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Old 09-20-17, 09:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Racer, king snake, other?

I hate that my first post is a "what might this be" one but my interest in snakes from when I was young is just picking back up and I'm way out of practice. I also spent most of my life in New England but now live in Texas, so I'm not nearly as familiar with snakes in this area.

Someone posted this on a local group asking for identification and, although I understand it may not be a good enough photo for a 100% positive identification, I took a shot and wanted some second opinions.

This is north of Austin, TX and - understanding the large variations possible in juveniles - I focused on a few key things that seem to be very prominent in certain species and not others that were possibilities:

- The most standout feature to me is the way the pattern drastically grays out in the last third or so of the snake moving towards the tail. A couple people suggested a prairie king snake but I've never seen this, especially to this degree, in king snakes; their patterns tend to stay defined to the tail in most all examples I've ever seen. BUT it is VERY characteristic of juvenile racers. In fact, almost every juvenile racer I've seen with a similar pattern has this characteristic and looks very much like this.

- Second, the main blocks in the pattern of the back are very close together, something I've not often or ever seen to this degree in king snakes or even rat snakes. But again, very common in juvenile racers.

- Lastly of things that are clear in the picture, if you follow the pattern down the side of the snake towards the belly, the pattern gets very dotted and scattered, rather than remaining relatively large and uniform blocks once you get below the main top blocks of the pattern. And again, this type of scattered dotting of this size seems very prevalent of juvenile racers but not nearly as much with king or rat snakes.

So my guess was a juvenile racer, maybe a yellow-bellied racer because of the area and their range? It looks more like a juvenile black racer with those colors, which I'm more familiar with back east, but it seems they don't generally reside in this area?

Thoughts? Am I trying to read too much into the limited and blurry details of this photo? Thanks for any input!

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Old 09-20-17, 11:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Racer, king snake, other?

Your picture doesn't work. Link to the host site so I can see it.
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Old 09-20-17, 12:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Racer, king snake, other?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjhill001 View Post
Your picture doesn't work. Link to the host site so I can see it.
Hmm, now I'm getting this error:

"Post denied. New posts are limited by number of URLs it may contain and checked if it doesn't contain forbidden words."
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Old 09-20-17, 12:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Racer, king snake, other?

See below. Finally got it.
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Old 09-20-17, 12:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Racer, king snake, other?

Huh, well this isn't going well. LOL

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Old 09-20-17, 12:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Racer, king snake, other?

Juvenile racer, as you suggested. I'm not completely familiar with the subspecies you have out that way, but yellow-bellied would probably be a good guess.
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