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Blotched Rat Snake

Blotched Rat Snake
Photo Information
Copyright: Alexei Alyokhin (Alex99) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-06-15
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Nikon D700, AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED, Hoya HD UV 77 mm
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2009-06-16 8:15
Viewed: 6246
Points: 110
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Unfortunately, in summer I spend (live) 3-5 days a week in a country, where there is not Internet and I cannot visit TN when I wish.

Fortunately, there I spend a lot of time with camera surrounding by birds, insects and wild plants.

Yesterday I have taken series shots of the snake. I have met it on a pass unexpectedly.

I must say there is not any species of venomous snakes in Odessa region. Only Grass Snake, water snakes Water snake and Smooth snakes are widespread here. However, I met only grass snakes in my childhood which have two yellow spots on the head. Last years this was third meeting of the snakes (two from them in my garden) which are different (they have not yellow spots).

Using Internet photos, I cannot identify this cute enough creature. May be anybody can help me? See also Workshop.

I had 300 mm prime lens and even with FF camera I could not place whole snake into the frame. I also had only few minutes for shooting.

Owing to Ivan Kruys (Argus) and Bayram Gocmen (boreocypriensis) now I know, that it is Blotched Rat Snake Elaphe sauromates (previously known as Elaphe quatuorlineata sauromates). Thanks a lot them for correct ID.

Some info about this species you can find here:
Elaphe sauromates,
Blotched Rat Snake.

Argus, maurydv, nasokoun, Juyona, siggi, cloud, nglen, boreocypriensis, haraprasan, uleko, horia, Noisette, jconceicao, briGG, jaycee, Royaldevon, anel, eqshannon, Luis52, flashpoint, oscarromulus, eng55, peter_stoeckl, valy67, cedryk, meyerd, izler, CeltickRanger, loot, rousettus, Hormon_Manyer, jusninasirun has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To cedryk: Route ?!Alex99 1 08-01 04:35
To Argus: UpdatingAlex99 1 06-16 21:17
To boreocypriensis: Blotched Rat Snake!Alex99 1 06-16 17:34
To Argus: Venomous on not?Alex99 1 06-16 08:54
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-06-16 8:31]
  • [+]

Hello Alexei,
Though I stand to correction by Bayram as I am not a herpetologist, I suggest that this is some dark eyed subspecies of the Four-lined Snake ( Elaphe quatorlineata).
Nice close portrait of the head taken from a great low POV with fine sharpness.
Thanks and my best regards to you,

Dear Alexei, wonderful close up, TFS Ori

Hello Alexei,
a fantastic macro capture of this snake taken from an excellent POV with outstanding sharpness, splendid bright colours and light, very nice composition.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5136 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-06-16 8:37]

Hello Alexei,
Wonderful close portrait of this snake taken from a perfect low POV and angle. Outstanding sharp details in beautiful light and colours. Good DOF and composition.

Hello Alex!

Great close-up! ... Contact with the eyes of the reptile is excellent. I welcome the details in the crystalline part of the eye, a product of this excellent optical calibration.

Thanks for the add photo option as WS; used to have a better idea of the reptilian full.

Very good job, thanks for sharing

Greetings from Venezuela, I hope that you very well.


  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2009-06-16 8:58]

I like this picture much, Alex, because the ligth is great and right on the snake's head. It is beautiful too and your notes are very interesting. We don't have such snakes here and it is fascinating. Many thanks, great picture!


hello Alexei
imagine that yesterday it passed under my legs, same one,
you have photographed one very good close up,with detail that elects his beauty,
wonderful capture
TFS thanks for sharing
Nasos from lake Kerkini

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2009-06-16 9:25]

Hola amigo,
magnífica macro,
detalles y buena definición...
luz y color hermosos.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-06-16 9:38]

Hello Alexei,
It is a beautiful snake and you captured it very well 'cause your photo is very sharp, superb BG with splendid colours showing the structure very well.Well composed too.
Best regards Siggi

Ciao Alexei, wonderful portrait of fantastic snake with splendid colors, great details and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2009-06-16 10:31]

Hello Alexei,
In my countryside I haven't met snakes, On your photo look nicely. I like such composition.
Regards, Pawel

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-06-16 11:31]

Hello Alexei
Excellent portrait with great details. Well done.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-06-16 11:41]

Hi Alexei. You were able to get so close to this grass snake we can see all the detail in the skin and eyes. Which you have taken with such natural colours. Well done TFS.

