My Favorite Snake
My favorite snake showed up the other morning.
I love the bright turquoise stripes on this Western Ribbonsnake, and the beautiful lines it forms as it moves.
The last time I saw this species here was May of 2011! I don’t think this is that same individual; that one was longer. Back then, I had a hard time identifying it – I could tell it was a ribbonsnake, but there weren’t any blue-striped snakes in the two guide books I had. It turns out that there are four subspecies of Thamnophis proximus, and different colorations appear in different places, and the four subspecies interbreed. Herps of Arkansas gives its common name as Orange-striped Ribbonsnake, and they have lovely pictures of the different colorways, as we artist-types say. Some of the distinguishing marks (that I would never notice until they were point out to me) are two little white marks on the crown of the head, and a rear-facing white mark right in front of each eye.
I found a freshly-shed snake skin a few weeks ago, and I think it was from this snake, because there was a faint orange stripe right down the middle of the back.
It is amazing to me how you can see the scales that were over the eyes.
Even if you don’t like snakes, I hope you find this one is adorable. First of all, that blue color does not show up in animals often. And here, let me show it to you with long ears and eyelashes, and you will see how it looks just like a cartoon bunny.