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Poisonous and Venomous Snakes

Four things, among many others, that I've harped on over the years are:
1.  Poisonous means toxic when consumed or absorbed.
2.  Venomous means toxic when injected via a sting or bite.
3.  It is rare that definitions can be given that are perfect and without exception.
4.  There are always exceptions to our understanding.

Red-Ear Turtle

Natural History Notes
by Bob Thomas

The most common water turtle in the Bayou Segnette area is the Red-earred Turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans. These are the little green turtles we used to buy at Walgreens, each with a red stripe behind the eye. As adults, they have shells that are about 10-12 inches long.

Atlantic Ridley Sea Turtle

Delta Journal
by Bob Thomas

Louisiana waters are host to at least occasional visits by all species of sea turtles that inhabit the Gulf of Mexico. Though our shores are a bit north of normal egg laying sites, occasional records exist for various species.

Mediterranean Gecko

Delta Journal
By Bob Thomas

During the spring and summer months, visitors to the Nature Center often ask "What are those little pink lizards on my screens at night?"

The answer: Mediterranean geckos (Hemidactylus turcicus), relatively recent immigrants from the Mediterranean Sea area that arrived here as stowaways on ships and in their cargo. First found in the United States in the Florida Keys in 1915, these lizards were abundant in Gentilly and the Vieux Carre by the late 1940's.

A Herper's Harbinger of Spring

Nature Notes
by Bob Thomas

Each February, I take a field trip to the woods near Norco, Louisiana, that are on high ground in a cypress-tupelo swamp. The site has been producing oil for years. In spite of this, it is rich in all forms of local wildlife, especially a nice variety of reptiles and amphibians.

Mud Snake: Farancia abacura

Nature Notes
by Bob Thomas

The mud snake, Farancia abacura, is a large (up to six feet) spectacularly colored snake. They are abundant in swamps and associated wetland habitats, but rarely seen due to their secretive mannerisms and their glossy, iridescent black backs blending into the dark water.

Brahminy Blind Snake, Ramphotyphlops braminus: Our Non-native Parthenogenetic Snake

Nature Notes
by Bob Thomas

A most unusual denizen of Louisiana long ago brought Louisiana’s snake species total to 40. The species is the Brahminy blind snake, Ramphotyphlops braminus. When it was found, it represented not only a new species for the state, but also a new genus and family (Typhlopidae).