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[Central TX] Some idiot at my work killed this snake, what is it?

[Central TX] Some idiot at my work killed this snake, what is it?

shrike1978

Diamond-backed Watersnake, *Nerodia rhombifer*, !harmless.


SEB-PHYLOBOT

Diamond-backed Watersnakes *Nerodia rhombifer* are medium to large (~110cm, record 175.3 cm) natricine snakes with heavily keeled scales often found in and around water. Heavily aquatic compared to other watersnakes, they are commonly encountered fish and amphibian eating snakes across much of Central North America south through Guatemala and Belize. *Nerodia* watersnakes may puff up or flatten out defensively and bite. They secrete a foul smelling substance from the cloaca called musk and can deliver a weak anticoagulant venom used in prey handling from the back of the mouth, but are not considered medically significant to humans - bites just need soap and water. Found throughout central North America, it is sometimes confused with other watersnakes or its sister species the Brown Watersnake *Nerodia taxispilota*. *N. rhombifer* has a reticular, net like pattern resembling a chain link fence and adults often have a orange, vibrant eye. Geographic range helps determine species, but *N. erythrogaster* has is its namesake plain belly that varies across the range from yellow to orange. Banded Watersnakes *N. fasciata* have even, connecting bands across the top of the snake all the way down the body. In Common Watersnakes *N. sipedon*, bands typically break up or become mismatched after the first third of the body as in *N. erythrogaster*, but has a patterned belly. *N. rhombifer* and *N. taxispilota* can look incredibly similar near where their ranges meet, in which case geographic location can be used to determine species. [Range Map of *N.rhombifer* + *N. taxispilota*](https://imgur.com/5eoi1Ls) [Range Map of *N. taxispilota*](http://snakeevolution.org/rangemaps/Nerodia_taxispilota.jpg) This genus is in need of revision using modern molecular methods. *This short account was prepared by /u/unknown_name and edited by /u/Phylogenizer*. -------------------------------------------------------- Like many other animals with mouths and teeth, non-venomous snakes can use them to bite in self defense. These animals are referred to as 'not medically significant' or traditionally, 'harmless'. Bites from these snakes benefit from being washed and kept clean like any other skin damage, but aren't often cause for anything other than basic first aid treatment. Some snakes use venom from front or rear fangs as part of prey capture and defense. This venom is not always produced or administered by the snake in ways dangerous to human health, so many species are venomous in that they produce venom, but considered harmless to humans in most cases because the venom is of low potency, and/or otherwise administered through grooved rear teeth or simply oozed from ducts at the rear of the mouth. Species like Ringneck Snakes *Diadophis* are a good example of mildly venomous rear fanged dipsadine snakes that are traditionally considered harmless or not medically significant. Many rear-fanged snake species are harmless as long as they do not have a chance to secrete a medically significant amount of venom into a bite; [severe envenomation can occur](https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23800999) if some species are [allowed to chew on a human](https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S004101011831016X) for as little as 30-60 seconds. It is best not to fear snakes, but use common sense and do not let any animals chew on exposed parts of your body. Similarly, but without specialized rear fangs, gartersnakes *Thamnophis* ooze low pressure venom from the rear of their mouth that helps in prey handling, and are also [considered harmless](https://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/05/theres-no-need-to-fear-that-garter-snake/). Even large species such as *Malayopython reticulatus* [rarely obtain a size large enough to endanger humans](https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/108/52/E1470.full.pdf) so are usually categorized as harmless. -------------------------------------------------------- *I am a bot created for /r/whatsthissnake, /r/snakes and /r/herpetology to help with snake identification and natural history education. You can find more information, including a comprehensive list of commands, [here](https://www.reddit.com/r/whatsthissnake/comments/flh548/phylobot_v07_information_and_patch_notes_bot_info/) and report problems [here](https://www.reddit.com/message/compose/?to=Phylogenizer).*


NegativSpace

Thanks


mjedmazga

Diamond back water snake. Harmless.


NegativSpace

Thanks


mjedmazga

Thanks for coming here to ask, and hopefully you can use this as a teaching opportunity for anyone involved. All snakes are important to the health of the ecosystem, even venomous ones which this one is not. But even those want to be left alone, and that's usually the best choice for snakes. I started browsing here routinely a few months ago in order to improve my ID skills - which were nonexistent - but it had the positive effect of also reducing/removing my fear of snakes. Knowledge is power, after all. Good luck!


Extension-Quail9950

😓


SEB-PHYLOBOT

This automatic message accompanies any imagine of a dead, injured or roadkilled snake: Please don't kill snakes - they are a natural part of the ecosystem and [even species that use venom for prey acquisition and defense are beneficial to humans](https://umdrightnow.umd.edu/news/timber-rattlesnakes-vs-lyme-disease). One cannot expect outside to be sterile - if you see a snake you're in or around their preferred habitat. Most snakes are valued and as such are protected from collection, killing or harassment as non-game animals at the state level. [Neighborhood dogs](http://livingalongsidewildlife.com/?p=3141) are more likely to harm people. Professional snake relocation services are often free or inexpensive, but snakes often die trying to return to their original home range, so it is usually best to enjoy them like you would songbirds or any of the other amazing wildlife native to your area. Commercial snake repellents are not effective - to discourage snakes, eliminate sources of food and cover; clear debris, stacked wood and eliminate rodent populations. Seal up cracks in and around the foundation/base of your home. *I am a bot created for /r/whatsthissnake, /r/snakes and /r/herpetology to help with snake identification and natural history education. You can find more information, including a comprehensive list of commands, [here](https://www.reddit.com/r/whatsthissnake/comments/flh548/phylobot_v07_information_and_patch_notes_bot_info/) and report problems [here](https://www.reddit.com/message/compose/?to=Phylogenizer).*


lalauna

R I P snake.