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Snake Fungal Disease


      Snake Fungal Disease (SFD) is an emerging disease in the northeast. Infections have been documented in a variety of species native to Connecticut including the northern black racer, eastern rat snake, eastern milk snake, northern water snake and timber rattlesnake.  Although fatal infections have occurred in the milk snake and timber rattlesnake, the frequency of fatal infections and how infections vary among different species is currently unknown.   The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) is currently investigating the severity and rate of SFD occurrences in Connecticut snakes.  Connecticut timber rattlesnakes were sampled as part of a regional investigation coordinated by the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island.  This study was designed to determine the prevalence of fungal dermatitis infections in New England timber rattlesnake populations. 


Snake Fungal Disease:  The photo on the left shows a smooth green snake with deep necrotic lesions on it's ventral surface.  The photo on the right shows a black racer with clinical signs of facial swelling and thickening of the skin on the upper labial scales. 

This timber rattlesnake was captured at a local den site in Connecticut and treated for Snake Fugal Disease at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island. 

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