Monday, July 26, 2010

Eeeeek! But cool.

This guy (or girl) gave me a start while cleaning out my pool's skimmer basket. Fortunately, I have a hook for lifting it so my hand wasn't too close. My first thought was, "Coral snake!" but I remembered the rhyme my dad taught me when I was a little girl: Red on yellow --Kills a fellow.

In other words, if the red and yellow bands on a snake are next to each other, with no black in between, it's a venomous coral snake. If there's black between the red and yellow, you're okay.

My son and I looked this snake up in Snakes of Georgia and South Carolina and learned that it is called a scarlet snake (Cemophora coccinea) and they are usually a little over 1 foot long, just like this one. It is different from a scarlet king snake in that it's bands do not completely circle the body. A scarlet snake has the red, black and white/yellow bands on top, but has a mostly white belly. And, for the record, I didn't kill it. It hadn't survived the night in the pool.

Finding it in our pool wouldn't have surprised me if I had read the snake book more carefully. To quote: "The scarlet snake is one of the most common snakes to fall into residential swimming pools in areas with sandy soil."

Well, there you go.


  1. It's actually kind of pretty, though I certainly wouldn't want one around. Snakes just gross me out.

  2. I am sure that gve you a would have me....I do not like snakes...
    Prayers, Bo