KEOKA LAKE ASSOCIATION
Among Maine’s inland (non-marine) reptiles are seven turtle species and nine snake species. There has been no credible evidence of the timber rattlesnake, Maine’s 10th snake species, since the mid 1800s.
Keoka Lake is home to painted turtles. They average 4.5 to 7 inches in length and have a dark olive shell with distinctive light borders. The turtles like to be submerged in vegetation and enjoy basking in the sun. They eat aquatic insects, snails, crayfish, and vegetation.
Snapping turtles grow, on average, to 8 to 14 inches in length. They have a very large head and a long tail with sawtooth ridges along the upper surfaces. Older turtles typically have algae on their shell and appear greenish-gray. They eat fist, crayfish, reptiles, birds, mammals, and plants. They are aggressive on land but shy and elusive in the water.
Garter snakes are approximately 18 to 36 inches long. They are brownish, olive, or grayish with a darker checkerboard pattern and three light yellowish stripes. They are commonly found under rocks, logs, and debris piles. Their diet consists mainly of earthworms but they also eat other invertebrates, amphibians, fish, and even small birds.
COMMON WATER SNAKE
They grow to 24 to 48 inches in length. They have dark brown to gray tops with reddish-brown to black blotches or bands and have dark red or black half-moons on their bellies. They stay in still or slow-moving water with basking areas such as rocks, beaver dams, and logs. They eat mostly fish.