Posts Tagged ‘Common Ribbonsnake’

Common Ribbonsnake eating a frog

March 26, 2016

The following time-series of photos, shot on 16 March 2016 during a photowalk along the Hike-Bike Trail at Huntley Meadows Park, shows a Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) eating a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

Although the amphibian looks similar to Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris), I tentatively identified the species as Southern Leopard Frog based upon one of two field markers that were visible: distinct dorsolateral folds that extend the full length of the body (shown); a distinct white spot in the center of the tympanum (not shown). Sincere thanks to Alonso Abugattas — Natural Resources Manager, Arlington County Parks, Virginia — for verifying my identification.

A Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is eating a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

As shown in the first photo, the snake had a fatal grip on the frog by the time I spotted the pair.

A Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is eating a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

Notice the small green bubble, located on the frog’s dorsal posterior, that is visible in the second and third photos. I consulted the experts of the Virginia Herpetological Society for help in identifying the bubble.

The general consensus is the cloaca (a bag through which reproductive- and waste products leave the body) is inverted and protruded through the anus due to the internal pressure the snake is putting on the body cavity. If the frog were a female in reproductive condition, it could also be either eggs (unlikely due to color) or jelly being forced out, again due to pressure. Source Credit: John, Virginia Herpetological Society.

Just as I thought — the snake was actually squeezing the guts out of the frog!

A Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is eating a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

A Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is eating a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

A Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is eating a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

A Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is eating a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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Top 10 Photos of 2014

January 1, 2015

The following gallery shows 25 finalists for my “Top 10 Photos of 2014.” The photos are presented in reverse-chronological order beginning in October 2014 and ending in April 2014.

This year I decided to select the Top 10 photos using reader feedback. Please enter a comment at the end of this post listing the number for each of your 10 favorite photos. If listing 10 photos is asking too much, then please list at least five photos, e.g., No. 2, 5, 11, 20, 21, etc. Thanks for sharing your selections, and thanks for following my photoblog!

Editor’s Note: The “Discussion Settings” for this blog were edited to remove most of the “filters” that are intended to prevent SPAM comments. This should make it much easier for regular readers to share their list of favorite photos.

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Common Ribbonsnakes (mating pair)

02 APR 2014 | HMP | Common Ribbonsnakes (mating pair)

Editor’s Note: The following location codes are used in the photo captions, shown above.

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Common Ribbonsnake

May 28, 2014

Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus)

The preceding photograph shows a Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus), spotted on 09 April 2014 during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park. This individual was resting in a wooded area near the observation tower.

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Common Ribbonsnakes (mating pair)

April 16, 2014

Common Ribbonsnakes (mating pair)

The preceding photograph shows a mating pair of a Common Ribbonsnakes (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus), spotted on 02 April 2014 along the boardwalk that goes through the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park. The larger snake is the female; the smaller one is the male.

The happy couple is resting on a bed of dried cattail leaves (Typha sp.) and Swamp Rose stems (Rosa palustris). Notice the round insect gall on a Swamp Rose stem (located to the left of the male’s head, relative to the photo). The gall was probably made by a species of Cynipid wasp.

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Common Ribbonsnake (eating a frog)

September 23, 2013

Common Ribbonsnake eating a frog

The preceding photograph shows a Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) eating a Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans), spotted along the boardwalk that goes through the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park.

Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Common Ribbonsnake

August 28, 2012

A Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) spotted on a bush beyond the observation tower in the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park. Photo 1 is entitled, “Open your mouth wide and say, ‘Ahhh!'” I’m not sure whether the snake was yawning or trying to intimidate me.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com


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