Black Snake: Although all snakes have a head, a tail, and a cylindrical body, there is enough variety of black snakes to distinguish over 3,400 species. They live in a wide variety of habitats, including deserts, jungles, and oceans.
Neotropical Sunbeam Black Snake (loxocemus bicolor)
The lone individual in its family is the neotropical sunbeam snake. Although it has a pelvic girdle and a pair of spur-like vestigial hind legs, it lacks additional features that would identify it as a member of the python family. It is a reclusive, semi-burrowing species that lives in woods in Central America and is seldom ever observed.
This snake prefers to raid iguana and sea turtle nests for eggs, while it also eats small mammals and reptiles. With the help of its sharp snout and a looped head and neck, it excavates them by dragging sand or soil out of the burrow. It coils around the turtle eggs and swallows them whole. Once it locates a nest, it consumes a lot of eggs; some animals have been discovered with more than 30 iguana egg shells inside of them. Rodents and frogs are typically eaten by captive specimens.
- Central America
- Tropical dry forest
- 3¼–4½ft (1–1.4m)
Eurasian Blind Snake (Typhlops Vermicularis)
This little snake only comes to the surface when flooding drives, it from its underground home. It has a cylindrical body, a small head, and tiny eyes that appear as tiny black dots because they are encased in translucent scales. This species, like all blind snakes, spends the most of its time below, digging tunnels in the ground to travel through while in quest of food. The snake may rest where the tunnels emerge under a rock to absorb heat, but if discovered, it quickly disappears down the tunnel. It helps it gain traction when pushing through soil by having a little spine on the tip of its tail.
Blind snakes consume a variety of tiny invertebrates; however, they tend to concentrate on ants and their pupae. This species’ breeding habits are almost completely unknown; however, its eggs are elongated and have points on both ends.
- E. Europe and parts of W. Asia
- Open, dry places
- 12–16 in (30–40 cm)
- Nocturnal and diurnal
Black-Headed Python (Aspidites melanocephalus)
The body of the black-headed python is narrow, and its head is relatively small. It is distinctive in that it lacks heat pits on the face, setting it apart from other closely related womas like A. ramsayi. The lack of heat pits may be due to its preference for cold-blooded prey. Although it occasionally eats small mammals and birds, it primarily consumes other reptiles, notably poisonous snakes.
This species dwells on the ground and conceals itself in caves, cracks in the rocks, and abandoned animal burrows. Despite being primarily nocturnal, in cool conditions it may come out during the day. The females lay their eggs in underground chambers, beneath logs or roots. Like the majority of pythons, they coil around the eggs to protect them and regulate their temperature until they hatch, which takes 60 to 80 days.
- Dry woodland and rocky outcrops
- Up to 81
- 2 ft (2.6 m)
- Mainly nocturnal
Reticulated Python (Broghammerus reticulatus)
Although the anaconda (p.44) is frequently heavier, this is the largest python and most likely the longest snake in the entire planet. Its mottled colouring and markings make it difficult to spot in its jungle environment, despite its enormous size. It may easily overpower and devour a deer or a monkey because it feeds on animals. It feeds on domestic birds, pigs, goats, dogs, and humans have been reported to be eaten on several occasions in places where it is found close to villages. After a large meal, the snake may take several days to digest it, during which time it rests alone. Young specimens are adept climbers and frequently coil on trees that hang over rivers and streams, but as they get bigger, they become more terrestrial.
Females lay large groups of white eggs, coiling around them for protection and to keep the temperature just right for incubation. The eggs mature over the course of seven weeks, and the hatchlings are around 2-314 feet (0.6-1m) long when they emerge. After the eggs hatch, the mother has no further involvement in the children’s rearing.
