Why would a rattlesnake’s tail glow under black light?

We recently read a wonderful paper about some snakes’ tails fluorescing under black light.  It seemed odd to us that they didn’t mention whether or not an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) had this same condition, so we checked it out for ourselves.  As you can tell by our photograph, the tail of our Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake does glow quite nicely under black light.  You may be asking yourself why in the world is this a thing.  Well, that is exactly the kind of thing these scientists asked as well.  The paper is attached and worth a read.  We especially like the rattle/grass seed head comparison.
  

  

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PDF DOCUMENT

St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

BLOG TOPICS