From the archives: Stories to step up your snake savviness

Eastern hog-nosed snake (Photo by Ken Towle)

Eastern hog-nosed snake (Photo by Ken Towle)

July 13, 2015 | by Wendy Ho | 0 Comments

Did you know that July 16 is World Snake Day? While snakes may not be your typical poster child of all things cute and cuddly, they are fascinating and admirable in their own way. Celebrate snakes with us by learning about these slithery creatures.

Hop on social media and share these 12 tweetable facts about Canadian snakes.

See how Nature Conservancy of Canada staff conducted a summer-long monitoring study on queen snakes and wood turtles in southern Ontario.

And check out the featured species gallery for a description of what species of snakes might be in your area.

  • In Canada, the blue racer is only found on Pelee Island (Photo by Ron Gould/OMNR)
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    Blue racer, Pelee Island, Ontario (Photo by Ron Gould/OMNR)
  • The northern brownsnake is primarily nocturnal and grows up to 50 cm (Photo by Mike VanValen)
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    Northern brownsnake (Photo by Mike VanValen)
  • Eastern foxsnakes can both swim and climb trees (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)
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    Eastern foxsnake, Ontario (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)
  • The red-bellied snake is primarily nocturnal, living along forest edges (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)
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    Red-bellied snake, Ontario (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)
  • Northern watersnakes are excellent swimmers; the Lake Erie watersnake is a subspecies of the northern (Photo by NCC)
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    Northern watersnake, Northern Bruce Peninsula, Ontario (Photo by NCC)
  • The common gartersnake is the most widely distributed reptile in Canada (Photo by NCC)
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    Common gartersnake, Manitoulin Island, Ontario (Photo by NCC)
  • In Canada, Butler's gartersnake is found only in Ontario; it is easily confused with the common gartersnake and northern ribbonsnake (Photo by Dan Mullen)
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    Butler's gartersnake (Photo by Dan Mullen)
  • The northern ribbonsnake can be differentiated from the gartersnakes by the white spot in front of its eye (Photo by Jon Fife)
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    Northern ribbonsnake (Photo by Jon Fife)
  • The red-sided gartersnake is considered a subspecies of the common gartersnake (Photo by Ben Lowe)
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    Red-sided gartersnake (Photo by Ben Lowe)
  • The harmless eastern hog-nosed snake will mimic cobras and rattlesnakes to ward off threats (Photo by Ben Lowe)
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    Eastern hog-nosed snake (Photo by Ben Lowe)
  • The eastern hog-nosed snake even goes so far as to play dead when threatened, putting on a whole show of writhing before rolling over (Photo by Natalie McNear)
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    An eastern hog-nosed snake playing dead (Photo by Natalie McNear)
  • Queen snakes are usually found near streams where their food of choice - crayfish - can be easily found (Photo by Joe Crowley/OMNR)
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    Queen snake, Ontario (Photo by Joe Crowley/OMNR)
  • The smooth greensnake is excellently camouflaged among shrubs and grasses (Photo by NCC)
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    Smooth greensnake, Manitoulin Island, Ontario (Photo by NCC)
  • The gray ratsnake is Canada's largest snake and spends a lot of time high up in trees (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)
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    Gray ratsnake, Ontario (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)
  • The ring-necked snake is primarily nocturnal and feeds largely on redback salamanders (Photo by Ben Lowe)
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    Ring-necked snake (Photo by Ben Lowe)
  • Distinguishable by its rattle, the eastern massasauga is Ontario's only venemous snake but is generally not aggressive (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)
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    Eastern massassauga, Ontario (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)
  • The milksnake is a constrictor though it likes to vibrate its tail like a rattlesnake when threatened (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)
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    Milksnake, Ontario (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

 

About the Author

Wendy Ho is Nature Conservancy of Canada's editorial coordinator.

Read more about Wendy Ho.

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