The largest (i.e. longest) snake found in Norfolk County (and
Ontario) is the endangered and very rare Gray Ratsnake
which can grow to a maximum length of 2.5 metres (8 feet).
Also endangered, the Eastern Foxsnake can grow to 1.7
metres in length (over 5 1⁄2 feet).
The smallest snake in Norfolk County (and Ontario) is the tiny
Red-bellied Snake. This species reaches a maximum length
of 40cm (16 inches). The more common DeKay’s
Brownsnake can be slightly larger, with a maximum length of
50cm (20 inches).
The non-venomous Eastern Foxsnake, Gray Ratsnake and
Milksnake (special concern) will all vibrate their tails when
threatened. These constrictors are excellent at rodent control.
The Eastern Hog-nosed Snake is found in sandy parts of
Norfolk County and, despite its theatrics, is also harmless to
humans. When threatened, it may puff out and flatten its neck
(in a “cobra-like” act), gape its mouth and hiss, and it may
even roll over and play dead.
Ontario’s only lizard, the adorable Five-lined Skink
(endangered, Carolinian population), regrettably does not
occur in Norfolk County. It occurs elsewhere along the Lake
Erie shoreline, such as Rondeau Provincial Park.
The largest turtle in Ontario (and Norfolk) is the Snapping
Turtle (special concern). The carapace (i.e. upper shell) can
reach nearly 50cm (20 inches). They also have a very long
neck and tail adding to their total length considerably. The
diet of the Snapping Turtle is mainly plant material and
scavenged carrion (i.e. dead animal remains).
The smallest turtles in Ontario and Norfolk County are the
endangered Spotted Turtle and the threatened Eastern
Musk Turtle (“Stinkpot”), both of which could sit on the palm
of one’s hand – up to 12 centimetres (5 inches).
Hatchling turtles are tiny! Small Snapping Turtles are about
the size of a loonie or toonie and Midland Painted Turtles
are sometimes not much bigger than a quarter!