When it comes to diversity in wildlife, it’s hard to beat what Florida brings to the table. This includes a rather unusual snake, the rainbow snake, that has been spotted in the Ocala National Forest. This is the first sighting of a rainbow snake since 1969.
“Rainbow snakes are highly-aquatic, spending most of their life hidden amongst aquatic vegetation; seldom seen, even by herpetologists, due to their cryptic habits,” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.
Some biologists feel that the snake, also known as the eel moccasin, found its way into the Ocala National Forest after the water levels changed in the Rodman reservoir.
The Reptiles Magazine article reported: “The rainbow snake, also known as the eel moccasin, is a non-venomous colubrid snake that is primarily aquatic and feeds on eels, frogs, tadpoles and other amphibians.
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In addition to being a strong swimmer, the reptile is a proficient burrower as well. It grows to about 36-48 inches (91-122 cm) in length, with larger specimens reaching up to 66 inches (168 cm). They are said to inhabit tidal mud flats, creeks, lakes and marshes.”
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