Eastern Snakes Forum
[ Eastern Snakes Forum ]
To ask a question about a snake, don't reply to this post, go to the forum home page
and start a new post. Your question will get a lot more exposure. Please give us an idea of where you live, as reptiles can often be identified only by locality!
Please do not place messages about killing a snake, and asking what kind it is you have killed! That is like going onto a message board about dogs and telling about torturing one to death, and asking what kind of breed it was. You will likely get "flamed", and likely by the forum owner, depending on his mood that day.
A note about head shape in snakes: Head shape is a totally useless character for identifying a snake, and has nothing to do with whether the serpent is or is not venomous (poisonous). Many harmless snakes, especially when young, have rather large heads. Please describe color, pattern, markings, and habitat where the snake was found. The shape of the head will not help us in any way.
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Head shape in snakes PLEASE read before posting
Posted by Alex, forum owner on 5/31/2004, 8:38 pmBoard Administrator
The old rule of "head shape", such as, if a snake has an arrow shaped or spear shaped head, or the head is larger than the body, the snake is venomous are all bogus. The head shape has nothing to do with whether the snake is venomous or not. Head shape in snakes just is a function of what the snake eats; if it eats big prey, it will have a big head. Baby Rat snakes (harmless) will have really big heads, and their heads stay rather large all their lives.
Most harmless snakes can spread their heads when they are frightened, making them look dangerous, so don't go by head shape to tell what kind of snake you have found.
The Appalachian Naturalist