Sistrurus miliarius barbouri, 11 December 2020

Sistrurus miliarius barbouri, the Dusky pigmy rattlesnake;
Volusia county, Florida (11 December 2020).

A Dusky pigmy rattlesnake giving me quite the stare-down. You can see that this one is approaching ecdysis, the “shedding of its skin” (or, rather, scales). Snakes don’t have eyelids; instead, they have an ocular scale, known as a brille, that covers the eye. Each time a Dusky sheds, each brille sheds as well. Thus, when snakes approach ecdysis, their eyes can appear a bit milky blue. This one still has a little way to go. The angle of the the light exacerbated the blue effect in its right eye.

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