Fungal disease that’s lethal to some snakes found in Indiana

State wildlife officials say a fungal disease that’s lethal to some snake species has been found in snakes in three Indiana counties.

The state Department of Natural Resources says a team led by University of Illinois researchers sampled snakes in 10 Indiana counties last year and discovered snake fungal disease in snakes in Brown, Harrison and Monroe counties.

The DNR says 13 snakes were found to be infected with the fungus in those southern and south-central Indiana counties. They included members of the northern watersnake, racer, milk snake and queen snake species.

There is concern that the fungus could cause high mortality rates in a federally threatened and state endangered species of rattlesnakes living in the Hoosier state.

The fungal disease poses no threat to humans, but can cause facial swelling, disfigurement, skin and scale lesions, internal lesions and death in snakes.

Snakes are important predators that help maintain balanced ecosystems by controlling rodent populations.