Spring Break 2018: The Brown Watersnake, 14 March 2018

Nerodia taxispilota, the Brown watersnake;
Monroe county, Florida (14 March 2018).
Series: Spring Break 2018.

Featured here is one of many Brown watersnakes (Nerodia taxispilota) I photographed during our Spring Break 2018 romp throughout south Florida. This was far and away the most abundant snake species we encountered over the trip. Tons of them.

This particular individual was getting close to ecdysis — the shedding of its scales. When you see a snake with a bluish sheen on its eye, that signifies ecdysis is near. Snakes don’t actually have eyelids. Instead, they have an ocular scale (known as a brille) covering each eye. When the snake sheds its “skin” (meaning “scales”), it will also shed each brille — thus giving the snake a brand new set of ocular scales through which to see the world in all of its dangerous glory.

Below, I added a bonus shot of another Brown watersnake photographed in situ to represent how this species prefers to bask (typically on foliage directly over water).

 

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