As I was walking past a farmer’s house, I saw this crow snake (karasu-hebi) lying in the grass at the side of the driveway. At first I thought it was probably dead because it wasn’t moving and the farmer was talking to some other people nearby, so I assumed they’d killed it. Anyway, I took a photo of the snake in the grass and it suddenly shot off, so I rushed onto the driveway and grabbed its tail. Then I carried it out into the lane and took a few photos. The people in the farm were watching me with looks of horror on their faces. I called out that it was a non-venomous karasu-hebi, but the farmer shouted that it was venomous! Obviously they have a false impression of these harmless snakes – and they presumably kill the ones they see. What a pity they wouldn’t come near me while I was holding the snake. I wanted to show them what a beautiful creature it was. I was afraid that they would kill it if I released it near the house, so I carried it up the road and released it into the forest.

Elaphe quadrivirgataElaphe quadrivirgataElaphe quadrivirgataElaphe quadrivirgata

Reptilia: Ophidia: Colubridae: Elaphe quadrivirgata
Japanese four-lined ratsnake = Crow snake (black): shimahebi = karasuhebi (black form)