large adult Fox Snake (elaphe vulpine) with s-loop posture and vibrating
tail prepares to defend itself in typical 'rattlesnake' fashion.
Often mistaken for the highly venomous Timber Rattlesnake, this
animal is harmless representing one of over 50 species of the genus
Elaphe commonly know as 'Ratsnakes'
powerful constrictors are abundant in marshes and sand dunes boarding
America's Great Lakes where they feed on rodents, birds and their
eggs. The 'Fox Snakes' name is derived from the snake's ability
to discharge a foul-smelling anal fluid when threatened and refers
to the 'fox like' odor associated with the fluid discharge.
photographed this individual at Point Peele National Park in Ontario,
Southern Canada where this species is at its northern limit of distribution.