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   Snakes  

Table of Contents

ILLINOIS SNAKES

Introduction

Thirty-nine species of snakes inhabit Illinois, dwelling in forests, grasslands, marshes, swamps, ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, and sloughs. Some species are quite common, while others are very rare. These reptiles are solitary predators that eat a variety of prey. Snakes have interesting structural features including the Jacobon's organ, which is used to detect odors. They lack legs, ear opening, and eyelids. Four species of Ililnois snakes, the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), the cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus), the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), and the eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus), are venomous. The chief conservation concerns for Illinois snakes are habitat alteration and loss, and over-exploitation for the pet trade. Misinformation, lack of information, and irrational fears have also affected snake populations.

Table of Contents

   cottonmouth(Agkistrodon piscivorus)

eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus)

VENOMOUS SNAKES

ANATOMY

CONSERVATION

FACTS

LIFE HISTORY

SPECIES LIST

GALLERY

GLOSSARY

BIBLIOGRAPHY

AGENCY RESOURCES

    copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)

   timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)

No photographs included within this information may be used on the internet, publications, or any other form of media without the photographer's express permission. All rights reserved. All images © Scott R. Ballard.

 

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