River Twine Fauna: Reptiles   2.5*  
Written By: Amy Chandler, Whitney Ware
Posted: 11/11/06      [No comments yet]
 

by Amy Chandler; with additional material from Whitney Ware

Creatures are listed by the name the elves use for a species; differing Earth names are listed in paranthesis. Species listed as "unique" are unique to the fictional world. Note -- authors can use an Earth term for a creature in narrative, but in elf dialogue, the elves' name for the creatuere should be used.

This article will be periodically updated with new materials as often as members wish to continue to submit new content. Please send all reptile submissions to Amy at longshot@rivertwine.com.

Snakes

There are several species of snakes in and around River Twine Holt. Some are venomous, some are constrictors, and others eat their prey live. Venomous snakes are not necessarily deadly. They can control how much, if any, venom they inject with their bite. In fact, most bites are “dry” as the snake would prefer to conserve the venom for its prey or when it feels especially provoked.

Blacksnake:  the blacksnake is a large, aggressive and fast-moving sub-species related to the cobra.  It is overall a shiny black on top with a red or crimson belly. It is found in a wide variety of habitats but tends to be seen in moister areas, particularly near water. Gives birth to 8-40 live young at a time.

Lace snake (garter snake): grows anywhere between 18 and 54 inches long, thin body with a tapered head, coloration can very widely including green, olive, brown, or black with 3 lighter colored stripes down its back, named because it is long and thin like a lace, large groups of these snakes tend to hibernate together in a den during the winter, lace snakes eat bugs and small animals as well as eggs.

Rattlesnake (Eastern massasauga rattlesnake): grows between 24 and 36 inches, grey with black spots, tail is tipped with a light grey rattle, prefers forests and fields near water, if the snake feels threatened it will shake the rattle on its tail producing a buzzing sound, venomous snake that will eat frogs or other snakes but prefers warm-blooded prey like mice, because their prey is generally mice and voles it uses small amounts of venom in a bite so it would be painful but not deadly in larger creatures (including elves).

 

Snowmouth snake (cottonmouth/water moccasin): grows between 30 and 48 inches, heavy thick body, either dark brown or black colored, a cross banded pattern is sometimes visible on the sides, found in forested wetlands and lakes, very good swimmer, when threatened it will open its mouth displaying the white color it gets its name from but if left alone it will usually leave, venomous snake that preys on fish and other small animals, as long as anti-inflammatory herbs and infection prevention methods are taken a bite is unlikely to kill and adult elf or human, venom will cause extremely painful swelling and necrosis in the area which may potentially cause an amputation of an affected limb, a bite could kill the weak such as a small child or sickly person.

Treesnake (black rat snake): can grow up to 8 feet long (96 inches), solid black with a white belly, very agile climber, a powerful constrictor that preys on birds and small mammals.

Two-Head snake (rubber boa): grows between 14 and 33 inches, solid red-brown color, has a short wide head and a blunt tail which makes it look like it has a head on both ends, good burrower that likes damp woodland areas, prehensile tail that makes it a good climber, preys on small animals which it crushes in its coils prior to devouring, docile creature, if picked up it will curl in a ball.

Watersnake (copper-bellied water snake): grows between 48 and 60 inches long, black body with an orange belly, excellent swimmer that preys exclusively on aquatic species, tends to avoid contact with elves

Wormsnake: grows between 7 and 11 inches, slender body, resembles a worm, dark brown body with a pinkish belly, found in woodland areas usually under deadfall, good burrower, eats live worms and small soft bodied insects.

Shellbacks

Stinker (common musk turtle): only grows to be 4 ½ inches long, grayish-green in coloration, spends the majority of its time in the water eating bugs and tiny aquatic life, basks in the sun infrequently, hibernates buried in the mud during the winter, secretes a foul smelling odor when threatened

Snapper (common snapping turtle): carapace of this turtle can be between 8 and 19 inches, has brown or olive coloration, shell is jagged toward the back, turtle has a long tail and a large mouth with a strong jaw, omnivorous, prefers areas near water with lots of rocks for sunning themselves, docile creatures for the most part when in water but very aggressive on land, will hiss and attempt to bite if cornered on land.

Frogs

Croaker (bull frog): body length between 3 ½ to 6 inches, greenish-brown colored and could have spots, has a large mouth, voracious eater that will consume anything it can fit in its mouth, has a very load moaning croak.

Peeper (Northern spring peeper): body length between ¾ to 1 ¼ inch, brown colored with a darker x shape across the back, the males throats expand to almost the same size as their body when calling, their call is a high pitched “peep peep peep.”

Tree frog (Pacific tree frog): body length ranges in size from ¾ to 1 inch, green skin with a black stripe over each eye, stay near water during the breeding season but climb all over to find a suitable home outside that season, during breeding season the males led by the dominant form a chorus to attract females, their call is formed of 2 distinct part sounding like “krick-ick”

 

Salamanders & Lizards

Bloodbelly lizard (red-bellied newt): grows to be around 3 inches long, has a black back and a bright red belly, lives underground most of its life, only coming aboveground to return to the stream it was born in for mating purposes, mates every 3 years, very shy, if confronted will arch its back and lift its head and tail to expose the red belly, skin secretes a potent poison, poison could be absorbed through the skin but washing after handling will neutralize it, poison is deadly if ingested, poison is a neurotoxin that paralyzes muscles until the victim can no longer breathe or the heart stops, poison begins to take effect within 10 minutes, the poison permeates the body causing it to be inedible so it is therefore not used as a weapon by the elves

Freckled lizard (blue spotted salamander): grows between 4 and 5 inches long, has a shiny black body flecked with bright blue spots, lives in moist forestland, not a burrower so it hides under leaves and deadfall, eats bugs, secretes a noxious odor when threatened and detach it's own tail to escape a predator, a new tail will eventually grow in if lost

 

Mudpuppy: also called lizardfish, this salamander that spends its entire life in the water, has gills for breathing underwater, grows to between 8 and 13 inches, coloration varies between beige and red-brown and sometimes has black spotted lines on its back, gills are red and puffy, has 4 legs

Snaketail (Western skink): grows between 6 and 9 inches, skin is brown with white or beige stripes along the sides, has a long bright blue tail which can be up to twice as long as the body, tail will come off easily

 

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