Snakes On The Site - How To Recognize A Poisonous One And Protect Yourself From A Bite? Description And Photo

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Snakes On The Site - How To Recognize A Poisonous One And Protect Yourself From A Bite? Description And Photo
Snakes On The Site - How To Recognize A Poisonous One And Protect Yourself From A Bite? Description And Photo

Video: Snakes On The Site - How To Recognize A Poisonous One And Protect Yourself From A Bite? Description And Photo

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Before moving to Kuban, my experience of communicating with reptiles, even scanty, could not be called the language. I was born and raised in a village near Moscow and have never seen a snake. Familiar boys once brought a snake from somewhere from distant swamps, but by the time I returned from swimming, he had "escaped" from them. During my stay in Komsomolsk-on-Amur (within the city limits) I didn’t have to meet reptiles. And during forays into the forest too. On the banks of the Amur, several times Amur snakes came across: handsome men 1.5 m long and as thick as an arm. One day, at the dacha of friends, a small viper was caught on the path, quickly slipping into the grass. That's the whole experience. Moving to a Kuban settlement quickly filled this gap. What snakes are and whether you need to fight them, I will tell you in this article.

Snakes on the site - how to recognize a poisonous one and protect yourself from a bite?
Snakes on the site - how to recognize a poisonous one and protect yourself from a bite?

Content:

  • How we fought snakes
  • Poisonous snakes in Russia
  • Snake lifestyle
  • Vipers feeding
  • How snakes behave when meeting a person
  • When are snakes most dangerous?
  • How to distinguish poisonous from non-venomous snakes

How we fought snakes

We settled in our house in the Kuban in the second half of November, when all the reptiles were already fast asleep in secluded places. Throughout the winter, the locals frightened us with stories about snakes that are found here (without names) and, like fishermen, showed their dimensions with wide arms. Apparently, no one was ever hurt by snakes, but the stories were terrible - where is Stephen King!

Therefore, the first small viper that we found sleeping under a pile of bark near the woodshed was mercilessly destroyed. It's still a shame. The all-knowing Internet clarified the peculiarities of the life of snakes, and we decided to drive them out of the site in an amicable way.

In early spring, the perimeter of the woodshed was generously covered with dry mustard. We cut out the thickets of blackberries around the perimeter of the site (snakes love secluded corners). They raked up heaps of stones. A friend from a nearby street complained that vipers had to be constantly chased from an artificial pond with nymphs. The decorative reservoir was deleted from our plans until the situation became clear.

The mating period, which means the maximum activity of the snakes, falls here in April. It coincided with the beginning of mowing, the grass has grown enough. During the mowing, the first to appear was a healthy one, about a meter long. Black with a yellow bow at the back of the head. The trimmer is electric and he was very scared. The mowing was suspended, they already gave time to recover, then they kicked out from the site with a stick.

In a low and damp place, a small, 15 centimeters, yellow-bellied snake fell under the trimmer line. Nearby, a water snake barely managed to escape (I prepared myself over the winter by carefully studying the external signs of the snakes living here). Further, the mowing continued more carefully in order to scare away, not injure the snakes. Several times different tails flashed in the grass.

Since in the first year of our life in the new place we actually had no neighbors, and there were thickets on all sides, we decided to process the perimeter with Roundup, followed by burning the remains. Local snakes do not crawl to bare ground. The first summer, with regular mowing of the grass, snakes were no longer found.

In subsequent years, when bees were brought in and mowing became less frequent so that the bees could collect everything they needed, snakes and snakes began to come across again. Rarely, closer to the forest and an abandoned neighboring site. We do not actively fight with them, so we drive with the dog.

Water snake (Natrix tesellata)
Water snake (Natrix tesellata)
Common viper (Vipera berus)
Common viper (Vipera berus)
Common shitomordnik (Gloydius halys)
Common shitomordnik (Gloydius halys)

Poisonous snakes in Russia

When you know what to expect, it’s not so scary. Having found out that in our area the most terribly poisonous is the steppe viper (we destroyed it in the first year), we calmed down. Her bite is reportedly painful but not fatal.

I was bitten by a small snake, when I, pulling the extra grass behind the fence, grabbed its tail. I was in work gloves, I did not pay attention to the bite - there were thorny shoots of blackberries all around. She launched the snake into the grass.

