10 Snakes in Florida

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key point

  • Some of the snakes on this list are large and capable of eating goats or fawns.
  • Some animals that call Florida home are nocturnal and hunt for food at night.
  • Many of the animals on this list are found in swampy waters, using burrows made by other animals to hide or lay their eggs.

Florida, especially south Florida, is the best place for snakes to live in the wild. The climate ranges from subtropical in the north of the state to tropical in the south. This means that temperatures rarely drop to zero degrees or below.

Snakes can hide in a wide variety of vegetation, whether it's waiting for prey, hiding from their own predators, or adjusting the temperature to escape the Florida sun. There's also plenty of prey, from insects to rodents and, in some cases, mammals as large as goats or deer.

Florida snakes come in all sizes, from small to large. They are toxic and non-toxic and can be neutral or iridescent. Here are 10 snakes found in Florida and some facts about them:

1. Eastern mud snake

Florida's 10 Snakes 1
Found in cypress swamps in Florida, eastern mud snakes can grow to about four feet long.

©Nathan A Shepard/Shutterstock.com

These snakes are about four feet long and are shiny black above, red and black below, with red stripes on the sides. It is found in cypress swamps in Florida, and when it's not in the water, it hides under vegetation or leaf litter.

As a semi-aquatic snake, it only comes ashore to hibernate, lay eggs, and find more water to swim in when its habitat dries out. Feeds on aquatic organisms such as salamanders. The spine at the end of the tail helps identify this snake.

However, the spine is not venomous, even though snakes use it to irritate potential prey. Females sometimes lay their eggs in the crocodile's nest and guard them valiantly until they hatch.

2. Ring-necked snake

Ring-necked snakes are small, brightly colored, nocturnal, and non-venomous.

©yhelfman/Shutterstock.com

Diadophis punctatus is a ring-necked snake found in Florida that is smaller, 8 to 14 inches long. It is non-toxic and is named for the colorful band on the back of its head. It is gray-black above, bright orange, yellow or red below, and has a row of small dark half-moons in the center of the abdomen.

Ring-necked snakes live in Florida forests, both dry and wet, and are common visitors to suburban gardens. However, it is rarely spotted as it hides under rocks and logs and is nocturnal. Snakes eat amphibians, slugs, earthworms, insects and lizards, as well as snakes small enough for it to handle.

3. Brahman blind snake

Brahman blind snakes are so thin and small that they are sometimes mistaken for smaller snakes of other species.

©RealityImages/Shutterstock.com

Blind snakes, also known as worm snakes, are small and often mistaken for other types of small snakes. Brahminy blind snakes will not exceed 6.5 inches in length. They are thin snakes with gray or even purple scales that are smooth and shiny. Ton

This gives them a greasy or choppy appearance. It can be difficult to distinguish the head from the tail, especially since blind snakes have degenerated eyes.

Some people mistake them for earthworms and small snakes, but earthworms have joints and they certainly don't have forked tongues. These features aid in blind snake identification. But blind snakes, like earthworms, burrow under soil and debris on the ground. Due to their very small size, blind snakes feed on ants, termites and their eggs, larvae and pupae.

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By the way, the Brahminy blind snake is not native to Florida, but was somehow brought to the state from South Asia. It's now common across the state.

To learn more about the smallest snake, visit here.

4. Oriental blue snake

The eastern indigo snake may be non-venomous, but it can grow to over 9 feet, making it a daunting sight.

©iStock.com/sstaton

Eastern indigo snakes were once popular as pets, but their conservation status is threatened, and in some states, a permit is required to own a snake. It is named for the iridescent purple-black scales on its abdomen.

The scales on its sides and back are blue-black, although some snakes have a bit of red or orange around the head. Other facts about the indigo snake are that it can be over 9 feet in length and weigh close to 10 pounds.

