The rainbow snake scientific name is Farancia erytrogramma

The rainbow snake scientific name is Farancia erytrogramma erytrogramma. The rainbow snake is large, non-poisonous, and a highly-water-based snake that is almost never seen because of its very private habits. Rainbow snakes are sometimes known as eel moccasins because of their tendency to eat eels. Farancia erytrogramma lives in the southeastern parts of North America. This snake is seen the most in South Carolina and Florida. Some other states where the Farancia erytrogramma can be found includes: Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Virginia. (Conant, R., J. Collins. 1991. Peterson Field Guide Series: Reptiles and Amphibians. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.) This snake has red, black and yellow stripes circling its body and takes on an iridescent, which means to show luminous colors that seem to change when seen from different angles, sheen after shedding. Before they start shedding, their scales will turn a translucent blue which keeps their color from being seen (Conant and Collins 1991). There is sexual difference between the males and females which is that the males tend to be more brightly colored than females (Tennant 1997). The F. erytrogramma have a Duvernoy’s gland it is not a venomous snake. It can grow up to 5.5 feet in length and has smooth scales. F. erytrogramma also has a pointed tail that researchers thought was used to stab their victims but it was never proven. They spend most of their lives in the water, hiding in aquatic vegetation or other forms of cover. Rainbow snakes are not aggressive when captured, and do not bite their captors. It became threatened because of how the world has become more modernized and because of less wetlands. (Ernst and Ernst 2003)  Listing rank:Their national status of the Farancia erytrogramma as of August 31. 2006 is a N4. Their global status is a G4, which means Apparently Secure – uncommon but not rare and some cause for long-term concern due to declines or other factors, as of August 31 2006. On the IUCN Red List they are classified as LC, which means least concern. (Palisot de Beauvois in Sonnini and Latreille, 1801). Their federal status is Threatened. Population:Their range extends along the Coastal Plain from southern Maryland to Florida, west to the Mississippi River (Dundee and Rossman 1989, Conant and Collins 1991, Tennant 1997, Ernst and Ernst 2003). This species is endemic, which means native or restricted to a certain country or area, to the southeast of the United States. The adult population size is unknown but is known to exceed over 10,000. This snake is secretive but can occur in dense populations (Mount 1975, Ernst and Ernst 2003). It is uncommon for it to be spotted in North Carolina (Palmer and Braswell 1995). Tennant (1997) reported it as uncommon or rare in Florida but says they can be seen when weather conditions are right. The extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size are probably relatively stable or declining at a rate of less than 10% over 10 years or three generations. Reproduction:They create nests in which anywhere from 10 to 52 smooth, and white eggs will be laid (Haast and Anderson 1981). The female will remain with the nest for a period of the incubation until they are hatched (Tennant 1997). Their clutch size is about 20-52 eggs. The eggs hatch in about 80 days. Females usually lay their eggs in July, leaving them underground in sandy soil. The young are hatched in late summer or fall. Mortality:Rainbow snakes rely on aquatic habitats and eels for prey, which may put them at risk if wetlands are destroyed or degraded, or if damming rivers results in eel declines.Natality:They breed about 20-52 eggs in July. They began to hatch is 80 days. The eggs are buried in sand. They hatch in either late summers or fall.Immigration:Its range extends along the Coastal Plain from southern Maryland to Florida, west to the Mississippi River (Dundee and Rossman 1989, Conant and Collins 1991, Tennant 1997, Ernst and Ernst 2003).Emigration: In South Carolina, hatchlings are on land close to the sites of their nest, but in March and April they moved overland to an aquatic site where they remained if conditions remained suitable; they moved to a neighboring aquatic area if the site became unsuitable (Gibbons et al. 1977). ReferencesBartlett, R D. and Bartlett, P.P. 1999. A Field Guide to Texas Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. xviii + 331 pp. Conant, R. and Collins, J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.Dundee and Rossman 1989, Conant and Collins 1991, Tennant 1997, Ernst and Ernst 2003Gibbons et al. 1977Haast and Anderson 1981IUCN. 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Palisot de Beauvois in Sonnini and Latreille, 1801Palmer and Braswell 1995Tennant 1997Willson, J. D., C. T. Winne, M. E. Dorcas, and J. W. Gibbons. 2006. Post-drought responses of semi-aquatic snakes inhabiting an isolated wetland: Insights on different strategies for persistence in a dynamic habitat. Wetlands 26:1071-1078.


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