- Southeast Asia
- Rainforest and plantations
- 20–26ft (6–8m)
White-Lipped Python (Leiopython Black Snake)
The white-lipped python, also known as the D’albertis’ python, has a range of sizes and colours. Those from the north of the range are brown or bronze in colour with contrasting head and lip coloration, whilst those from the south are iridescent dark brown with a cream bottom. The status of this species is somewhat unclear, especially with regard to the populations of remote island groups. Some specialists believe that it should be classified into five different species, despite the fact that the differences between them are frequently ill-defined.
When threatened, the white-lipped python may hide in its usual hiding place, which is adjacent to water. This non-venomous snake suffocates its prey to death by choking it. It usually eats small animals and birds, though young individuals will occasionally consume lizards and frogs. This agitated snake is constantly unpredictable and prone to lunge and bite, making it difficult to train in captivity.
- New Guinea and neighboring islands, and Indonesia
- 6–734 ft (1.8–2.4m)
Tree Pythons (Morelia Viridis)
This type of python, which is quite unusual and appealing, is bright green with a yellow underside and various white markings on its body. Juveniles are yellow or red, and by the time they are a year old, they have taken on the green colour. The snout and lip scales of this python have quite noticeable heat pits as well.
The tree pythons, an arboreal species, relaxes during the day by wrapping several coils of its body over a tree branch with its head in the centre; the emerald tree boa also adopts this position (p.41). From here, it attacks prey, coiling around the victim after grabbing it with its fangs. The species is well-liked by snake lovers and reproduces easily in captivity, despite needing specialised care.
- New Guinea and Australia (Queensland)
- 3¼–5ft (1–1.5m)
Ball Python Rescue | Royal Python
The Royal Python is also known as the “Ball Python” because of its propensity to roll into a ball with its own head in the centre when threatened. One of the most beautiful python species, with dark brown and tan patterns. When seen alone, its natural colour stands out, yet when it’s hiding amid fallen leaves, it makes a superb camouflage. The python hides the shape of its head with the help of stripes on either side of its eyes, making it challenging to identify the snake.
Because of its small size and peaceful disposition, this species is among the most preferred as pets. Up until recently, many were shipped from Africa, but now captive-bred animals are widely accessible. Additionally, several colour variations that have developed from captive strains have been selectively selected to produce a variety of hues and patterns. Many of these are given creative names to make them more marketable, and some of the more unique morphs even fetch higher prices in the pet trade.
- Lowland rainforest
- 3 1⁄4–5ft (1–1.5m)
Anacondas, arguably the biggest snake in the world, can weigh up to 440 lb (200 kg). It is a semi-aquatic species that is native to South America, and adults of large individuals find it difficult to hold their bulky bodies on land. Anacondas are capable of killing humans and feed on mammals including deer, capybaras, and caiman. They frequently lurk in shallow water with only their eyes protruding above the surface. When an animal approaches the water’s edge to drink, they ambush it, coiling their bodies around it to kill via drowning or constriction.
Males have larger pelvic spurs than females, which they employ during courtship. They are also smaller than females. Up to 10 males may frequently construct a mating ball in the water during mating in an endeavour to impregnate a single female. The young are relatively huge, measuring 28–32 in (70–80 cm) in length, and are born in the water.
Profile of Anaconda
- South America
- Rainforest and in swamps and rivers
- Up to 26 ft (8 m), possibly more
Calabar Ground Black Snake
The Calabar ground black snake is a solitary species that often dwells underground. When in danger, it defends itself by raising its tail, which is formed and coloured like its head, and concealing its head between its coils. The purpose of this protection strategy is to divert a predator’s attack away from the tail.
It is rarely observed on the surface, probably eats nestling mice and other rodents that it discovers in burrows. It may consume an entire litter in one sitting and kills its prey by pressing them up against the burrow’s walls. Its tiny mouth is not designed to accommodate ingesting huge prey. The females deposit one to four rather big eggs at the end of the dry season, but they do not stay with them while they are being incubated.
