Observation Highlight of the Week: Opheodrys aestivus

Observational Highlight #2: Opheodrys aestivus (Rough Greensnake)
Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve

© Joe Villari, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)

Rough Greensnake (Opheodrys aestivus) observed by @jvillari

This gorgeous snake was found during an inventory and photographic documentation project underway at one of our cultural heritage properties. Also known as the grass snake, it’s easy to see where it gets its namesake. This nonvenomous colubrid, or constrictor, is a connoisseur of terrestrial arthropods and is likely to be found in moist, open woodlands and grasslands (they are particularly partial to spiders for all you arachnophobes). They are also one of the most arboreal snakes in our region, meaning they spend a considerable amount of time above ground in trees and shrubs.

The rough greensnake can be found in suitable habitat throughout the southeastern United States. On closer inspection, you’ll find that it gets its name “rough” from the keeled or ridged scales along its body (see picture two for a better look!).

Unfortunately, many of our snakes are misunderstood and frequently find themselves facing misplaced hate. Snakes play a vital role in our ecosystem as managers of “pest” animals like rats, arthropods, and even other snakes. Killing snakes is also illegal within the state of Virginia, and in the majority of cases unneeded. Please be considerate of our limbless neighbors and give nature its due respect and admiration.

ABOUT #BullRunMountainsNaturalPreserve
The Bull Run Mountains are the easternmost mountains in Virginia. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation’s Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is approximately 2,350 acres that serve as a living laboratory that sits in the backyard of our nation’s capital. The preserve contains 10 different plant community types and a plethora of regionally uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. In 2002, this land was dedicated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a natural area preserve to protect the unique ecosystems found here. As the owner and manager of the preserve, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation is committed to protecting the special ecosystem found here and sharing it with the public through managed access.

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Meetup Events: Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve Guided Hikes Group

Anotado por mjwcarr mjwcarr, noviembre 10, martes 03:07



Love these highlights!

Anotado por saucierj hace 4 meses (Advertencia)

I love love love rough greensnakes! I remember leading several nature walks with some folks that were scared of snakes -- this species is a great ambassador to remove those fears!

Anotado por sambiology hace 4 meses (Advertencia)

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