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It’s Baby Snake Season!

Juvenile northern black racer.

By J.D. Kleopfer/DWR

Photos by John White

It’s that time of the year when eggs laid back in the spring have hatched and live-bearing snakes, which includes eastern copperheads, have given birth. However, a vast majority of the baby snakes you are most likely to encounter are harmless and quite beneficial.

An image of a juvenile Eastern Ratsnake which can easily be mistaken for a copperhead, with it's most distinctive variation being the spot shape

Juvenile eastern ratsnake.

The most commonly misidentified are those of eastern ratsnakes (aka black snakes) and northern black racers, which neither species takes on their characteristic solid black appearance until they begin to mature as adults.

An image of juvenile eastern copperheads with their distinctive hourglass shaped spots

Juvenile eastern copperhead.

Juvenile eastern copperheads on the other hand look much like the adults, but with a bright yellow tail that is used like a fishing lure to attract prey such as small frogs and toads. In general, the best thing to do when you encounter a snake is to simply “Just Leave It Alone“.

More Information on Snakes

  • September 18, 2019