Friday, April 16, 2010

Hognose histrionics--amazing shots of red phase over-actor

Death of a Red-phase Hognose Snake: A play in 3 photographs.

 (Dramatic interpretation by biobabbler.)

With no further ado...
"Oh, lawd, what did I eat? I don't feel well at all..."

"cough, cough"



"I'm dead. Gone. Might as well just toss me aside.... "

My new favorite animal. =)

These pics are courtesy of a friend of mine in Kentucky, taken by Shannon Runke of Louisville, KY. The snake was found under a log during a field trip in Pennyrile State Forest (April 10th--last Saturday).

How amazing are they? SO envious of the people on that field trip. Apparently Dr. Zimmerer (above, holding snake) almost didn't spot it. But, he did. =) Nice work!

In case you don't know, this animal is playing dead as a defense. A dead snake is so much less appealing than a live one, eh? Well, particularly if you're not into carrion. A fabulous and apparently quite convincing adaptation.

Have you ever seen anything "play possum"? If so, what species was it? Were you fooled (at least for a moment)?

the biobabbler


  1. Thanks for using my pictures! Pennyrile Herpetology Weekend was indeed an amazing bit of fun. Satisfied the need to explore, learn, practice some amateur photography. Love your captions on this post, and the rest of your blog is really interesting (and entertaining!) as well.

  2. I've seen beetles "Play possum" by dropping off leaves, and laying on their back until they think danger has passed. In fact many insects in the coleoptera and hemiptera orders tend to do that.

  3. @Shannon: Seriously, thank YOU for sharing your amazing pictures! Fabulous and very, very interesting. =) It's nice to get a herp hit.

    @MObugs --interesting. I'm pretty sure I've seen bugs play dead, but couldn't remember any specifics. Thanks for the info.


Cool people write inside rectangles....