An Unfortunate Visitor to the Porch

Yesterday I found this little snake on the screened porch (aka catio).

Obviously one of the cats found it first. But I have not for certain identified the poor victim. For size and body color, it is very like a Florida or Peninsular Crowned Snake – those can be pale to medium brown but usually have dark heads. They on get 9-13″ long as adults so that fits our little guy. He has tentatively been identified as a eastern smooth earth snake (Virginia valeriae) by Shelby Burgess, Wildlife Assistance Biologist, Division of Habitat and Species Conservation, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“The smooth earth snake is a small — 7-10 inches (18-25.4 cm) –- somewhat heavy-bodied, brown to gray snake with smooth scales and a pointed snout. Most individuals have small black spots scattered on the back and sides. The belly is tan to whitish and is not sharply defined in color from the color of the sides (as in the worm snake, Carphophis amoenus, and red-bellied snake, Storeria occipitomaculata). Smooth scales differentiate this species from the similar rough earth snake (Virginia striatula) and brown snakes (Storeria dekayi). Individuals from the Coastal Plain are generally smaller than those from the Piedmont and mountains.”

I hope he had relatives that will continue to live in our mulch – but I hope they are smarter than he was and they don’t come onto the porch where the cats will get them!

Now not only do the cats have unknown numbers of spiders and cockroaches on their death ledger, they have one tiny, inoffensive snake.

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