A slow(er) week mainly spent in the lab for Team Snake here at WEL…

We started off the week packing and organizing supplies for our Lake Erie fieldwork, which starts next week! Over 1000 swabs and Eppendorf tubes, 200 syringes and blood tubes, two centrifuges, four boxes of slides, over 2000 pairs of gloves, 300 data sheets, and 30 pillowcases. We are spending two weeks on Lake Erie as part of the the annual Lake Erie Watersnake (LEWS) surveillance study, aptly nicknamed ‘Nerodio’ after the genus name  (Nerodia sipedon insularum). Stay tuned in our next couple of posts to learn more about the amazing work we get to participate in!


Katie and Kennymac with the two Eastern Box Turtles we stumbled upon

Seth (@thebeardedbiologist) holding two Blue Racers he captured. Seth is a conservation biologist and leads many of our IN surveillance trips.

Wednesday we took a last minute trip to Indiana to continue our search for snakes and track Ophidiomycosis. We surveyed two different sites and were able to find the last of the snakes we needed to finish off that region of IN! We found 2 Ring-necked snakes, an Eastern King Snake (Lampropeltis geluta), one Northern Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon), and 2 Blue Racers (Coluber constrictor foxii). We found a few different Salamander species, a few frogs, and also found two Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) … without turtle dogs! ;-).

Deep cleaning our tanks in preparation for our incoming class!


We finished off the week getting our lab ready for the ‘incoming class’ of LEWS. We are planning on bringing back roughly thirty LEWS to participate in our next round of clinical trials. This class will help us determine the most effective method for treating Ophiodiomycosis. The current standard is nebulization with terbinafine for 30 minutes a day for 30 days. Once we get this class up and running we will write a blog diving deeper into this current clinical trial.

Stay tuned for our next blogs! Our next two weeks are the highlight of our summer fieldwork and we are so excited to work with LEWS and the Ohio State Stone Lab to further our knowledge on Ophiodiomycosis… and to have the chance to spend two weeks boating around Lake Erie catching snakes… what could be better?!