At home, knocking out small blackberry spines from my fingers, I found two characteristic punctures on the skin, treated with alcohol and began to observe the symptoms. There were practically no symptoms. That is, the site of the bite was slightly swollen and reddened, without any particular pain. If I hadn't looked at him closely, I wouldn't have paid any attention at all. I have more complaints about blackberries.

So, now, in fact, about poisonous snakes. In the Russian Federation, the most venomous snake is the gyurza (viper family). Found in the southeast of Dagestan, not everywhere. A healthy snake, up to 2 meters, of various colors, depending on the terrain. More often gray-brown. Attacks, at times, without hissing or other warning, if it seemed to her that her rights were violated. He can jump to the length of his body, strong and fast - it is better not to get involved. It is listed in the Red Book, because the poison is valuable, and the snake is terrible.

The rest of the country is inhabited by vipers and moths (also from the viper family). Vipers are common everywhere, shitomordniki - from the lower Volga to Primorye. It:

  • The common viper (the most common), lives in the center and in the north of the European part, in Siberia without permafrost and Transbaikalia.
  • The Sakhalin viper is common in the Amur Region, Sakhalin, Primorye, Khabarovsk Territory.
  • Caucasian - from Maykop to the south.
  • Stepnaya lives in the forest-steppe, foothills, steppes and semi-deserts from the western borders to Altai.
  • Nikolsky's viper, which seems to be a subspecies of the common - in the forest-steppe zone of the European part.
  • In the Caucasus, there are several species of vipers that are rare.

The toxicity is different for everyone. The bite of an ordinary viper, Sakhalin viper, Caucasian viper can be fatally poisonous. The venom of the vipers affects the blood and hematopoietic organs, prevents clotting.

The bite is painful in the shitomordnikov, the poison also prevents blood clotting, which can lead to very unpleasant consequences, but without lethal outcome.

Vipers choose places for life near the water, but so that there is sunshine and secluded places where to hide
Vipers choose places for life near the water, but so that there is sunshine and secluded places where to hide

Snake lifestyle

Vipers choose places for life not far from the water, but so that the sun is there and all sorts of secluded places where to hide. Snakes do not like unnecessary anxiety. We with our trimmer are like a neighbor with a puncher for them. They prefer to change their habitat. Fortunately, there are plenty of abandoned areas with impassable thickets of blackberries around.

Snakes very quickly master areas abandoned by people: thickets of grass and bushes, in which mice, voles, shrews and other food feel at ease, provide them with fresh food and good protection. As a rule, there is a place to spend the winter.

Vipers overwinter in the ground below the freezing layer, in holes of rodents, moles, cavities. They can find a job for the winter under haystacks or heaps of garbage, depending on the climate and heat capacity of the heap. Moss, dry grass stalks, boards, logs are preferred. They choose places protected from the wind, not flooded, heated by the sun. If people or hoofed animals huddle in the place of the supposed wintering in autumn, the vipers will not go there.

In spring, snakes emerge from shelters at temperatures from 0 to + 5 ° C. Due to their natural cold-bloodedness, an external heat source is required to warm them. Therefore, in sunny weather, snakes gain heat in heated places. There they are most often found. Warm-up lasts three weeks or less if the weather is constantly very warm and sunny.

Having warmed up, they molt, and already in a new guise they pass to mating. Some, especially temperamental ones, mate before molt. This activity takes vipers one to two weeks.

Little vipers will be born by the end of summer. Baby snakes develop in eggs, but the egg shell dissolves in the mother's body closer to the moment of birth, or breaks in the process. The snake crawls onto a low bush or tree (up to half a meter) and, moving its tail like a pendulum, releases snakes down to the ground, which immediately hide in a shelter. There is even a saying - "it lays eggs, and a viper climbs on a birch to whelp".

Then the children take care of themselves. The toxicity is acquired after a few hours.

Vipers feeding

The basis of the viper's dining table is small mammals: shrews, mice, voles, small water rats. As an addition - toads, lizards, chicks of small birds, insects and slugs. Snakes dwelling near water quite successfully feed on tailless amphibians, tritons.

In general, depending on the habitat, species and population, their diet is different. The digestion of snakes is leisurely, they can eat once a week and for the season they have enough food 100-200% of their own weight. At the beginning of summer, they eat more, by the end of summer - less (except for females bearing cubs).

