Snakes/snake

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Question
snake in dog park
snake in dog park  

snake in dog park
snake in dog park  
Today we came across this snake in the dog park.  He or she was unlike any snake we have seen in the area.  As I approached him, he moved his head toward me and rattled his tale.  I am unable to identify him.  Do you know what kind of snake he is.  I could guess was hognose or kingsnake but neither seemed quite right.  I would appreciate your expert advice and hopefully this will bring us some piece of mind. Thanks,
Maria

Answer
Based on the picture and your location I's say its a bull snake, also called pine snakes, and/or gopher snakes.  If he actually hissed at you I'd be even more certain.  Assuming I'm correct they are large bodied snakes that will rattle their tail as your described and often put on a good show.  They tame quite easily though and are one of my favorite groups.  Pituophis melanolucus is the scientific name I believe but don't quote me on the spelling!

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Expertise

I can answer any questions about selecting a new snake. Most questions about how to care for a particular snake, including diet and habitat. I can answer questions concerning breeding of most of the commmonly available snakes in US. And I can tackle genetics questions as well.

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15 years experience as an owner, breeder, dealer and teacher.

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B.S. Biology Ed. UCF

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