Eastern blue snakes are only active during the day and live primarily in dry glades or on sandy ridges, steam bottoms, and sandy soils on higher ground. They like to be in places with lots of natural streams. They are known to use gopher and turtle burrows and will stay there to lay their eggs or shelter from inclement weather.

A nonvenomous and usually peaceful snake found in the wild in sugar cane fields, thickets near rivers, hammocks, flat woods, dry stream bottoms, and sand dunes. Throughout the year, the snakes shuttle back and forth between these habitats. Indigo snakes sometimes nest in armadillo bolt holes. It eats other reptiles and amphibians, birds, their eggs and mammals.

5. Florida Pine Snake

Although the Florida pine snake is not venomous, it can crush its prey to death.

© iStock.com/JasonOndreicka

This swimming snake is only found in the southeastern states of the United States. It is a large, lumbering snake that can grow up to 7.5 feet long in the wild. Inhabits pine forests, oak forests, dunes, pine forests and pastures. It is non-venomous but powerful, subduing its prey by coiling it tightly to death. The Florida pine snake, one of three species of pine, is taupe to rust-colored with a spotted pattern on its scales. Males and females look alike.

These snakes also have pointed snouts to help them dig, and a bit of cartilage in their throats to amplify their hisses and roars when threatened. They can also imitate dangerous rattlesnakes by vibrating their tails. Despite their size, pine snakes are eaten by foxes, skunks, pet dogs and cats, birds of prey, raccoons and even shrews, and their eggs are eaten by other snakes.

6. Eastern Coral Snake

Despite its striking color spectrum, eastern coral snakes are highly venomous.

© iStock.com/JasonOndreicka

Coral snakes are beautiful but venomous. This differs from venomous in that a snake can deliver venom through its fangs. It's often confused with harmless snakes such as the scarlet kingsnake, but it's best to keep this saying in mind when identifying coral snakes: "Red on yellow kills a mate, red on black kills Jack's friend."

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The color scheme of this New World version of the coral snake is a series of red, yellow and black rings arranged in order from head to tail. This snake grows to less than 3 feet long and lives in swamps, hammocks, and dry, open areas in south Florida. It eats frogs and other reptiles, including its own kind.

Coral snakes are oviparous, laying 3 to 12 eggs in early summer, which hatch in September. Small coral snakes are 7 to 9 inches long.

7. Florida Diamondbacks

Also known as the eastern rattlesnake, the Florida rattlesnake can grow to nearly eight feet in length.

© iStock.com/Paolo Almeida

Florida rattlesnakes are another type of venomous snake. The snake, officially known as the eastern diamondback, is the largest of the rattlesnakes and at least one of the heaviest venomous snakes in the world.

It is found only in the southeastern United States, where it lives in dry pine forests, sand dunes, hammocks near the coast, swamps, and salt marshes. Sometimes it will chase its prey into trees or bushes. Its venom is strong, and its fangs can be as long as two-thirds of an inch.

The snake weighed 34 pounds and was nearly 8 feet long. Its scales are brown, gray, or olive green with a brown or black diamond pattern, bordered by cream scales, and centered light brown or gray.

The snake has a pit on its head that helps it sense the heat of potential prey, and a stripe that starts behind the eyes and slopes down to the upper jaw. The Florida rattlesnake eats rabbits, rodents, and birds, but can get eaten by raptors itself, especially when it is young.

Read this article to learn more about Florida rattlesnakes.

8. Florida Kingsnake

Florida kingsnakes are immune to the venom of other snakes in their habitat, including rattlesnakes.

©David Huntley Creative/Shutterstock.com

These medium-sized snakes can grow up to 5 feet long and love to eat other snakes, including their venomous cousin, the rattlesnake. It is a snake with glossy black scales and 60 white or yellow cross-bands.

These cross bands are important for kingsnake identification because there are 45 subspecies of kingsnakes, some of which look very similar. It got its name "King" because it preyed on other snakes. This kingsnake is immune to the venom in its area and has double the force of contraction to ensure it properly smothers its snake prey. Florida king snakes also eat lizards, birds, and rodents.

