Rare rainbow snake spotted in Central Florida for first time since 1969

OCALA, Fla (WSVN) — A rare reptile was spotted in Central Florida for the first time in over half a century.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife and Conservation Commission’s Research Institute, Tracey Cauthen stumbled upon a 4-foot long rainbow snake while hiking in the Ocala National Forest.

According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, this is the first time the snake has been spotted in Marion County since 1969.

“Our biologists speculate the recent drawdown of Rodman Reservoir had this rainbow snake on the move,” the FWC said.

The FWC said rainbow snakes are highly-aquatic and spend most of their time hidden in aquatic vegetation. They are rarely seen, and they will often burrow near creeks, lakes, marshes and tidal mudflats.

The snake also eats eels, which has earned it the nickname “eel moccasin.”

Copyright 2020 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.