bio-fluorescent rattlesnake

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jr9999
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Joined: August 19th, 2021, 10:47 pm

bio-fluorescent rattlesnake

Post by jr9999 »

A week ago, I was out at an abandon mine in central Nevada, looking for fluorescent minerals, and happened to spot a bio-fluorescent rattlesnake. I shot photos (below), and when I got home, I searched Google to see how common that was. I found several references to rattlesnake rattles that bio-fluoresced, but nothing about the entire snake fluorescing. As you can see, this entire snake is fluorescing.
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The tail. The rattle is fluorescing noticeably brighter than the rest.
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The pointy end, also fluorescing.
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Here he is in normal lighting. I would guess he's about 4 ft, (1.25m) long.

Sorry about the poor quality of the photos. It's hard enough to take a photo with a cell phone using just one hand. It gets harder when you're trying to hold and aim a UV light in the other, while balancing on a steep rocky slope, at night, in the dark, while simultaneously not pissing off a rattlesnake. BTW: my main concern wasn't being bit, it was that the snake would get annoyed, and disappear down a hole before I could shoot the photos.

Is this news? Have any of you seen this before? I'm an amateur geologist, not a herpetologist so this is way out of my normal field. I know that bio-fluorescence is a hot topic of research right now, but mostly in the marine environment, and mostly non-invertebrates. On land, the best bio-fluorescence I know of is scorpions.

-James
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zeevng
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Joined: April 27th, 2013, 7:46 pm
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Re: bio-fluorescent rattlesnake

Post by zeevng »

Really interesting stuff, James!
I don't have much to add myself, but hopefully someone will chime in soon. I personally haven't heard of a fully biofluorescent rattlesnake before, but that isn't saying much.

Cool shots, and thanks for posting! :thumb:

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Porter
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Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: bio-fluorescent rattlesnake

Post by Porter »

Nick Hess Posted a black light (I think) shot of a species of salamander… I think it was a salamander, that was glowing beneath the blacklight. I told him he should try shining down on kingsnakes, because of the fluorescent coloring I’ve seen on a few individuals in the northern central valley area. I was wondering if they glow at all. When I was down south earlier this year, I wanted to shine my blacklight on a desert phase CA Kingsnake if I were to find one. Because they are the only true black and white kingsnakes (Hubbs). I was wondering what the white looks like underneath a black light. I was so damn tired and in a dream state when I found a little Kingsnake that I forgot to shine the black light on it lol I’m sure Nick has shined the blacklight on several herps since then, you might want to send him a PM maybe he can add to the post.


Awesome pictures! :beer: and discovery. I would love to see some video of this…

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Paul Freed
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Location: Pacific Northwest (Oregon) U.S.

Re: bio-fluorescent rattlesnake

Post by Paul Freed »

In the most recent issue of Herpetological Review (volume 52, number 2, pp 221-237), there is an interesting article that touches on the same topic. ['Glow and Behold: Biofluorescence and New Insights on the tails of Pitvipers (Viperidae: Crotalinae) and Other Snakes']. The article illustrates numerous species of vipers, as well as, colubrids, elapids, and even caterpillars and some plants. Lots of great photos and info on the subject.
-Paul

jr9999
Posts: 2
Joined: August 19th, 2021, 10:47 pm

Re: bio-fluorescent rattlesnake

Post by jr9999 »

Porter wrote:
August 24th, 2021, 1:45 pm
Nick Hess Posted a black light (I think) shot of a species of salamander… I think it was a salamander, that was glowing beneath the blacklight. I told him he should try shining down on kingsnakes, because of the fluorescent coloring I’ve seen on a few individuals in the northern central valley area. I was wondering if they glow at all. When I was down south earlier this year, I wanted to shine my blacklight on a desert phase CA Kingsnake if I were to find one. Because they are the only true black and white kingsnakes (Hubbs). I was wondering what the white looks like underneath a black light. I was so damn tired and in a dream state when I found a little Kingsnake that I forgot to shine the black light on it lol I’m sure Nick has shined the blacklight on several herps since then, you might want to send him a PM maybe he can add to the post.


Awesome pictures! :beer: and discovery. I would love to see some video of this…
In my experience, there is no correlation between color in visible light, and fluorescence color, (man-made pigments excluded). As I recall, nearly every animal or mineral that I've seen fluoresce was a not too far from grey-tan-white in color when viewed in normal light.

I did shoot some video of the snake, but it isn't any clearer than the photos, and I don't have a convenient way of posting it, (it won't attach below).

By the way, it has been identified as a Great Basin Rattlesnake.

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gheaton98
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Joined: August 24th, 2021, 4:47 pm
Location: Los Angeles County, CA

Re: bio-fluorescent rattlesnake

Post by gheaton98 »

Awesome find, and a beautiful snake in either lighting. I've seen great basin rattlesnakes in Utah as a kid but still need to get photos of one myself.

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