Hi Alexie,
This is a beautiful adult Blotched Rat Snake Elaphe sauromates (previously knovn as Elaphe quatuorlineata sauromates which it is also distributed in Turkey including the eastern parts of Europe. She is realy cute:) and you took a great portrait from it.
TFS this fine shot!
Well done!


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6475 W: 89 N: 15609] (65297)
  • [2009-06-16 14:48]

Hi Alex,welcome back! And what a great return,this portrait very dangerous is fantastic! A impressive quality of sharpness and colors,and the low point of view make a difference!!! My best compliments,have a nice day,LUCIANO

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2009-06-17 5:02]

Hello Alexei,
Wonderful close-up of this scary snake.Very good focus.
Thanks for sharing.

Very well seen and timed, Alexei!
Just the perfect head shot!

terrific close-up of the pretty snake! :-) love the sharp and clear details - especially the eye and skin are great.
nice low pov and good colors and lighting. guess you were quite lucky with his beauty. well seen & captured, thor.

Hi Alexei,
A nice portrait of this beautiful rat snake. Razor sharp details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-06-17 9:32]

Hello Alexei,
Excellent close view of this Rat Snake with great focus on the 'kind' eye! Very sharp details and nice light and colours too. Well done!
TFS and all the best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2009-06-17 10:47]

Hi Alexei

I see Ivan and Bayram already pointed you in the right direction with the ID here, so all i have to do now is congratulate you con finding this elusive and actually rare snake in our areas.
The portrait you've got here is superb, full of sharp details and wonderfully saturated colors.
The focus is excellent, despite the long lens you had on, and the DOF is also great.
Very beautiful series of shots, excellent find and post.

Bravo and TFS

Hello Alexei
What a great portrait of this Blotched Rat Snake, the details are stunning especially on his eye
superb natural and warm colors thanks to the beautiful luminosity
shanks a lot for sharing

  • Great 
  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2009-06-17 15:16]

Hello Alexei,
great portrait!
fantastic close-up,
sharpness and details are excellent!
best regards

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-06-17 21:16]

Hi Alex,
excelent presentation of the fronsl. Clear and detailed head of the snake.
Well lighted and excellent presentation.


Hi Alexei,

very good portrait and pov of this snake.
good of details and with fine colours.


  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2009-06-18 10:53]

Hello Alexei,
This snake is focused! Very nice close up, sharpness, and colors.. Well done


Hello Alexei,

Details,colours and sharpness are superb.
Lighting and composition are excellent.
Good notes.

Ciao Alex. Perfect details according with an amazing light. Great macro.


  • Great 
  • briGG Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 195 W: 2 N: 344] (1823)
  • [2009-06-18 14:09]

Hello Alex!

I do not like snakes, but we must recognize that the head is successful!
Thanks for your notes!



Buen acercamiento con un más que correcto encuadre Alexei. Captaste bien el ojo del reptil, con acertados reflejos en él y eso le da mucha vida. Has conseguido un trabajo muy efectivo sin grandes complicaciones.
Saludos: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • Marx44 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 172 W: 97 N: 926] (3885)
  • [2009-06-19 10:12]

Hi Alexei
A very beautiful head shot of this beautiful snake.
Very nicely composed with excellent details.
Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-06-19 17:39]

Hi Alexi,

I was sure Bayram would be able to identify this beautiful snake. You captured him perfectly to show off that wonderful eye. Excellent colors and details of the face, eye, and skin. I LOVE the composition.


hello alexei,
this is so beautiful but equally scarry to me, amazing clarity, each scale is visible clearly, fine pov,
well done,
tfs & regards

Hello Alexei,

How unusual that both you and Nick (nglen) have posted snakes this time! It must be quite a shock to meet a snake when you are out walking!
This shot has all your normal high qualities of sharp focus, excellent textural details and perfect composition.

Have a good w/e,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-06-20 4:33]

hello Alex,
It seems that snakes are very present lately on TN. I don't like them, but I admit that they are very photogenic. Very nice to have focussed on the head showing a snake wirh no agressiv attitude. Nice natural colors too. I never had the possibility to take a picture of a snake and I don't know if I would have the courage to do it.
I wish you a nice weekend
Best regards

Just knowing there is no poisonous will help...but snakes for me are unpredictable and you can tell by my complete lack of images in over half million. Very nice...Bayram must have certainly said something about this one...Good show Alexei!

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2009-06-20 14:00]

Hola Alexei.
You did an excellent Macro photo with 300mm tele. very sharp and clear image, nice and fine details in his head and eyes.
Love snakes, they are a beautiful creatures.

