A rare rainbow snake was reportedly seen in a Florida forest the previous week, making the first time in a long half of century the multicolored creature has been spotted in the region.
Tracey Cauthen spotted the four-foot rainbow serpent (farancia erytrogramma) while she was hiking at Ocala National Forest in Marion County, as per a post written on Facebook by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
The captured photographs show the serpent’s opalescent blue-black scales with stripes of red and pink all the way to its sides, as well as yellow striations closer to its belly. According to experts, this finding has marked the first recorded spotting of the snake in Marion County since 1969. This was confirmed by the Florida Museum of Natural History to the FWC.
Rare Multicolored Sighting
The nonvenomous species is an extremely aquatic snake. The serpent is also commonly known as an ‘eel moccasin’ after its fondness for consuming eel, the agency stated. The snake lives most of their lives hidden under floating plants and digging near creeks, lakes, marshes, as well as tidal flats.
As per the agency, this type of behavior makes the species a rather uncommon spectacle, even for herpetologists, those who analyze amphibians and reptiles. FWC biologists suggest that this serpent made a rare appearance due to the recent reduction of the Rodman Reservoir, which made it leave its normal habitat.
Adult rainbow snakes can reach about 40 to 50 inches, as per the Florida Museum of Natural History. If it is caught, the creature might avenge by using its pointed tail. However, specialists say the tail is not dangerous and is not able to break the skin on a human hand.
While the species can be found throughout the coast from Louisiana to Maryland, the majority of sightings in Florida happen across the Panhandle and northern peninsula, the representatives of the museum, said.