Hanging Around

Nancy Barrett

Toronto, Canada

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Artist's Description

Eastern Fox Snake

Features: The Eastern Fox Snake (Elaphe gloydi) is Ontario’s second-largest snake after its close relative, the Eastern Ratsnake (Elaphe obsoleta), and usually grows to about one metre long (some individuals grow to 1.75 metres). Eastern Fox Snakes have a reddish head and a yellowish-brown body with dark blotches down the back and a row of smaller blotches along each side. They are usually found near water in both marsh and woodland, and often near human habitation. They will enter barns and travel along roads and ditches when hunting for small rodents and birds, which are killed by constriction. Fox snakes are good swimmers, and they have been recorded swimming over two kilometres between islands. In late summer, females lay their eggs in rotting logs, though they have also been known to use sawdust piles and manure heaps. As temperatures drop in the fall, snakes will converge on local communal overwintering sites (called hibernacula). Individual fox snakes may travel several kilometres to these underground hibernacula.

Status: Threatened Provincially and Nationally

Photographed at Point Pelee National Park, Ontario

Nikon D90 with 70-300 mm VR lens

Artwork Comments

  • Kane Slater
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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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