These 2 Snakes Have Absolutely Gorgeous Blue Eyes

Written by Emmanuel Kingsley
Published: June 29, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/reptiles4all
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Think You Know Snakes?

Did you know that snakes could have blue, red, and even green eyes? Although most snakes have yellowish eyes with slit pupils, many do not follow this norm. Instead, some snake species are famous for having unique colors of eyes.

Some of the most popular ones are eastern rat snakes which are known to have gray eyes, milk snakes which often have red eyes, and the recently discovered Synophis zaheri, with entirely black eyes. Another possible but rare eye color found on snakes is blue. Very few species are known to have this eye color, but we’ve compiled a list of snakes that do. Discover 2 snakes that have absolutely gorgeous blue eyes below.

Snakes With Blue Eyes

1. Mississippi Green Water Snake

Mississippi Green Water Snake
In bright light, the Mississippi green water snake’s eyes may give a beautiful deep blue reflection.

Ryan M. Bolton/Shutterstock.com

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Mississippi green water snakes are nonvenomous natricinae snakes found in Mississippi. In bright light, these water snakes’ eyes may give a beautiful deep blue reflection. However, many claim that this could simply be a trick of the light. Whether or not this is true, snake lovers can appreciate their beautiful eyes against the mild sunlight.

Mississippi green water snakes are colored dark green, brown, or olive and measure 30-55 inches on average. These heavy-bodied snakes can be found in Mississippi rivers and swamps, so it’s best to be alert when hiking along such areas. Although these snakes are nonvenomous, they will readily bite if they need to defend themselves.

2. Blue-Eyed Leucistic Ball Python

Blue-eyed leucistic ball pythons are often referred to as designer snakes. They have a condition called leucism, which usually means they have large white patches on their skins mixed with their usual coloring. This is one thing that differentiates leucism from albinism.

However, blue-eyed leucistic ball pythons are so unusual because they are totally white with no sign of their usual coloring. Despite this, these pythons aren’t albinos because of their unique icy blue eyes. Albino pythons have reddish-pink eyes and are very sensitive to light.

Blue-eyed leucistic ball pythons are even more unique because they do not only occur naturally in nature, but the only breeds which can be crossed to birth them also do not occur naturally. They are Mojave ball pythons, Het Russo ball pythons, lesser ball pythons, phantom ball pythons, and butter ball pythons.

Other Instances Of Snakes With Blue Eyes

If you’re a bit confused because you’re sure that you’ve seen a blue-eyed garter snake, cottonmouth, copperhead, or any other snake species, allow us to explain.

When snakes prepare to shed or molt their skins, a number of things happen. First, they stop eating and move to a place they consider safe, and then, their outer skins slowly become dry and dull. At the peak of this process, fluid from the lymphatic system seeps between the old and new skins. If you spot a snake at this stage of molting, its eyes could be a milky or hazy blue color. This isn’t seen so often because snakes prefer to shed their skin in safe and secure locations.

How Well Do Snakes See?

Prairie Kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster) - Illinois
Snakes do not have good eyesight.

bradenjalexander/Shutterstock.com

Despite being feared predators around the world, snakes do not make much use of their eyes. About 128 million years ago, when snakes first appeared on the earth, they were nocturnal hunters, which meant that they hunted in the dark and had no need for eyes.

Consequently, their eyes are very sensitive to light, and snakes that hunt during the day have been shown to have lenses that block out most of the light. So, snakes with blue eyes probably don’t appreciate them as much as snake-lovers do.

Can Snakes See In The Dark?

Snakes cannot see clearly in the dark. They may see outlines of objects, but their vision is far from adequate. However, in the dark, there is no bright light to affect their eyes, making it possible for them to hunt.

How Do Snakes Hunt If They Can’t See?

King Cobra - Close Up
Snakes have a strong sense of smell and some snakes have infrared vision.

Snakes cannot see or hear clearly. As you know, snakes do not have outer ears. Instead, they are able to “hear” by feeling vibrations. This doesn’t mean they are deaf. Instead, it means that their hearing is limited. A snake might not be able to differentiate between your voice and another person’s, but they can definitely hear you. However, this low level of hearing is of very little use in the wild.

Although they can’t see or hear well, snakes are built to make up for this deficiency. Here are two hunting features that snakes have.

1. Infrared Vision

Some snake families, such as vipers, have a unique set of organs called infrared pits, which give them the ability to detect infrared radiation, enabling them to generate a ‘thermal image’ of predators or prey. These pits are located on either side of the snake’s face, just between their eyes and nostrils. Humans cannot see infrared radiation, but like all living and breathing animals, we give it off.

Humans give off about 100-120 Watts of energy, and while this figure varies, it’s a fact that we all produce some level of heat. Snakes with infrared vision can actually see these heat waves or radiation. The heat patterns allow these snakes to sense the presence of living beings and even identify them by making an image from the heat pattern.

2. Sense Of Smell

Snakes have a super-strong sense of smell. If you’ve ever seen a snake flick its long tongue rapidly into the air, it wasn’t just being lazy. Instead, it was sticking its tongue in the air to capture chemical particles.

These particles are rapidly submitted to the snake’s Jacobson’s organ located at the base of its nasal cavity. This organ is responsible for interpreting these chemicals and transferring the information to the brain.

Smelling these particles allows snakes to know where they are, the direction to their destinations, and even sense the presence of other animals. This is one reason that snake-repelling plants are extremely effective. Because of their strong smells, they confuse snakes as they overwhelm their senses. For this reason, snakes avoid them, making these plants a great way to keep your yard snake-free.

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