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Grass Snake Identification & Sightings

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote penbox Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2003 at 7:39pm
I have seen one (possably two) grass snakes in my garden pond in cranbrook kent. it is about 3 feet long and swims in the pond in full view. deffinaitly a grass snake dark olive green (almost black) with a white flash behind the head. the second one hasnt been seen as often and is slightly shorter and lighter in colour. we used to have an abundance of frogs but now there are non. i am just hoping that they dont start eating the fish!!!
paul D.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pauldunf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2004 at 7:05pm

Male and female grass snakes seen today, 19/05/54, in my garden in Chaldon, Surrey.  Female something like 1.5 metres and male about 1.0 to 1.2 metres.  Female laying by side of the pond before swimming across into a dense conifer garden adjoining the pond.  Male emerged from the centre of the pond and eventually disappered into the same conifer garden after laying on the outskirts for five minutes or so.  Both snakes olive green/brown.

This is the first spotting I have made for about 2 years.  I'm sure they're always there - just don't get to see them too often.  Lots of tadpoles around right now - must be an abundance of food.  The pond itself is about 20 feet long by 15 feet wide with a natural surround of long grasses and water plants - with the conifer garden adjoining the pond at one end.

The compost heap is about 150 feet or more from the pond.  Is this likely to be used for egg laying or is it more likely they use natural compost from fallen leaves etc in the dense conifer garden?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frogworlduk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2004 at 7:00pm

hello all.

i think i have read about this before, but i can't remember. i have a grass snake that i keep finding under one of my tins, but it has blue eyes. they are pale blue and look like they completely cover the complete eye. it's  a sub adult i believe, male.

any thoughts on what is wrong with it?

mark jacobs

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2004 at 9:49pm

Mark,

It's 'in the blue' coming up to shed it's skin. Grass snake are often found under tin in this state, it's a time when they seem to seek extra heat. As the old skin breaks away the eyes become opaque with a distinct bluish tinge. In a few days it will shed and look like new :0)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wolfgang Wuster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2004 at 9:41am
Mark,

You say you keep finding it - how many times have you found it, over what period of time, and were the eyes always blue?

Normally, as Gemma said, blue eyes simply mean the approach of shedding, but that only lasts for ~ 1 week, so if you found it week after week after week, always with blue eues, then there is soemthing pecuiliar going on.

Cheers,

Wolfgang
Wolfgang W├╝ster

School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor

http://pages.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frogworlduk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2004 at 1:30pm

i have only seen it this week, but everyday so far this week. today i found it again and it only had a slight bit of blue left the rest was clear. so i take it from this that the snake was just shedding it's skin.

but it did look rather odd and cool.

mark

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2004 at 2:00pm

Mark, the eyes will clear for 1-3 of days before the snake sloughs (usually), they do look lethargic and ill when in this state.

I would guess once it sloughs you won't see the same snake under the tin anymore, let us know if you do though, and if you find the sloughed skin.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frogworlduk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2004 at 6:11pm

hello,

i've been surveying a site at merrist wood college for around a month now, but i've seen up to now no juvenilles of any species ( or what i know of). until about two days ago. yesterday and today inclusive i have now seen around 16 grass snakes, 5 juvenile slow worms and 4 juv. adders.

now the question i ask are these from last year or really early newbies?

all species were VERY small with the grass snakes being about as thin as big as a pencil!!

mark

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2004 at 7:37pm

last years, grass snakes will only just begin laying eggs about now with the bulk hatching in September, adder usually give birth only weeks before they go into hibernation. I've just surveyed a site in Essex, all but one of the grass snakes were either sub-adult or juveniles from last year and these were tiny too.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frogworlduk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jun 2004 at 7:05pm

although it's good to tell what age they are, why do you think they have suddenly started appearing now?

is it because they hibernate for much longer or...?

mark

 

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