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Submit your request here. For any media inquiries please contact press modesens. If so, please complete and submit the form below. They are helpful in identification of snake species. Chromatophores in the dermis yield coloration when light shines through the corneal layer of the epidermis.
Melanophores yield brown pigmentation, and when paired with guanophores, yield grey. When paired with guanophores and lipophores, yellow results, and when guanophores and allophores are added to melanophores, red pigment results. When melanin is absent, albino individuals result. Snakes do not possess blue or green pigments. These arise from guanophores, which are also called iridocytes. These reside in the dermis. Iridocytes are also responsible for the iridescent appearance of many dark-colored snakes.
Males and females may show varied coloration, as might hatchlings and adults of the same species. Snakeskin, or integument , is more than just patterns and scales. Scales and patterning are features of snakeskin, and they are derived from a soft and complex integument. These scale patterns are unique to species, and the scales themselves help in locomoting by providing a friction buffer between the snake and the ground .
Reptiles, including snakes, possess extensive keratinization of the epidermis in the form of epidermal scales. The outer layer of a snake's skin is shed periodically, and is therefore a temporary layer, and is highly keratinized. Beneath the outer layer is the corneal layer stratum corneum , which is thickened and flexible.
Under the corneal layer is intermediary zone stratum granulosum and the basal layer stratum basale , respectively. The dermis of a snake resides beneath the epidermis. Nerve fibers extend into the snake epidermis and anchor near scales, generally at the rostral, or head, end of the snake. Specifically, nerves anchor to sensory spines and pits, which are touch and thermal detection organs, respectively.
The hypodermis is below the dermis. This layer mainly stores fat. Molting is common, and results in the entire outer layer of epidermis being lost. For more about the epidermal scales of the snake, see the Snake scale page. The skin of a snake is a physically protective layer. It helps prevent injury, prevents drying out, and helps snakes to minimize friction. As a result, they have to both minimize friction in order to move forward, and generate their own friction in order to generate enough propulsion to move.
Scale and skin orientation helps to accomplish this, and it has been demonstrated that nanostructures on their scales may play a role in this process.
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