Missouri Wildlife with Kaje: My Top Five Snakes to Catch

This was going to be a top ten, but then I realized that there aren’t many more than ten species that I encounter, some of which are too boring to mention. Instead, here’s my top five followed by the top snakes I’d like to catch.

#5: Black Snake
While it’s the second most common snake I find, they’re still a treat. Its large size provides some challenge, and each one has its own unique appearance. Yesterday I found one with only one eye and a partially healed gaping stomach wound. Nice.

Image c/o Missouri Conservation Dept.

#4: Rough Green Snake
The rough green snake is no challenge at all. You can just scoop it up without a care in the world, because it never bites. Ever. It’s also gorgeous. Even my mom likes this snake, and she hates snakes.

#3: Prairie Ring-Necked Snake
Another no-challenge lightweight that squeaks by on appearance alone. It’s merely cute while right side up…

…but when alarmed, its tail curls up, revealing the brilliant orange hue of the underbelly.

#2: Bullsnake
Missouri’s largest snake, it’s also becoming increasingly rare, at least in my neck of the woods. It has an intimidating threat response, unleashing a deafening hiss with mouth agape.

#1: Yellow-bellied Racer

The blue racer is a bastard to catch, and a gem to behold. It’s fast. It’s mean. It can get a pretty good size. And it’s always lovely. Especially the eyes. Five stars.

Now! Some snakes I’d like to catch:

Speckled Kingsnake. Hur hur pretty.

Eastern Coachwhip. A racer on steroids. I heard of one herpetologist who tried his whole life to catch one of these.

Copperhead. Just to say I did.

Timber Rattler. See “copperhead”.

Hog-nose Snake. These things are supposedly hilarious. They’ve got pig noses, they puff themselves up, and they play dead. You make me laugh, Inflatable Zombie PigSnake. Let me catch you!


7 Responses to “Missouri Wildlife with Kaje: My Top Five Snakes to Catch”

  1. 1 Calvin and Luther Will Kick Your Atheist Behind
    March 30, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    This is the best post that you have done.

    Simple, educational, fun to read.

  2. 2 Jim
    April 3, 2010 at 3:50 am

    That was fun! I hadn’t thought about some of these critters since Boy Scout camp.

  3. April 5, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I am obviously slacking. I need to come up with something offensive and convoluted next.

  4. April 8, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    I love snakes. I don’t go around catching them however, I just observe them in their natural habitat. I have met many a copper head and cotton mouth.

  5. 5 Whitney B. Fair
    May 8, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    I love the Prairie Ring-Necked Snake, so cute and sweet and beautiful. I am glad I got to see one and hold it before releasing it back into the wild. The pictures are great. 🙂

  6. 6 Adam Hamlin
    May 24, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    I have found everything on that list but the bull snake. The bull snake happens to be my white whale.

    • May 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      I’ve only encountered three of those ever since I’ve started snaking. I remember they were more numerous when I was little; I’m afraid that something is taking a dent out of their populations.

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