Just in case you needed a reminder that snakes can be masters of camouflage, we present ... some leaf litter. 

This snapshot was shared on Twitter recently by snake researcher Helen Plylar, who studies pythons, boas and pitvipers at the Florida Institute of Technology. And sure enough, hidden somewhere in that innocuous-looking setting is a well-known member of the pitviper family. [If you're not the guessing type, keep scrolling to see which one.]

Plylar notes the photo was shared with her by a fellow herper (for the uninitiated, that's a reference to those who spend their time observing and searching for amphibians and reptiles, and a nod to the field of herpetology).

Like any good spot-the-animal snapshot, this one quickly starting making the rounds online, but if you can't see the snake for all the leaves, never fear – Plylar did follow up her initial tweet with a reveal: 

Thanks to their distinctive hourglass patterning in shades of rusty brown, copperheads (Agkistrodon contortrix) have no problem disappearing against a backdrop of dry leaves. While they are venomous, their bites are not considered life-threatening to a healthy human, and they'll strike in self-defence only as a last resort. Still, with these snakes right now emerging from their long winter rest, it pays be cautious if you're out walking on their turf. And, as Plylar notes, the golden rule of wildlife encounters is observe, take photos but keep a safe distance. 



Top header image: Alex Figueroa/Flickr