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With the warm climate we enjoy, there’s more than just New Yorker’s heading to Florida.  There are 44 known species of snakes here in Florida, but only 6 are venomous. Of course, it only takes one bite to totally ruin your day, so it’s best to know who they are. I’ve seen so many posts on Facebook of people asking what kind of snake is this, and will I die if it bites me. Most won’t. In fact, it’s best to leave most snakes alone because they’re eating pests that you don’t want around. Rats, mice, those frogs that make your dog sick. Things like that.  This list doesn’t include the invasive python which is attempting to take over the Everglades. It’s not a venomous snake. Although it does make for interesting stories when Florida man takes one on. UPDATE:  February 14th, 2024 – there have been no human deaths from wild-living Burmese pythons in Florida.

It’s actually a very short list of snakes that you really need to watch out for. There’s the pit vipers and the eastern coral snake. The truly tricky part is all of the other snakes that try to look like they’re a venomous snake. Those snakes are the equivalent of someone who is all talk but runs and hides once the fight starts. But man, they will scare the snot out of you when they come out of the bushes at night when you’re taking the trash out. Yes, this happened to me.

The most common snake you’ll see here in Florida seems to be the black racer snake. Totally harmless. I find them in my pool at night sometimes. I fish it out with the pool skimmer and bring it back out to the yard.

The Venomous Snakes Of Florida

Anyway, thanks to the good folks at World Atlas, let’s take a look at some things that could kill you. It’s the Venomous Snakes Of Florida.

  • Southern Copperhead

    A pit viper that prefers to live in wooded and mixed pasture lowlands. The Copperhead has a relatively mild venom compared to others on this list. There have been no fatalities in Florida with this snake, but getting bit by one is still going to ruin your day. There are imposters to this snake, the harmless corn snake, and the rat snake. The Copperhead snakes have narrow vertical slits for eyes. If the eyes are round, the snake is harmless. If you have some woods near your subdivision, it’s possible that these snakes could be living there. Make sure your kids know the difference.

  • Eastern Coral Snake

    They like the tropical parts of Florida. They would rather hide than attack a human and generally don’t bite. Still best to not mess with tho’, and especially don’t try to pick one up. There’s some local history on this snake, too. Back in the 1960’s, two guys in Bonita Springs were trying to kill a Coral snake. The snake bit one of the guys and he died. See that yellow band behind his head? That means leave him alone.

     

  • Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake

    These dudes live in habitats ranging from flatwoods to prairies, swamps, and marshes to along water bodies like ponds and lakes. Don’t mess with them, they will react. This snake is one of the most abundant venomous snake in Florida, but they are struggling to survive due to development. 

     

  • Timber Rattlesnake

    They hang out around forests and rugged terrain, particularly in northern Florida in the Suwannee River Basin. They eat frogs, lizards, birds, mice, rats, rabbits, and gophers. (not golfers, gophers). One of the most feared snakes in Florida. If you get bit and do not get immediate treatment you’ll probably die.

     

  • Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

    This snake is as nasty as it’s name implies. It lives in a wide variety of habitats including marshes and swamps, dry pine forests, sandhills, wet prairies, and wherever it finds food. It can grow up to 8 feet long, is faster than you, and can outswim you. It’s bite has a mortality rate of 10-20%. I don’t like those odds. And they aren’t just in the woods. Just last fall, one bit an Amazon driver in Palm City, Florida who was just out making deliveries. Put her in the hospital in serious condition. 

     

  • Florida Cottonmouth

    This thing hangs out in swampy regions, wooded regions along watercourses, and along the edges of cypress ponds. Hmm, that sounds like some golf courses. It’s even made it’s way to some islands. You probably won’t die if it bites you, but amputations? Yeah, amputations. 

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