How the mouse met its end is a mystery, as is the curious rubble pile surrounding it. Based on the reddish pelage on top and the white below I would say this is a Cotton Deermouse (Peromyscus gossypinus) that once lived in the swamps of the
east of Naples, FL.
Considering the masses of formic foes piled upon the remains of the snake, you’d think it would be hard to identify the creature beneath. The telltale marking is a yellow band around the neck which makes it easy to identify as a Ring-necked Snake (Diadophis punctatus). I often find this secretive snake under logs or debris on the ground. When threatened they will expose their brightly colored dorsal side to warn would be predators away.
From a distance, the ant traffic was so heavy that it could have been mistaken for a slender snake. The sinuous band of ants ended at a well-picked apart Pig Frog (Lithobates (Rana) grylio). Similar in size and shape to the American Bullfrog (Lithobates (Rana) catesbeiana), only the Pig Frog is found in
South Florida as
this one was. Both species are sought after for their edible legs. This one kept
them but little good that did.
Death is unkind. I certainly have sympathy for all of the creatures that meet with an untimely end, especially those that are victims of human carelessness. In the end, their deaths are not in vain. A colony of ants will feast.