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NJ Snake Identification

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I found this snake on my way to "Osio Rock Ramble " today and I was wondering, if anybody would know what kind is it and if it's a venomous one. I almost stepped on it, but realized just on time! I was surprised how calm it was. It did not show any signs of aggression nor the intention of leaving the area after been detected.


Thanks in advance!



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That was a Copperhead, one of the two venomous snakes in our region, the other being the Timber Rattler. Fortunately, neither of these snakes is particularily aggressive, and will not usually strike unless threatened or provoked (like pointing a camera very close to it). The venom of the Copperhead is not usually fatal for healthy adults, but it would be extremely painful.

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I am a big fan of snakes and have owned them my whole life. Jonboy's comments are right on the money.


Before there was geocaching and before digital pictures - I was hiking with my kids off Clinton Rd (Morris county, NJ). We were just heading out of the woods when we came across a fully grown (about 4.5 feet) Timber Rattle snake on the trail. I made the kids back off, but I had to take a couple of pictures (although not from close range!). Snakes can strike from a distance of about 2/3 of their length in less then a second - so be careful. But as jonboy said - snakes in this neck of the woods are generally aggressive.

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Thanks, I thought it looked dangerous. When I took the picture I was at a safe distance away from it, but since I used my camera's highest resolution setting I was still able to get a nice cropping area to get to the detail.


I just wish I had my SLR and it's zoom today, since I had a really cool Bear sighting that I was just able to get from a distance. He crossed a few feet in front of the trail I was on, but when I got the camera ready he was already on his way. I did not feel like stalking him, just in case he changed his mind I thought of playing catch with me or something.

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I'm surprised it didn't just hide when it felt you coming (must've been a nice warm rock it was sunning itself on).


Looks like a decent size one to boot. Glad you noticed him before you stepped.


There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home. - Ken Olsen, President, Digital Equipment, 1977

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That heart shaped head is the giveaway. Consider yourself lucky, partly because you didn't step on it but chiefly because they are pretty rare and a real treat to encounter.


I've seen 1 copperhead and 1 rattler in 25 some years of hiking and backpacking.


"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues" -Abraham Lincoln

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Thanks, I got to check the trailside center again then, it's been a while since I was there.


I did not now how rare this snakes are, the fact is that I actually found two on this trip! the other one was also a copperhead but smaller and not as impressive so I just took the picture of this one. They were just 2 feet apart from each other on the same trail.

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I meant to say "not" aggresive.


I don't know about that. I've encountered a few very aggressive black snakes, inlcuding one that was paying way too much attention to my friend's daschund on a Harriman camping trip.


"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues" -Abraham Lincoln

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