These small snakes are quite populous throughout the state of Florida, and they are very similar to a whole family of snakes known as brown snakes, which are to be found in much of the United States. The Florida Brown Snake (Storeria Victa) is one of the most successful species of snakes, and the fact that it feeds on many other species that are considered to be pests can make it a welcome guest. Although these snakes are generally quite harmless they can be considered to be a pest by some people, but in most cases they are very rarely seen.
Appearance And Diet
The Florida Brown Snake is, as its name suggests, usually brown in color, with the underbelly becoming a much lighter shade that is nearer a tan or khaki color. It is common to see a darker brown stripe running down the top of the back, and this variety of brown colors means that it is very good at hiding in its natural habitat. Most examples of the Florida Brown Snake will usually be between seven and ten inches in length, and their light body means that this is one of the smallest snakes that is commonly resident in Florida.
In terms of the diet of this snake, it will usually eat animals that are a little smaller than itself, such as earthworms and slugs, but they can also eat other insects and small lizards. One interesting aspect of the Florida Brown Snake is that it has developed a specific shape to its jaw which it uses to pull a snail out of its shell so that it can eat it. Because many of these are seen as pests by gardeners, having a Florida Brown Snake in the garden can often be seen as a boon rather than a problem.
Behavior And Habitat
One of the main reasons that the Florida Brown Snake is so rarely seen is that its coloring gives it an excellent method of concealment. It is also a natural burrower and will usually look to find cover among loose leaf litter or soft soil in order to keep itself safe. When threatened, this snake has very little in terms of defensive techniques, but can flatten itself against the ground to make it seem larger, and can also release a smelly musk to try and deter the predator or threat.
The most important feature that the Florida Brown Snake will look for when it is finding a habitat is plenty of ground cover, which means that it has established populations in many different areas. This can range from hardwood hammocks and other wooded areas through to swamps and wetlands, and is also frequently found in domestic gardens and yards.
Reproduction And Growth Cycle
During the spring the females will lay a trail of pheromones which will attract the males to breed. The female will then give birth to live young, rather than laying eggs, and these young snakes will usually be around five inches in length, and are independent from birth. However, because of the small stature of the juveniles, they may try and stay close to their mother for the first few months even though they will not be directly dependent on her.
The Florida Brown Snake will generally be considered an adult by its second summer, by which time it will usually have grown up to ten inches in length. They will also be sexually mature by this point, and will then be mating in the following spring. Although it is difficult to gauge the exact lifespan of the snake in the wild, in captivity it can live up to seven years.
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