May 29, 2013


Lurking by ricmcarthur
Lurking, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This Eastern Fox Snake was sunning at the edge of a walking path. It wasn't moving so it was hard to see. Not sure why I looked down at that point.

The following is from he Royal Ontario Museum web site:
The Eastern Fox Snake (Pantherophis gloydi) is Ontario's second-largest snake after its close relative, the Eastern Ratsnake (Elaphe obsoleta), and usually grows to about one metre long (some individuals grow to 1.75 metres). Eastern Fox Snakes have a reddish head and a yellowish-brown body with dark blotches down the back and a row of smaller blotches along each side. They are usually found near water in both marsh and woodland, and often near human habitation. They will enter barns and travel along roads and ditches when hunting for small rodents and birds, which are killed by constriction. Fox snakes are good swimmers, and they have been recorded swimming over two kilometres between islands. In late summer, females lay their eggs in rotting logs, though they have also been known to use sawdust piles and manure heaps. As temperatures drop in the fall, snakes will converge on local communal overwintering sites (called hibernacula). Individual fox snakes may travel several kilometres to these underground hibernacula.

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