Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rough Green Snake

Photographer: Dennis Stewart

Title: If you move I STRIKE!

I encountered this fellow as I was hiking along a trail just outside of Fort Worth, Texas this afternoon. Very difficult to spot, as it is camouflaged well within the green foliage it dwells within. This particular shot was taken with my Nikon D300 camera with a 105mm macro lens attached. My goal was to get the snake coming at me, hence after some difficult maneuvering, I was successful.
Rough Green snakes have been found in a variety of places, including blackberry bushes, grapevines, shrubs, roadside ditches, open grassy meadows, and marshy grass. The Rough Green Snake is diurnal. People who have seen it in nature call it a “graceful, mild-tempered tree-dweller.” It moves slowly through vegetation, its green color making it almost invisible. This snake swims so well that one author calls it “almost semi-aquatic, freely entering shallow bodies of water.”

The rough green snake has many predators. The black racer and the eastern king snake each readily take green snakes for food. Raptors (hawks and eagles), foxes, and house cats (domestic and feral) also capture and eat green snakes. Human impacts on this species can also be profound. Destruction of habitats favored by the rough green snake is a major cause of the species’ declining numbers. Also, many snakes hunting for insects in grassy areas are killed by lawn mowers, and these snakes, because of their mild dispositions, are also collected to be sold and kept as pets.

Check out all of my SNAKE photography and other wildlife shots in my gallery!