7 Different Types of Snakes in Hawaii

Types of Snakes in Hawaii
Photo by mark broadhurst on Pexels

Whether you like snakes or not, if you’re moving to the islands or taking a trip there, you’ll want to know if there are any snakes in Hawaii.

While the answer is that there are snakes in Hawaii, they are not a cause for concern.

One is a harmless worm-like species considered relatively native, whereas the other lives in deep seas.

Enjoy the islands’ tropical diversity, which doesn’t particularly include snakes, and have fun.

Hawaii has no native snakes. However, there are different kinds there.

Although there are laws to prevent their introduction to the ecosystem, some types of snakes in Hawaii nevertheless manage to get through.

1. Brahmin Blind Snake

Brahmin blind snake is starting our list of types of snakes in Hawaii.

Despite not being a native species to Hawaii, this snake has lived here for so long that many people still see it as such. 

You might mistake one of these types of snakes in Hawaii for an earthworm because they are among the smallest snake species in the world, measuring only 6 inches long.

They consume termites and ants, which some humans could find appealing.

The fact that every single one of them is a woman is even more intriguing.

Because they reproduce parthenogenetically, members of this species lay eggs that don’t become fertilized.

This implies that a single snake might create limitless generations! While doing so would be challenging, it is not necessary in this instance.

The Brahmin blind snake is innocuous because it is nonvenomous and has little effect on the ecosystem.

2. Python Ball

Python Ball
by Monkeystyle3000 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The ball python is a typical pet snake in the remainder of the United States because of its larger head and diamond-like pattern, which make it one of the more recognizable snake species.

Although these types of snakes in Hawaii are born small, they may grow up to six feet long if fed a diet rich in small mammals and birds.

For this reason, if they were ever released into the wild, they would devastate the Hawaiian ecology.

Despite rigorous prohibitions, three sightings of ball pythons have been reported in the past seven years.

For instance, a hunter discovered a 4-footer in 2020 in Kahalu’u Forest on Oahu Island and gave it to the humane organization. 

Although nonvenomous, ball pythons are still ferocious predators that constrict their victims, stopping their breath and blood supply and occasionally breaking bones before swallowing them whole.

They might be secure in a human residence, but Hawaii cannot handle them.

3. Boa Constrictor

Another popular pet, the boa, gets much larger than the ball python, another constrictor.

Unfortunately, Hawaii has reported seeing a lot more boa sightings. One of the two, which was 9 feet long, was discovered in 2011 on a farm. 

A 3-footer and a 5-footer were run over in separate occurrences in 2013: one occurred at a crosswalk in Honolulu, and the other on the Pali Highway. A 7-foot boa was taken away by the HDOA in Nuuanu in 2015.

Some of these types of snakes in Hawaii might just be escaped pets, but others might originate from a black market that deals in exotic animals.

The boa constrictor is thought to be more exotic than the ball python because of its bigger size, which may explain why more have been observed.

One can only picture the terrible devastation the boa may cause if the ball python is too dangerous for the species of Hawaii.

4. Garter Snake

Garter Snake
by Me in ME is licensed under CC BY 2.0

How did this famous snake from the mainland get to Hawaii? There are two events, both of which involve Christmas trees.

First, an Oregon business sent a package to a grocery in Hawaii in 2004. Unfortunately, this package came with a 13-inch garter in addition to trees and other holiday decorations. 

After that, the islands went without garters until 2020, when a new cargo of Christmas trees had a garter stowaway who unfortunately perished in the passage.

This snake is rather typical across the American wilderness and in some pet owners’ houses. Of course, Hawaii is an exception.

Despite the fact that garters come in a variety of forms, all of them have a long, narrow stripe on top of their bodies that is typically yellow or white in color. 

These types of snakes in Hawaii make good pets for the most part, but they are actually mildly venomous—just not to people because their poison is so faint and infrequent. 

That doesn’t mean you should seek one out, though, as their bites can still result in swelling. 

Additionally, although their small size only permits them to eat small animals, their diet is highly varied and includes a variety of bugs, fish, and amphibians.

Therefore, if they had relocated to Hawaii, these Christmas miracles might have turned into Christmas disasters.

5. Corn Snakes

Corn Snakes
by Ozzy Delaney is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Rat snakes of the variety known as corn snakes are also known as red rat snakes.

These little types of snakes in Hawaii are excellent for beginners because they maintain a fair size, are calm and non-venomous, and require little maintenance.

These snakes, which are frequently mistaken for Copperheads, have a tan or orange body with red-brown spots running the length of their backs.

Their undersides are cream or white with black specks arranged in a checkerboard-like pattern.

They also have thin skulls that are around the same width as their bodies.

Openings in forests, overgrown fields, and abandoned structures are all good places to look for corn snakes.

In addition to any small rodents they can catch, these types of snakes in Hawaii will devour frogs, birds, their eggs, other snakes, and lizards.

Since they are constrictors, they suffocate and choke their prey before swallowing them whole.

In Hawaii, a Corn Snake has just once been spotted in a backyard this year.

Its origin is still unknown. However, it was suspected that it was another stray pet from the illicit market.

6. Brown Tree Snake

Brown Tree Snake
by karen_neoh is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Although only a few islands between the Indian and Pacific oceans are home to brown tree snakes, they nonetheless manage to travel across the Pacific by sneaking onto cargo ships and airplanes.

They consume small mammals and birds, just like other snakes do, but growing brown tree snakes have been observed to consume up to 70% of their body weight per day. 

Additionally, they have been known to bite and are venomous to humans.

One only needs to look at Guam to see how hazardous these snakes are to an isolated ecosystem.

Since the brown tree snake arrived there in the 1940s, Guam has lost many of its native species to extinction.

It grew over the years, and today, it dominates Guam’s food chain without any natural predators.

The only brown tree snakes in Hawaii are a quartet brought in to teach canines to hunt them down.

Having said that, these snakes are highly cunning and intrepid, so being vigilant when traveling wouldn’t be the worst idea.

7. Yellow Belly Sea Snake

The yellow-belly sea snake is ending our list of types of snakes in Hawaii.

Despite the fact that it rarely swims up onto the coast, this is the closest thing to a native Hawaiian snake. 

Although they are much more frequent on North American beaches, it is not unlikely that one will make its way to Hawaii.

The black stripe on its back, the black and yellow spots on its tail, and its naturally yellow belly are telltale signs of the yellow-bellied sea snake.

Even though this sea snake is poisonous, no one has ever been attacked by one of these snakes in Hawaii.

In fact, they avoid people and hide from predators by lurking beneath rocks. 

They also bite very slowly, so if you catch one, you can treat it immediately to prevent permanent harm.

They could be fatal, so you should stay away from them and seek medical attention immediately if bitten.


All of these types of snakes in Hawaii, including a sea snake that doesn’t dwell on land, are not endemic to Hawaii.

Each, nevertheless, had previously been documented on the islands. Species, such as Brahminy blind snake, are now significantly more prevalent in Hawaii. 

Fortunately, this particular species is remarkably harmless. We hope you’ve learned more about these magnificent creatures! 

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