6 Most Venomous Snakes in Florida

Most Venomous Snakes in Florida
Photo by Reidastexturas

The subtropical climate of Florida in the United States provides ideal conditions for the survival of a diverse range of snake species.

Although the majority of these species are non-venomous, the state is home to six different types of snakes that are venomous.

Even while the possibility of getting bitten by a snake is quite real, the actual number of times that it happens is relatively uncommon.

When you encounter a snake, the first thing that could go through your mind is, “Is that venomous?” Let’s find out about the six most venomous snakes in Florida!

1. Timber Rattlesnake

Even in Florida, the Timber rattlesnake is a hard-to-find reptile species. It thrives only in the state’s Northeastern section and favors wet habitats like floodplain forests as its natural setting.

The Timber rattlesnake is the third largest venomous Snake in the United States and can grow to be between three and five feet long on average.

It has a coloration that is between yellow and gray, and it has brownish-black markings shaped like arrows. Additionally, it has a brownish-red stripe that runs the length of their bodies.

In addition to being a type of pit-viper, its head is triangular and features two pits or apertures on either side of its skull, which it uses to detect its prey.

They shake a ring of rattles at the end of their tail, which serves as a warning signal to other animals while they are in their rattlesnake form (and humans).

They are dangerous since they are one of the most venomous snakes in Florida and have the capability to kill a human, but they are gentle and would rather hide than move around in the hopes that you won’t see them.

These snakes can attack if they feel threatened, and if they do so, you must seek quick medical assistance.

2. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

The Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake is not only among the most venomous snakes in Florida but also the largest Snake in the state, as well as the entire United States.

As Diamondback Rattlesnakes can swim, they have found their way to some of the islands in and surrounding the Florida Keys.

They have a big body and grow to be between 5 and 6 feet long, although the longest one ever found was 8 feet long.

They have dark brown markings in the shape of diamonds running over their backs and have a brown coloration overall alongside a rattle at the end of their tail that they utilize to warn others when they assume the form of a rattlesnake.

If you came across one while hiking, it would most likely stay curled up, giving you plenty of time to get away from the area systematically.

If they perceived that they were in danger or you tried to get close to one of them, the eastern diamondback shakes its tail as a warning and lifts the front of its body as a last resort; they might strike.

Although they are huge, these snakes are not hostile; however, if you get bitten by one, you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

3. Pygmy Rattlesnake

Don’t let the size of this small rattlesnake deceive you; it’s rather dangerous and one of the most venomous snakes in Florida. Even though it is the smallest species of rattlesnake, its bite can be quite painful and venomous.

It is widespread across the state of Florida and prefers to live in wooded areas and woodlands. The average length of a pygmy rattlesnake is between one and two feet.

However, they are significantly thicker than other snakes. They have brown spots all over their tanned bodies and a stripe that runs the length of their backs that is a pinkish-brown color.

In Florida, the Pygmy rattlesnake is the poisonous snake species responsible for the most reported snake bites.

Because of its prevalence and small body, youngsters frequently handle it without realizing it is toxic. The children are sometimes bitten as a consequence of this behavior.

These snakes do not exhibit aggressive behavior; rather than directly attacking, they will flatten themselves out and hide in the undergrowth.

In the event that a Pygmy Rattlesnake bites you or one of your children, you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

4. Eastern (Harlequin) Coral Snake

The Eastern Coral Snake is one of the most venomous snakes in Florida that is not a pit viper. Another name for the eastern coral snake is the Harlequin snake.

One can find it all over the state of Florida, but it prefers drier environments, so you won’t find it in any of the state’s swamps or marshes.

The diameter of an Eastern Coral snake is comparable to that of a pencil; however, some individuals may be a little bit thicker.

Their length is approximately 1 meter (3.3 feet). They are identifiable due to the vivid black, red, and yellow banding that covers their bodies.

Even though other snakes have the same coloring, such as the non-venomous Scarlet King snake, it is probably best to avoid coming into contact with any snake with this coloring.

These snakes have to chew on their prey to transfer their venom to it, unlike rattlesnakes, which can transfer their venom with a quick piercing bite from their fangs. Therefore, you should never put your hands near a Coral snake.

5. Eastern (Southern) Copperhead

The copperhead has keeled scales, and their eyes feature vertical pupils that make them look like the eyes of a cat.

The Eastern Copperhead, also known as the Southern copperhead, thrives only in a tiny region surrounding the panhandle of Florida.

Thus it is highly improbable that you will come into contact with one. You can find it only in the far northwest of the state, between the Apalachicola River (which is just west of Tallahassee) and Pensacola.

These snakes range in length from three to four feet and have a tan coloration with dark brown hourglass markings that allow them to mix well with dry leaves.

They have a triangular-shaped head, similar to that of other pit vipers, with vertical slits that resemble cat eyes in both of their eyes.

They are venomous and capable of biting, but their venom is not as dangerous as that of the cottonmouth or the timber rattlesnake.

6. Cottonmouth

The cottonmouth is the last mention on our list of most venomous snakes in Florida. You are mistaken if you believe that avoiding hiking routes will keep you safe from snakes that could potentially be poisonous to humans.

How about going swimming in a river or lake instead? On occasion, you will need to keep an eye out for the Florida cottonmouth, also called a water moccasin.

Cottonmouths are hostile, although the majority of the other snakes on our list prefer to be left alone and will provide fair warning before attacking.

It would appear that they have a short fuse. Before striking, they could curl their bodies backward, open their mouths, and display their fangs.

Cottonmouths are common in Florida and found across the state in a variety of habitats, including lakes, rivers, swamps, and retention ponds. They have a larger body, and their length can range from two to four feet.

They are called cottonmouths because of the white coloration found inside their mouths. Although other non-venomous water snakes have a similar appearance to this one, it is best to avoid all water snakes for your own safety.

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