake. They may do this to allow more room for growth and eliminate the parasites and bacteria in their skin. Under the right condition, you will find the snake's complete skin together with their pattern and unique markings. The snakes will not usually shed their skin near their habitat. They will be vulnerable during this process; therefore, they will be more sensitive, and they are likely to strike those who will come close to them. The skin will provide you information about the snake species; you can also determine the things that attracted this animal. You can be having a rat infestation if you have the shed skin of a rat snake.

How Can I Determine the Snake Using the Shed Skin?
When identifying the snake species using the shed skin, you will need knowledge and years of experience. Missing a tiny detail can lead to the wrong identification of a snake. Sure, you may narrow down the possible species by looking at the pictures on the internet, but the chance of committing a mistake is still high. When it comes to snake identification, you can't afford to commit an error.

For instance, you will need to know how to examine the anal plate, which is essential to distinguish a non-venomous snake from the pit vipers. The anal plate would be the last scale at the belly of the snake. It should be found at the cloaca, which is the part of the snake used for defecating, reproducing, and giving birth. Non-venomous snakes will usually have a divided anal plate except for the coral snake. Pit vipers will have a single-row of scales.

You can also rely on the head of the snake when identifying the snake. If the snake has an arrow-shaped head or a small pit between its nostrils and eyes, you are most likely housing a venomous snake; coral snakes would again be an exception to this rule. If you depend upon the color pattern, this can be quite difficult since it can be challenging to retain the colors if it has been exposed to outdoor elements.

Proper identification of a snake is essential, especially if you suspect that you are housing a venomous snake. Be sure to call the experts' assistance if you think there is a venomous reptile within your property.

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