See The Snakes In Louisiana’s Swamps
Right now is the perfect time to check out the snakes in Louisiana’s swamps. Snakes are most active when temperatures are between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that they will be most active during spring, and during the early mornings and late afternoons throughout the summer. Snakes are an important component of the ecosystem as predators and as prey for other wildlife. If you are not big fan of snakes, keep in mind most snakes are not aggressive except when defending themselves. This means they won’t attack you. Louisiana has about 47 species of snakes. Let’s take a closer look at the snakes you may encounter on our Swamp Tours.
The Speckled Kingsnake is a rather large, constricting Snake, that can get between 12 to 24 inches long, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. It has a series of black, red and white or yellow rings, with each red and yellow ring bordered on either side by black, the rings continue across belly. The snake’s snout is always red and its are scales smooth. Scarlet kingsnakes are usually found in and under pine logs, and within standing dead pines and stumps. They also occur in dry hardwood forests in the Felicianas. They lay from 4-7 eggs.
The Cottonmouth is one of Louisiana’s venomous snakes. It measures between 15 to 55 inches. The Cottonmouth is usually dark tan, brown or nearly black, with vague black or dark brown crossbands. Its side of head is black with a white line from the eye to the angle of the mouth. Juveniles have a bold pattern of dark brown crossbands on a pink or orange background, with a yellow tail. Some adults retain the juvenile pattern. Cottonmouths live in swamplands and ponds, lakes and stream borders, especially those with dense canopies, says the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. These snakes often remain coiled near water, or on log jams in water, rarely ascending shrubs or palmettos. They frequently travel between streams, even over low ridges, and may be found in almost any habitat. Upon provocation, cottonmouths will coil, open their mouths to expose the white lining, and shake their tails. They are highly defensive and not inclined to get out of one’s way.
The Copperhead is another one of Louisiana’s venomous snakes. It is between 14 to 45 inches long and usually beige, tan or pale gray. The snake often has a dull pink or orange tint above, with broad, darker brown, hourglass-shaped crossbands that is slightly paler on the lower sides. The head is patternless, often with a faint orange tint on the top, dull yellow on the sides. Young copperheads have a bright yellow tail. Copperheads frequent forested and wooded areas. They are unaggressive, but create a potential hazard by lying motionless and camouflaged. During the summer they are active at night and very early in the morning. They feed on frogs, cicadas and rodents, and give birth to from 4-16 young.
To see all snakes in Louisiana visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/node/38756