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Topic: Copperheads smell like cucumbers

While Josh was in W. Virginia a couple of years ago I went to visit him and then we headed off on our honeymoon. Before we left the bunkhouse we saw some kids playing in a ditch. Of course we had to ask what they were doing...They replied by telling us they were after a copperhead (to kill it). We asked how did they knew it was a copperhead and they said because it smelled like cucumbers!!!

Has anyone else ever heard this?

It's either true, or it's not... --Josh Engelbert
It's called pacing yourself... --Jacob Sawyer
To repeat what others have said, requires education; to challenge it, requires brains. --Mary Pettibone Poole

Melissa Patrick
M.S. Student; ASU

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Re: Copperheads smell like cucumbers

Also, they were a little offended that a mere herpetologist could attempt to argue with their all-knowing grandpappy's great wisdom that he had passed through the chain-o-ignorance.

Josh Engelbert
Copan, OK

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Re: Copperheads smell like cucumbers

Well... the olfactory analysis could be better left to people who do that for a living--- but I don't think copperheads or any other snake smells like cucumbers. I think some fresh cut grass smells like watermelons BUT I aint gettin that close to the business end of a copperhead to sniff in more detail. bleh. Snake Musk, in my opinion... does not resemble any other fragrance except snake musk. I do, however, think ringneck musk stinks more than any species I've smelled. bleh.

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Re: Copperheads smell like cucumbers

I've heard people say that before.  I'll second that I personally do not catch the resemblance.  Of course, guys are not as sensitive to smells as gals are.  Might be a question for the ladies.

Kory Roberts: Email | Facebook | Flickr | YouTube

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Re: Copperheads smell like cucumbers

I have heard this too...
One time i had a big one 'spray' and i guess you could say 'cucumbery' -but it was a stretch.  Seems like to me its more closer to cat pee.   One man's cat pee is another mans cucumber.  Where does this stuff come from?

Government is not the solution Government is the PROBLEM...Ronald Reagan

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Re: Copperheads smell like cucumbers

probably from some farmer in the 1800's who stumbled on a snake in his garden... "I din knode itwas, martha- it blended right in".. or "there I was... just me and the snake... the only thing I had to defend myself was this cucumber.."

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Re: Copperheads smell like cucumbers

Mystic-B wrote:

Well... the olfactory analysis could be better left to people who do that for a living--- but I don't think copperheads or any other snake smells like cucumbers. I think some fresh cut grass smells like watermelons BUT I aint gettin that close to the business end of a copperhead to sniff in more detail. bleh. Snake Musk, in my opinion... does not resemble any other fragrance except snake musk. I do, however, think ringneck musk stinks more than any species I've smelled. bleh.


I THINK THAT TOO!!! I love that smell...they should make it an air freshener!

I have never heard the copperhead thing though...I have heard musk smells like some mud...

-Ryan

Mark 10:27

"Sympathy is no substitute for action." -  David Livingstone

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you got that backwards.... some Mud smells like... poo.

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Hmm I kinda thought that cucumbers smelled like copperheads big_smile

Braithre Thar Gach Ni

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The only snake I've noticed that had a distinctive...not-so-reptillian smell...were boomslangs. I used to keep a few, and every time they shed it smelled like licorice in the snake room. Even when they weren't shedding, it still had a faint licorice smell. They're the only distinctively odd ones I've smelled though.

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Interesting discussion! I have noticed Drymarchon spp. tend to have a somewhat "sweet" smell when exposed to natural sunlight. However, their musk and feces tend to be quite odoriferous.
So, anyone up in NW Arkansas, during the great Agkistrodon convention ever notice the aroma of cucumbers? Seems as though it would be very noticeable in such concentrationsâ?Š

Best regards,

Jeff

Jeff Snodgres
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
snodgresjeffreys@uams.edu
501.744.2553

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Re: Copperheads smell like cucumbers

the copperhead convergance was North central , and I wasnt actually present for the night of the large dose... but when I was atop that mountain and copperheads could be anywhere, I did not smell anything except Pit Bull and dust. Even looking into the barrel where the snakes were kept, I dont remember smelling anything. Perhaps Bobby or Glen can chime in on that night.

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Re: Copperheads smell like cucumbers

I've always heard that Copperheads smell like death.  I've never really noticed anything unusual.   They have a scent, I'm sure, but I doubt its anything you'd be walking past one in the woods, and get a whiff of it, turn to your herp buddy and say "Oooh Cucumbers, ya know what that means.." *knowing look* "somewhere's around here's a Copperhead!"
or "Oh my GOD what DIED?!" *knowing look* "Copperhead!".
Now if it was POOP, I'd understand...
Garters let loose with THE foulest smelling musk on the planet.

I'm about to have an abruptly.

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Re: Copperheads smell like cucumbers

Thanks Mystie, to me, Northwest Arkansas is all of Northern Arkansas <LOL> I simply do not make it to that part of the state nearly often enough, though I fly over it on a regular basis. Beautiful area I might add and I always bring my climbing gear when I do make it up there, just too many great climbing opportunities to pass up whenever I drive that way.

Courtney, you think garters are bad? I'll have to invite you over sometime when I'm cleaning the "Dry" enclosures, something I do at least two - three times weekly!
Oh, and lets make it after fish and frog feeding day! ;0)

Best regards,


Jeff

Jeff Snodgres
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
snodgresjeffreys@uams.edu
501.744.2553

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I hate to bring this up again...but I totally forgot to mention, one of the coppers we found road cruising down at Felsenthal...was pretty worked up and musking a lot...and we all agreed, it could *kinda* be cucumbery if you used your imagination.  Just an update there for ya.
Van, Glenn, Ryan...anyone want to add to that?

Government is not the solution Government is the PROBLEM...Ronald Reagan

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LOL I was just joking when I made the cucumber comment.  Maybe they smell like rotten dill pickles?

Van

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Mulebrother wrote:

I hate to bring this up again...but I totally forgot to mention, one of the coppers we found road cruising down at Felsenthal...was pretty worked up and musking a lot...and we all agreed, it could *kinda* be cucumbery if you used your imagination.  Just an update there for ya.
Van, Glenn, Ryan...anyone want to add to that?

I smelled nothing. I am hard of smelling (not a joke), so you are on your own. Also, I was not in the range of the musk.

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epidemic wrote:

Courtney, you think garters are bad? I'll have to invite you over sometime when I'm cleaning the "Dry" enclosures, something I do at least two - three times weekly!
Oh, and lets make it after fish and frog feeding day! ;0)

Best regards,


Jeff


You know me, that would be an honor and a pleasure..
I'm sick that way...



big_smile

I'm about to have an abruptly.