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Posted by Patrick Alexander on November 04, 2000 at 21:12:12:
In Reply to: suspicious snake posted by Cmeeks on November 02, 2000 at 09:35:51:
: A snake, red in color with black diamonds on its back, very velvety feeling was found on job site in Chanute Ks. last wk. The snake was turnd over to state forest ranger who released it after telling workers that it was a very venomous snake which probably came in a shipment from S. Amer. He called the snake a ferdalance, Does anyone know about this snake?
Fer-de-lances are, indeed, highly venemous snakes that live in South America... but they really aren't what I'd call `red with black diamonds'... here's a picture of one, from the National Aquarium in Baltimore's web site:
I also doubt that they'd have velvety feeling skin, but, then again, I've never touched one. Also, if you managed to pick it up and not get bitten, it probably wasn't a fer-de-lance, as these guys are, from all I've heard, quite aggressive... and if this snake really was from South America, and especially if it was a fer-de-lance, then releasing it was a pretty moronic thing for this forest ranger to do...
Aside from that, I can't think of any native US snakes that would be red with black diamonds, though it this snake really was from South America there's a kind of South American slug-eating snake that'd be red with black diamonds... if the snake you found was around 2.5' long and very thin, I guess it's possible it was one of those.