Rare snake found dead in Florida park after eating centipede

KEY LARGO, Fla. – A rare snake native to Florida has been found dead in a South Florida state park, wildlife officials say.

The crowned rim rock snake is a state threatened species typically found in rockland pine and hammock habitats in eastern Miami-Dade County and the Keys. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, this particular snake was discovered Tuesday morning at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo.

FWC says a park visitor saw the snake on the trail with a centipede sticking out of its mouth. It’s unclear why the snake died, but wildlife officials say “snakes are generally immune to the venom of centipedes, whose bites are painful to humans, but something went wrong when of this meeting”.

Both the snake and Centipede will be sent to the Florida Museum of Natural History collection, according to FWC.

Different species of crowned snakes commonly eat centipedes, but FWC says this deadly feast was the first record of any kind for the rim rock. The species of burrowing snake typically grows to seven to nine inches and is rarely seen as it spends most of its time under underlying rocks, debris, or limestone.

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