Before hibernation, unlike, for example, bears, they stop eating altogether. They do not eat either immediately after wintering. Not because mice are skinny and tasteless, but because nothing works in a cold body, including digestion. First you need to get warm. Also, snakes hardly eat during molting. Apparently, they are losing weight so that old skin peels off easier.

When meeting a person, the viper tries to crawl away and can only bite if it is prevented
When meeting a person, the viper tries to crawl away and can only bite if it is prevented

How snakes behave when meeting a person

When meeting a person, the viper tries to crawl away. It can bite only if it is prevented, and actively: grabbed by the tail, by the torso, stepped on or cornered.

A bite in the neck, artery or vein can be deadly, and a bite in the face is dangerous. In other cases, one or another degree of intoxication should be expected, which will pass in a few days. Toxicity depends on the age (size) of the snake and the size of the bitten person.

In most cases, men predominate among the victims and the place of the bite is the hands.

According to the testimony of doctors, typical situations of bites:

  • "I caught a viper by the neck, dabbled, she pulled out and bit";
  • “Playing with a snake while drunk”;
  • “When trying to put a snake in a bottle”;
  • "When trying to grab a snake."

The list goes on, but it is clear that the number of candidates for the Darwin Prize is not decreasing.

Vipers are afraid of people more than people of snakes, they bite more often from fright. There are times when the vipers taken into the hands have a bear disease. In some cases, when caught, the snake pretends to be dead, although perhaps it is a faint from fear.

Cases have been recorded when vipers, confused with other snakes, were taken in hand, sometimes kept in the house - and they did not bite.

Poison for a snake is an important resource necessary for hunting and for an emergency situation, it will not waste it in vain, and even more so chasing an unlucky mushroom picker in order to certainly bite him.

When are snakes most dangerous?

Everyone knows for himself: if there is some kind of annoying factor, aggressiveness increases, and even minor troubles can cause an inadequate response. That's the same for snakes. In the spring they molt (and not only in the spring, but also in the summer), it is unpleasant, uncomfortable, hungry, and here mushroom pickers run around, poke sticks into the foliage, grass, climb into the thickets …

After the spring molt, after having a little snack, you urgently need to find a pair - the season is leaving, in a warm season you can not keep up, and now summer residents have come running. With dogs, cats, stinking cars, from which the earth vibrates terribly. There are no conditions for personal life. In general, they can also be understood.

Moreover, snakes do not see well and do not hear at all, reacting only to vibrations. The snake will do everything possible not to get caught on the road if, for example, stomp hard. Mutual courtesy: we warned - she got out.

Fragile spindle (Anguis fragilis)
Fragile spindle (Anguis fragilis)
Yellow toad (Pseudopus apodus)
Yellow toad (Pseudopus apodus)

How to distinguish poisonous from non-venomous snakes

It is a pity to see dead snakes or yellow-bellies on the paths or on the road. And if a snake - although not poisonous, but a snake, then a yellow-bellied - generally a lizard! Only legless, such a family.

Instead of poisonous vipers, yellow snakes, water snakes, brittle spindles (also legless lizards), copperheads often suffer. Ordinary snakes also fall.

It should be borne in mind that the vipers have a pattern on their backs in the form of zigzags or rhombuses of various colors, although there are purely black vipers (Nikolsky's viper, or forest-steppe). Shitomordniki have a cross-striped color.

In water snakes and coppers, the color is checkerboard, in legless lizards (spindles) it is monochromatic or with longitudinal stripes, ordinary snakes are even black or gray in color with light spots behind the eyes.

In vipers and snakes, the heads are triangular, in contrast to oval-headed snakes, and from legless lizards, in which the head, in general, is not highlighted and smoothly passes into the body.

If you suddenly happen to look into the eyes of the snake, then the round pupil should calm down, because vipers have elongated, slit-like pupils. There are also cardinal differences on the underside of the tail, but probably few people will look there.

Dear Readers! The World Wide Web gives us a wonderful opportunity to get information from knowledgeable people about the animals living in a particular region. And then - according to the situation: undesirable ones - decisively drive out, useful ones to lure. Suddenly, who will have a friendship with the snake …

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