or we have just never spotted one before, as we don’t use chemicals and we practice low till and in some cases no till methods on the farm as well as green crops and a few area’s that we rotate cutting but otherwise leave natural, we have lots and lots of helpers in our gardens and farm, we have tons of toads, tend to have a garden snake or two, and at the right time of the year, the praying Mante’s appear in numbers with itty bitty babies arriving by the dozens.
But this little guy is new to us, as in we had not seen one before, it was sleeping under the tarp out by the feeder and when our newest hay bales arrived, we scared it when we picked up the tarp to cover the tops of the bale, that’s why its little red belly is showing, while it looks like we got really close to it, it was zoom, given its top color, I think it would be very hard to spot otherwise.
Red-bellied snakes are generally found in forest edge habitat, fields and meadows with abundant ground cover, such as logs, rocks, scrap piles and building foundations. These snakes rarely occur in regions with little forest cover. Like most other snakes in Ontario, these snakes overwinter underground below the frost line. They have small home ranges, and over the entire summer an individual may move no more than 500 metres from its hibernation site.
Red-bellied snakes breed in the spring or sometimes in the fall. Females incubate the fertilized eggs internally and give birth to four to 14 live young in late summer. The newborn snakes are seven to 10 centimetres in length and mature in two years.
Red-bellied snakes are nocturnal. They eat invertebrates such as slugs, earthworms, snails, grubs and insects, which eat plants and vegetables in gardens. These snakes help to control populations of these garden pests. Red-bellied snakes rarely bite and have very tiny, ineffective teeth. However, this species will threaten potential predators by exposing its bright red belly or flattening itself and curling the edges of its mouth outward.”
The fact that it lives in such a small area, gives me hope that maybe I will have a couple of these and maybe I will get lucky and end up with a breeding pair, they sound like they would be great little garden snakes to have around doing their thing.
That snake is actually kinda pretty. Interesting info…thanks! We appreciate our farm helpers as well. I’ve notice a lot more lady bugs this year than usual.
Dh spotted it first and then called me to get the camera, and I agree, such a pretty little one, felt a bit bad when I read that the reason it was showing its red belly was in warning, but it didn’t look very scary to be honest, I have always admired snakes, and have handled a number over the years.
Will have to keep an eye out. The regional chart says that there have been sightings in our area since 1992 but most seem to be historic in nature. Must admit I don’t generally go looking for snakes…
Well, can’t say that we go looking for them either, but we do tend to spot them now and again, but its always been our common green garden snakes, sounds like they are moving into your area but not in great numbers.
Aren’t they lovely! We have redbellies here and they are worth their weight eating up all the rodents my lazy cat won’t :O
Good to know that they will catch and eat mice as well, do you have a breeding group locally, by which i mean to you get to see both young and old red bellies, I am trying to figure out how old our’s way, We figure it was about ten inches long
Can’t say much about breeders, but we do have a fair shake of snakes…which beats rodents in my book any day.