What kind of snake is this and is this an egg

Asked May 4, 2018, 4:50 PM EDT

I know absolutely nothing about snakes but this guy appeared and I think it’s a garter snake? 2nd in our yard is this ball looking thing that someone told me is a snake egg. True?? Pics attached

Delaware County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Thank you for your question. The snake in your photograph is an adult northern brown snake, scientific name (Storeria dekayi dekayi). It is a non-venomous species. Typical length is approximately 12 inches, and maximum length is approximately 18 inches.

This species has several subspecies. Their range extends from portions of Maine south to Florida, west to Texas and north to South Dakota. They are found in both hardwood and pine forests, elevated dry areas of swamps and margins of wetlands. They are also commonly found in garden beds underneath mulch, pine straw or leaf litter.

They feed primarily on earthworms and slugs, but they also feed on insects, spiders, snails (they pull the snail out of its shell before consuming them) and small salamanders.

Check out the PA Herp website to find out more about this species at:

https://www.paherps.com/herps/snakes/brown_snake/

An excellent field guide for snakes in your area is:

Gibbons, Whit. (2017). Snakes Of The Eastern United States. Athens: The University of Georgia Press.

The ball-shaped object in your second photo is definitely not a snake egg. At first glance, I thought it was possibly a puff ball, a type of fungus. On closer examination, there appears to be a seam on the left hand side of the object, which would indicate it's a man-made object, possibly an old rubber ball. Without examining it though, I can't give you any better answer.

I hope this information helps, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.

Jim