A BUNCH of snakes has found a perfect hiding spot in the wet woodland of northern Illinois – but can you spot them?
Whether you suffer from ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) or not, the scariest thing about snakes is that they are masters of disguise.
At first glance, there are no snakes to be seen in this photo, but if you look closer, you may spot several reptiles hiding in plain sight.
The snakes in the photo are harmless Northern watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon) and were found in northern Illinois.
This species of common watersnakes will do its best to slither away when found and cannot harm a human.
Northern watersnakes range in size from 24 to 55 in (61-140 cm) and are fairly dark-coloured snakes.
While this species is often confused with the venomous Northern Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) which has bands, the northern watersnake instead has a series of square blotches that alternate and may merge to form bands on its back.
Moderate- to large-sized Northern watersnakes are native to eastern and central North America and inhabit various aquatic habitats including lakes, ponds, rivers, marshes, and streams.
Although ‘sipedon’ is derived from the Greek word ‘sepedon’, which means “a serpent whose bite causes mortification”, these snakes primarily feed on fish and amphibians.
While other prey types are sometimes taken, they feast mainly on trouts, pikes, sunfish, smallmouth bass, toads, bullfrogs, salamanders, and tadpoles.
They can be found basking on riverbanks or on overhanging branches but beware of the fact these reptiles can nip.
Northern watersnakes almost invariably bite repeatedly when they are captured. Their long teeth can inflict minor wounds.
Although they are not endangered, the number of Northern watersnakes is declining around areas of urban development due to habitat loss. There are also reports of people making a “sport” of shooting them.
If you can handle your hidden snakes, try to find the camouflaged reptiles in this scary photo taken in Australia.