Today I spent part of the morning accompanying our new summer intern, Mr. Colin Johnson, to observe and collect some fauna here at The Crosby Arboretum. Probably our most exciting find, or rather Colin’s most exciting find, was the rarely seen hognose snake (Heterodon spp.) that he found on a trail near the ticket booth out front. He called me on the radio to let me know and I ran outside, camera in-hand. Did you know that Mississippi State University Extension Service has a great tool for identifying snakes found in Mississippi? Give it a try! Don’t worry, he was never hurt, barely touched, and we released this big guy (23″ is pretty big for a southern hognose snake) back into his happy habitat. He sure was beautiful and fun to watch. Eastern hognose snake (Heterodon platirhinos) is the possibility for our find. So we are not yet 100% sure.
Hailing from right here in Picayune, Colin is a senior zoology major at Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania. This summer Colin will be helping with many Arboretum projects, but exciting for me is his work to update the inventory and documentation of fauna on our property: animals, birds, fish, turtles, frogs, lizards, snakes, spiders, etc.
In the image above Colin holds the southern hognose snake he found this morning.
View our Youtube Channel video that I took with the camera.
Be sure to say hello if you see Colin out on the trails this summer. We really appreciate all he will be doing for us.
Sr Curator R. Stafne
All images and text copyright Mississippi State University, 2012