CASTILE – This photograph of a snake near Lee’s Landing in Letchworth State Park is splitting park enthusiasts on social media.
The photo was originally posted to Facebook by Amy Appleby on July 5. So far five in the comment section believe that this is a northern water snake, but four are sure that it is a milk snake.
“It’s a milk snake 100%,” posted Nick McAndrews.
“It’s not a milk snake. I see these snakes every day at work. Northern water snake,” responded Ella Wynn.
Others still posit that this could be another species of bright, speckled snake. Mike Greig says that this is either a milk snake or a corn snake.
“Northern watersnakes have banding on the front part of the body that changes to three rows (left side-top-right side) of alternating dark blotches on the rear of the body,” posted Wynn. “The blotches on the side of Northern watersnakes are squarish. Eastern milksnakes also have blotches but no banding around the neck region like in this snake. Eastern milksnakes have smaller blotches on the side that are definitely not as big or squarish like the side blotches of this Northern watersnake. Northern watersnakes are commonly found in or near water, like this guy is. Not to say that you won’t see an Eastern milksnake in or near water, but this is common behavior of watersnakes. You can’t tell from this picture but watersnakes have heavily keeled scales while milksnakes have smooth scales.”
What do you think?