Two-headed snake a unique find for herpetology lab

Nebraska Snake With Two Heads
Nebraska Snake With Two Heads

-in "Newsweek" 9/7/2022 by Robyn White

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s herpetology lab is seeing double after securing a two-headed gartersnake.

The newborn bicephalic gartersnake was discovered by Joshua Marshall of Hastings while clearing brush in Clay Center on Sept. 4.

“I lifted up a log and wasn’t surprised to see two small snakes, but then I realized that they weren’t making great progress because there were two heads,” he said.

Once Marshall realized it was a two-headed snake, he placed it in a jar and reached out to a local conservationist. The call led him to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Dennis Ferraro, professor in the School of Natural Resources, who happened to be doing fieldwork at Cedar Point Station. Ferraro was able to retrieve the snake during the evening of Sept. 4.

“The snake is as rare as about one in 100,000,” Ferraro said.

Ferraro said this is only the second time he’s had a two-headed snake in his lab, which he’s led for more than 20 years.

A companion article in "Newsweek" by Robyn White on 9/7/2022 at

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