Floridian Nature

Learn about Florida's beautiful and unique nature.

Florida Nature: Endangered Reptiles (3)
Atlantic salt marsh water snake found in FloridaAtlantic Salt Marsh Water Snake (Nerodia clarkii taeniata) Threatened- In Florida the non venomous Atlantic salt marsh snake is found along the Gulf coast from central Florida northwest to the tip of the panhandle. Outside Florida, it is found along the Gulf coast from Florida to southern Texas. This Floridian snake is commonly found along the coast in brackish and saltwater estuaries, salt marshes, and tidal mud flats. The Atlantic salt marsh water snake is a small snake averaging  15-20 inches in length. Adults are grayish with four dark longitudinal stripes on their body, two on each side. The belly is reddish-brown to gray with 1 or 3 rows of light spots. The salt marsh snake is active mainly at night, though its activity patterns may be affected by tidal patterns and seasons. Since it does not have salt glands to help it get rid of the salt it ingests from its estuarine habitat, in order to survive it must obtain freshwater, such as from rain, shifting tides, or body fluids of their prey.

Florida pine snake a snake of special concern in FloridaFlorida Pine Snake (Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus)  SSC- The non venomous Florida pine snake is found throughout the state, excluding the Florida Keys, the Everglades, extreme southwest Florida, and immediately north of Lake Okeechobee. The Florida Pine snake averages 44- 66 inches in length and  is a large stocky snake with an indistinct pattern of reddish or dark tan blotches on a tan, brownish gray, or rusty brown ground color. The pattern of dark blotches is most distinct on the hind part of the body and the tail.  This Florida snake requires dry sandy soils for burrowing. It is found most often in open pine-turkey oak woodlands and abandoned fields, and also in scrub, sand hills, and longleaf pine forest. When disturbed, the Florida pine snake will inflate and rear its fore body off the ground while hissing very loudly. Due to the alteration and fragmentation of much of Florida's upland habitats, the pine snake is no longer found in some areas of its range and is declining in others.

short tailed snake in FloridaShort Tailed Snake (Stilosoma extenuatum) Threatened-  Endemic to Florida, the non venomous short tailed snake is considered rare because it is restricted to limited habitats. The short-tailed snake is restricted to upland pine-turkey oak woodlands and dry, sandy soiled habitats such as coastal live oak hammocks and sand pine scrub. Adult snakes average 14-20 inches in length and are very slender. Short tailed snakes are grey with dark black or brown spots down the middle and dark spots on the sides. A burrowing species, it is seldom seen above ground. It is thought to feed exclusively, or nearly so, on the Florida crowned snake

florida brown snakeFlorida Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi victa) Threatened- A small thin non venomous snake, the Florida brown snake averages only 7-10 inches in length. Florida brown snakes may be rusty-brown or grayish, with a faint light mid-dorsal stripe and flecking on the sides. There is a light band across the back of head. There is a dark spot on the upper lip scales under the eye. The belly is tan to pinkish, with black dots along the edges. In Florida, it is found through out the peninsula and upper keys.The Florida brown snake is found near hardwood hammocks, pinelands, bogs, marshes, ponds, swamps, and sloughs, and generally feeds on slugs, snails and earthworms.

Florida rim rock crowned snakeRim Rock Crown Snake (Tantilla oolitica) Threatened- Found only in Dade and Monroe counties on a low elevation pine ridge called the Miami Rim Rock formation, and upper Florida keys from Key Largo to Marathon, this small non venomous snake measures an average 6-9 inches. Adults are tan with a black head, chin and back of neck. The rim rock crowned snake is a terrestrial burrower, mainly seen only under limestone rocks, logs, leaf litter, and other debris. The type specimen came from a now-vanished vacant lot in Miami, where it was found on the Miami Rim Rock made up of oolitic limestone. Therefore it was given the name, Tantilla oolitica. Since then, less than 10 individuals have found. It is extremely rare!

Florida Penisula  Ribbon SnakeFlorida Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus sackeni) Threatened- This non venomous snake occurs from the eastern panhandle, throughout the peninsula.  Commonly found in pinelands, hardwood hammocks, cypress strands, prairies, marshes, streams, ponds, bogs, and stands of melaleuca, The peninsula ribbon snake is semi aquatic and active during the day. It is frequently found along the banks of canals and ditches, and around houses in residential areas. After heavy rains, it is sometimes found at night crossing roads in search of food (small fishes, frogs, salamanders, and earthworms). Averaging 20-28 inches the Florida Ribbon Snake slender-bodied, olive-brown with a light tan or brown mid-dorsal stripe.

Florida bluetail mole skinkBluetail Mole Skink (Eumeces egregius lividus) SSC- The bluetail mole skink is a small, slender lizard that occupies  upland habitats of the Central Ridge peninsula of Florida. Mole skinks are found in sand hills and scrub. They often like to be buried underground and live there. The Bluetail Mole Skink grows to 9 to 3 to 6 inches, and a shares habitat with the Sand Skink. Like other mole skinks, it feeds primarily on cockroaches, spiders, and crickets.
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