Spring Break 2023: Pantherophis alleghaniensis (i)

Pantherophis alleghaniensis, the Eastern rat snake;
Everglades rat snake species variant
Collier county, Florida (12 March 2023).
Spring Break 2023

The first of two posts featuring this fantastic Everglades rat snake. While Eastern rat snakes are mostly yellow-with-black-stripes throughout peninsular Florida, in South Florida they start to take on a more-orange base tone on the dorsal scales. As for this particular individual, I came across it tentatively crossing a dirt road in Big Cypress. It had taken a bit of damage to the right side of its head, thus the darkened “black eye” seen below. Despite the damage, however, this rat snake seemed fairly active and alert, though certainly in need of a nice meal.

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