Another week, another quarantine quiz. This one has snakes!
Don’t forget – you can click on any photo to see a larger, more clear version of it. Answers are listed at the bottom of this post. Good luck – and stay safe out there.
1) Which of these creatures is a tiger beetle?
A. I mean, obviously not 5, but the rest are tiger beetles.
B. #6 is spotted, so it must be a leopard beetle.
2) What is going on here?
A. These are insect galls. Each one contains the larva of a fly.
B. These are ‘sets’ of wild garlic. Edible and tasty.
C. These are seed pods that will burst open upon maturation.
D. These are seed pods that will not burst open upon maturation.
E. These are balloons that have mostly deflated.
3) What the heck is this??
A. A three-jawed water snake, with rows of teeth ready to grab its prey and pull it back underwater to its horrible death.
B. Rows of wasp eggs laid on leaves.
C. A prairie violet seed pod, opened and ready to drop seeds.
D. Insect galls on leaves. Inside each gall is a fly larva.
4) What do you call a snake that has been hired by the federal government?
B. Oh, this is a joke, right? You did this once before.
C. Ok, I give up, what do you call a snake hired by the federal government?
D. You’ll have to look in the answers below!
5) Which of these charming snakes have a venomous bite? (Clicking on the image to see it more clearly will probably be helpful.)
A. #1 only
B. #1 and #2
C. #1 and #3
D. #3 only
F. All snakes are venomous and creepy and deserving of death.
6) Which of these snakes has a very different appearance as a juvenile than as an adult?
A. # 1 starts out with legs but loses them after the first year or two of life.
B. #4 turns a solid color (on its back) when it matures.
C. #3 has the reverse pattern of dark and light on its back as a juvenile.
D. #2 spends its first year underground and is a very pale color with no noticeable pattern until it comes above ground in its second season.
E. Well, they all start out as eggs. Does that count?
7) Which of these brown colored snakes is officially a ‘Brown Snake’ by name?
D. Some biologist actually named a species ‘brown snake’??
- The answer is D. #2 is the only tiger beetle. I don’t know what #1 is. #3 is a longhorned beetle, #4 is a soldier beetle, #5 is Bos taurus, and #6 is a cucumber beetle.
- B. The sets of wild garlic (Allium canadense) can be harvested and sown like seeds. They are also very tasty.
- C. I’ve never seen a three jawed snake, but wouldn’t that be cool?
- A civil serpent! HA HA HA HA HA HA!
- #’s 1 and 2 are both venomous. However, #1 (Prairie rattlesnake) is the one that can be dangerous to humans because its venom-delivering fangs are at the front of its mouth. The hognose snake (#2) does have venomous fangs, but they are at the back of its mouth where they deliver a mild toxin to help neutralize toads, frogs, and other similar prey. Hognose snakes are not a threat to people. Plus they have that cute upturned nose… #3 is a bullsnake (aka gopher snake) and #4 is a juvenile eastern racer. Neither is venomous. Bull snakes (including the one in this photo) can imitate rattlesnakes by flattening their heads when threatened. They may also wiggle the tips of their tails rapidly in dry vegetation, which can sound much like a rattlesnake too. Snakes are the best.
- B. The eastern racer is brown with a distinctive pattern as a juvenile snake but becomes a solid color (on its back) as an adult – with a solid white belly. Often called ‘green racers’ or ‘blue racers’, eastern racers can range in color from olive green to greenish-blue. They are known to kill and eat rattlesnakes, and are apparently immune to their venom.
- B. Brown snakes are gorgeous little snakes that hit their maximum length at about 13 inches. They eat small prey like slugs and earthworms.