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2009-06-21 1:30]

I can't say I like this one. It's too cold for me. But photo is very good

impressively close contact with excellent detail of the head of this harmless snake in your region ...........
perfect capture,Alexei!!

best sERGIO

BEATIFUL WORK, again.... my "dear" friend.
Regards from Calgary from,
Am waiting to receive Photoshop CS4 and a Macro Lense 180mm. this week.
Will get, also, similar equipment as you have...Camera: Nikon D700, AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED, Hoya HD UV 77 mm very soon.

Hello Alex,

I don't know why most snakes have this cunning expression??
Or is it only me hehehe... by the way, this fellow is kinda cute too...
Jokes aside, this is a fine portrait with good details and a fine diagonal framing!

Pablo -

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-06-25 3:31]

Privet Alexei,
Excellent capture of this snake.POV,framing,crisp clear eyes and DOF you managed are wonderful.Very well done!
Thanks for posting..

Hallo Alexei
Now this is not an image that I am use to see from your hand. You have captured this snake with great clarity and detail. The textures and patterns or markings of the skin are well seen and displayed. Focus and sharpness is super. Great photography with good composition. I like the light captured in the face area. A super portrait. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

Alexei, my dear friend,
getting into such an intense eye contact with that snake from Odessa is thrilling feeling. Must have been a touching moment for you to take this powerful portrait, technically and artistically created in your perfect way.
Living as peacefully close to nature without all the distractions of modern multimedia and internet as you do during the summer months sounds like a privilege. Enjoy your summer out there! With thanks, and all my best wishes to you,

P.S.: Thank you for your very kind and suppportive words to my recent posting after my several weeks' absence from here.
Hope to be back again on a more regular base soon.

Hello Alexei !
I wonder why I have missed this wonderful picture when you posted it... ? Anyways, I am here now, and I one word is enough to say it all - AMAZING. The sharp look of the snake make him look dangerous, the brownish colors are very pleasant, the sharpness and details are excellent, the composition is perfect. You're lucky to have snakes where you live, I really wish I could see a snake in the wild some day, but it seems there are none in Alsace where I live - so I must content myself with looking at pictures like this ! :-) Very well done !

  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2009-08-01 1:41]
  • [+]

Hello Alexei,
Very nice portrait with face to face ground-level POV.
Starting from next Saturday I will spend three weeks in Ukraine, travelling along the Dnieper river down to the Black Sea. I hope to see and photograph a lot of interesting animals, plants and landscapes :-)
Best greetings,

Hi Alexei,
thanks to you I discover the existence of a snake species, the Blotched rat snake. Your precise and head- on portrait is a huge success, Alexei.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2009-09-24 10:16]

hello my dear friend
everytime you are presenting wonderful photos at each TN categories
i like POV, DOF, sharpness and details with nice eye contact

Amazing close-up. Fabulous details. The snake seems so calm.

Nice snake shot. I like the reflection in your eyes. Maybe I can see you there :)

hello Alexei

excellent portrait photo of this snake, shot with fine POV
and the way it is framed on the image, fine focus excellent
sharpness and details, beautiful luminosity and colour tones,



  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2010-01-09 16:57]

Hi Alexei

It seems like you have gone into winter hibernation. Hope you're doing fine and that
you are surviving the extreme and debilitating cold that apparently gripped most of
the northern territories. It is great to see that once again the Trekkies have come to
the rescue to resolve yet another ID query. This is an excellent facial capture of the
Blotched Rat Snake. The lovely sharp details afford one a lovely clear view of all its
features. The reflection in its eye is so well captured that one can actually see you
in it. Seems like this prime lens is really worth the investment.

Well done MF and TFS.

Hello Alexei,
Nice to see you again on TN. I thought that you would upload a new post for today. but I am also pleasured your visiting and messages. I will wait your new shots.
So, I looked at your previous ones. I saw this wonderful capture of beautiful Elaphe sauromates. it is in your usual master quaility, with wonderful sharp details. excellent focus and exposure. POV/DOF and composition superb. also colors. thanks for sharing, best regards

Hi Alex again,

Beautiful macro portrait of this species which doesn't live in my home country (Hungary), but critically endangered for example in our common neighbourhood (Romania).

I see nobody answered to your question, so I made a quick search. This is a venomous species. The infos I just found are in Hungarian, but maybe you can get them in English when searching for "colubridae snake bite poisoning" or so.

Tfs the nice pic, friendly regards, László

Hello Alexei.
Great shot at this rat snake.
Details are fabulous in fine framing.
Thanks and have a joyful Christmas.

  • Great 
  • sily Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 6 N: 395] (1934)
  • [2011-01-26 20:53]

I love their eyes on the photos, excellent angle there Alexei.

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