Hello Everyone. I'm new to this site and wondered if anyone could help. my smiley and I live in the New Forest and when hay making last week, we found a snake skin in our hay baler. We have seen adders in our field at this time of year but I am not convinced this is the skin of an adder. Please can someone help me identify it. I have been told it is an extremely healthy skin as that is is complete.
It can be one of 3 species in that part of the country. There are 3 ways to ID it. If the pattern is noticable on the skin this should ID it although adders can be melanistic and the zig-zag hardly visible. The second way is by size, although again there are shortfalls with this method also, ie it's not known if the snake is a young or mature snake. The smooth snake is usually upto about 70cm, the adder is a similar size, but the grass snake is often noticably larger, about 120cm but can be 200cm. The best way is probably scale counts on the body and scale patterns on the head. The rostral scale on the grass snake is much less V'ed than that of the smooth snake. Refer to a field guide to reptiles of britain and europe at the library. My guess would be a grass snake.