New exhibit features tree-dwelling master of camouflage
Lake Erie Nature & Science Center has a new species of animal on exhibit. A nimble, lime-green predator with beady eyes that likes to slink about in trees and bushes. Yet, despite the exotic sounding description, this is not a creature of the tropical jungle, but a native Ohio reptile known as the Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus).
Tim Jasinski, Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, explains that this snake species is normally found in southern Ohio while the related and visually similar Smooth Green Snake (Opheodrys vernalis) is more often found in northern Ohio. However, Rough Green Snakes were chosen for this exhibit because of their active climbing habit which is perfect for the tall exhibit space.
“It’s a very cool species that we’ve wanted for a long time,” says Jasinski. “They are a diurnal species which means they’re active during the day. Most snakes are typically nocturnal."
For those who find snakes to be a little spooky, have no fear, Rough Green Snakes are very small and completely harmless. Due to their incredible camouflage and arboreal habitat, even seeing them is a challenge. Bright green scales and a slender body provide the perfect disguise for slithering unnoticed through vegetation in pursuit of insects to eat.
Next time you visit the Center be sure to see how many of these stealthy snakes you can find in the exhibit. Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is open with free admission Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Learn more about the Center and view the current schedule of programming at www.lensc.org.
Jordan Ladikos is on staff at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center.