- Rainforest and plantations
- 3–3½ft (0.9–1.1m)
Rat Snake in House
The look of the Trans-Pecos ratsnake is distinctive. It has a clear yellow or tan tint and one of two patterns on its back: either widely spaced circular patches of grey with no longitudinal lines or two black lines running down its back and joined together by crossbands. In addition to the numerous caves and fissures that litter the limestone rocks and canyons in its area, it has also been discovered amid the roots of cacti and agave plants. But the majority of specimens are discovered crossing streets at night. Even when handled, this slow-moving snake hardly ever tries to bite. It releases a foul-smelling scent when confronted by rapacious creatures and birds.
This extremely elusive snake, which is typically only spotted in male form even then and only in the late spring, is most likely slithering around in quest of a mate. The majority of other North American snakes’ females lay their eggs later, and they frequently hatch in the fall or early winter.
- C. North America
- Rocky desert
- 2 3⁄4–5 1⁄4 ft (0.8–1.6m)
Mangrove Black Snake
The mangrove black snake is a sizable arboreal forest snake that is frequently spotted curled up in the branches of trees and bushes near riverbanks. It also goes by the names cat-eyed snake and gold-ringed catsnake. This species has prominent ridges running down the middle of its back and big, shiny scales. Its body is slightly flattened from side to side, especially in the neck area, and it has a big, triangular head. Because of this, it has more rigidity, much like a girder, and can extend to span spaces between branches.
The mangrove snake flattens its neck and forms an S-shaped loop when it senses danger. It also flares its yellow lip scales. The venom of this rear-fanged species can cause unpleasant symptoms, although it rarely poses a threat to human life. It preys on animals, birds, lizards, and frogs and hunts covertly at night. In leaf litter, decaying stumps, or tree holes, females lay their eggs.
- Southeast Asia
- Rainforest and riverine forest
- 6 1⁄2–7 1⁄2 ft (2–2.3 m)
Eastern Indigo Black Snake
The longest black snake in North America is this one. It usually lounges in a loose coil on a ridged piece of land close to water. It typically lies down between dry leaves, and when startled, it makes a rattlesnake-like noise by vibrating the tip of its tail. Even long-term captives of this snake, which rarely bites, are uneasy and appear to detest being touched.
Even in the winter, the eastern indigo snake stays active all day long. It consumes a variety of prey, such as frogs, eggs, animals, birds, and other snakes. Its diet includes poisonous snakes like rattlesnakes and cottonmouths, but the eastern indigo snake is immune to their venom. It just grabs its prey and starts to swallow it without constricting it. It may also force the victim against the ground or the side of a burrow with its body before swallowing it. Several Central and South American varieties of this species were formerly included, but they have since been divided into five separate species.
- E. US
- Woodland, swamps, and forests
- 6½–9½ft (2–2.9m)
Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer)
The gopher snake, a big, slender species, inhabits a variety of environments and varies in colour and patterns according to location. Its head is sharp, and its scales are highly keeled. Its colour ranges from cream to pale yellow to brown, with numerous large brown or reddish brown blotches running down its back. The general colouring usually corresponds to the soil it lives in. It is a terrestrial animal that also burrows by pushing through the ground with its pointed snout and scooping up loose soil by bending its neck and moving backward. Additionally, it invades rodents’ abandoned tunnels and sporadically climbs into bushes and small trees.
Besides a range of other animals like rabbits, ground squirrels, and gophers, it primarily eats small mammals, particularly mice and rats. Gopher snake actively hunts, peering into cracks and tunnels and travelling through them in quest of prey. It may restrict its prey, but most frequently it pins it to the ground or the side of a tunnel until it dies. Its body expands, its tail vibrates, and it hisses extremely loudly, making it audible from a wide distance if it feels threatened.
Profile of Gopher Snake
- North America
- Grassland, desert canyons, woodland, and cultivated fields
- 3 1⁄4–8 3⁄4 ft (1–2.7m)
- Nocturnal and diurnal