The Florida king snake can make a good pet if the owner has the space to accommodate it and is committed to caring for it properly. One thing to watch out for is making sure the substrate of the fence is free of pine chips, which are poisonous to snakes and other reptiles.

9. Florida Banded Water Snake

The Florida banded water snake can be found in many Florida waters and eats everything from frogs to turtles.

©iStock.com/passion4nature

The truth about the Florida Banded Water Snake is that it is only found naturally in the Southeast, can be anywhere from 2 feet to 4 feet in length, and is ovoviviparous. This means that the female snake holds the eggs in her body, and the eggs are born after hatching in the female snake's body. These snakes can give birth to as many as 57 young at a time.

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The Florida banded water snake has a light brown top with red or black crossed bands. Its belly is pale with markings of a darker color, usually red or brown. It is a subspecies of southern water snake, and they can be distinguished by the shape of their belly spots.

As long as the water is fresh, the snake can be found in all kinds of waters in Florida, including lakes, rivers, swamps, and other wetlands. As a semiaquatic snake, it eats aquatic life such as fish, frogs, and other amphibians. Occasionally it will eat birds, earthworms, small snakes and turtles, and crayfish. Water snakes are in turn eaten by alligators and birds such as great blue herons.

10. Burmese python

Burmese pythons are capable of swallowing animals as large as deer.

©iStock.com/Lunatic_67

As the name suggests, this python is not native to Florida. It is native to Southeast Asia. People bought this admittedly attractive, nonvenomous snake as a pet, but released it into the wild when it grew too large, thinking it could survive in Florida's warm climate.

They are right. When you read about a goat or a deer being attacked and devoured by a large snake, the boa constrictor is the culprit. It is by far the longest and heaviest snake listed here, growing to over 16 feet and weighing over 100 pounds. This is especially true for women who are much larger than men. In fact, a Burmese python named Baby was nearly 19 feet long and weighed more than 400 pounds when it died.

Go here to learn more about Burmese pythons.

Florida's 10 Snake List

Snakes can be found all over the world, however, here is a list of the snakes that call Florida home:

rank snake found in florida
10. Burmese python
9. Florida Banded Water Snake
8. florida kingsnake
7. florida rattlesnake
6. Eastern Coral Snake
5. florida pine snake
4. Oriental blue snake
3. brahman blind snake
2. ring necked snake
1. Eastern Mud Snake

Other Dangerous Animals Spotted in Florida

Besides snakes, Florida is home to other dangerous animals, many of which live in the state's lakes and swamps and can pose a threat to humans.

On our list of the 10 most dangerous animals that can be found deep in lakes and swamps, the bull shark is the leading cause of shark attacks in Florida, inhabiting the warm coastal waters and estuaries of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Florida has 1.25 million American alligators in every county, and while attacks are uncommon, they have been known to be aggressive when protecting young in their dens. However, American crocodiles are far more deadly, with crocodile attacks occurring 100 times more often than shark attacks. Check out more dangerous animals here.

Florida bull shark
The bull shark is one of the most dangerous animals found in Florida.

©Harry Collins Photography/Shutterstock.com

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florida kingsnake
Florida kingsnakes are immune to the venom of other snakes in their habitat, including rattlesnakes.

© David Huntley Creative/Shutterstock.com


about the author


My name is Rebecca and I have been a professional freelancer for nearly ten years. I write SEO content and graphic design. When I'm not working, I'm obsessed with cats and pet mice.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Which rattlesnakes live in Florida?

Florida is home to three species of rattlesnakes. The largest is the eastern diamondback, which is found throughout Florida and even into the Florida Keys. In northern Florida, you may come across timber rattlesnakes, and the dusky pygmy rattlesnake is the smallest species of rattlesnake that lives in the state.

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