Our progeny is not sociable. Ana tapped on the glass of his cage, and the very young, very little, very spotted Yellow-Bellied Racer tried to bite her.
Ana, Judy and I were checking out Horticulture Director Roger Sanderson’s herpetarium at the Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park. It’s the new home of our garden’s snake. Correction: Ana and I were looking attentively at the slithering residents. Judy was watching from a very respectful distance.
Anyway, there he was, the sole hatchling of 9, some say 10, snake eggs Hans discovered in June at the bottom of the garden’s compost pile. Hans was excited. Other Gardeners shrieked like 14-year-olds at a rock concert.
If he makes it back to 2311 Joe Field Rd., the racer has long lost cousins to look up at the garden. Mama Racer chose Cindy’s compost piles for her nest last summer, too. Luckily we haven’t seen hide nor hair of her or the kids.
At the moment, our guy is about as round as your little finger, maybe 10 inches long, and covered with brown spots and blotches, much like a newbie whitetail deer. By his third birthday, he’ll trade the spots for a solid blue-grey back and a yellow belly, thus the moniker. Frogs, lizards, small snakes, rodents, birds, and insects are on the menu. Racers aren’t constrictors or poisonous, but are very fast on their feet belly. Don’t know that I’d want to get up close and personal. When captured, Racers struggle violently and bite. If all else fails, nasty stuff is expelled through their vents.
Nope, Racers can wind their quick way through the creek and brush without me.
More about long lost cousins click here.