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Lake Wales
Monday, July 22, 2024

Evidence of Enormous Reptile Discovered in Lake Wales Backyard

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Photo by Maria Iannucci

With the constant construction and development in our area, local wildlife is on the move. This particular creature is one we’d rather not run into.

A resident living off of Masterpiece Road discovered a snake skin in a wooded area beside his home. It appears to be the skin of a water moccasin, or cottonmouth, a venomous snake known to be found in and near bodies of water.

What’s special about this one is that it appears to measure almost 68 inches in length. According to the Florida Museum of Natural History website, the average adult Florida cottonmouth is 30-48 inches in total length. The Florida State record is said to be 74 inches.

This snake is heavy bodied with a pattern of light brown and dark brown crossbands containing many dark spots and speckles. The pattern darkens with age so adults may become uniformly black. The eye is camouflaged by a broad, dark, facial stripe. The color pattern of juvenile cottonmouths is much lighter than in adults, and newborns have a sulfur-yellow tail tip.

Fortunately, in this case, the resident did not encounter the snake that left his skin. But it’s a healthy reminder to be aware of your surroundings when walking in wooded areas.

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Maria Iannucci

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