Snake Shedding - About to Shed

03.28.2004 - I got a call about a snake in someone's flower bed, and the lady said, "It looks like it's from Village of the Damned"! It has glowing blue eyes!" I arrived on the scene, and found out that she wasn't in fact crazy.  This snake DID have glowing blue eyes.  In fact, the entire body was fairly blue.  This isn't terribly surprising, seeing as how this snake is a blue-phase Eastern Garter Snake, which is a common species here in Central Florida.  Shortly before shedding, the skin becomes cloudier, and if it's tinted with color, that color is more pronounced.  The color shows up best over the eyes.  I've caught quite a few snakes thus far that had cloudy eyes, and these snakes were all about to shed.  That's right, the skin goes over the eyes, and if you find a snakeskin, you will see that the shed skin continues over the eyeballs.  Anyway, this snake looked really neat.  As you might suspect, snakes are somewhat more vulnerable in this state, a bit more apathetic, and with poor vision.  I'd bet that this snake was very close to shedding, perhaps preparing to do so this very day.  I never found out, as I removed and relocated this harmless snake to a safe place.  The customer was amazed to learn that it was not about to stare into her soul and perform mind control tricks on her.

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Information about shedding female garter snake - The female garter snake tends to be larger than the male, with a body that is not only longer but much bulkier. The reason for this size increase has to do with survival of the fittest; larger female produce larger litters of young. Female garter snakes are less active, but not necessarily docile in nature. These snakes will spend most of their time building up energy stores for reproduction later on. When the time to breed nears, the female snake will enter a brumation phase, a time frame where her body digests any remaining food in the stomach and she is notably less active. Breeding will take place when the female garter exits brumation. At this time, she will produce a special pheromone to attract males. The attractant does not just lure in a few snakes; male snakes drawn to a female can come in droves. Just because the female snake is bred does not mean that she will give birth after an exact number of days. The garter female can store sperm for years until she feels the time is right to become pregnant. When young are born after three months, they are alive and immediately independent of the mother.

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