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Archive for December 8, 2011

Common Gartersnake Pigments

12-8-10      Common Gartersnake

The Common Gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis) is New England’s most common and widespread snake.  It’s not unusual to find one that has been run over on the road, but rarely have I found a carcass of one in the woods, especially this late in the year.  Gartersnakes usually are hibernating (often in groups) in rock crevices, rotting logs or holes dug by mammals by October or so.  The warmer-than-usual fall certainly allowed for extended basking in the sun and the ability to find active earthworms later in the season.   If you look closely you may see that this gartersnake has a blue tinge where it’s normally a greenish color. Yellow and blue pigments in a snake’s skin fuse to produce the green color in living snakes. After death, the yellow pigment breaks down very quickly, whereas the blue pigment is more stable and remains much longer. Gartersnakes that have been dead for a while can have bright blue dorsal and lateral stripes.  


Important Message from the Publisher of NATURALLY CURIOUS

Just a reminder!

You can still order NATURALLY CURIOUS and get it in time for Christmas! We are happy to announce that NATURALLY CURIOUS is in stock at the Trafalgar Square Books warehouse, and you can order your copy through our TSB online bookstore at www.TrafalgarBooks.com. Orders placed by midnight EST on December 18th will receive FREE SHIPPING in the US and WILL arrive in time for Christmas. PLUS get 15% off your order by entering the coupon code SAVE15 at checkout.