12 Types of Snakes in Idaho (With Pictures)

Types of Snakes in Idaho
Photo by Yoalli Svart on Unsplash

Welcome to Idaho’s untamed wilderness, where the breathtaking vistas are not without their undiscovered perils.

Even though this state is well recognized for its beautiful rivers and mountains, there are also hidden dangerous types of snakes in Idaho.

Get ready to solve the secrets of the venomous types of snakes in Idaho, their natural habitats, and the remarkable adaptations that let them survive in this setting.

Join us as we explore Idaho’s fascinating world of types of snakes. Gather your curiosity.

1. Terrestrial Garter Snake

Terrestrial Garter Snake
by petechar is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The most prevalent type of snake in many states in the United States is the terrestrial garter snake, which may be found from the Rockies to the West Coast, including Idaho.

Some individuals would claim that there are six separate subspecies because they appear in various colors, including brown, green, and black. 

The scientific community is currently debating this, though. Most adults still have their distinctive yellow, orange, or white stripes.

Given its name, a terrestrial garter snake would be expected to live on land, and you would be right.

These types of snakes in Idaho can be found in grasslands, woodlands, and even high peaks up to 13,000 feet above sea level. But did you know that they can swim well too? 

Fish, frogs, and tadpoles are part of their diet and are highly adept at navigating Idaho’s streams. Because of their wide range, you’ll likely run into one anywhere. 

Although they are often calm around people, they have a mild saliva venom that can induce swelling and irritability.

You should have this checked out, but you shouldn’t be concerned for your life or limb.

2. Western Rattlesnake

Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake
by dust and fog is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Given that much of southern and western Idaho falls within its range, the other venomous snake in the state—the western rattlesnake—is more prevalent.

The snake can look in various ways, known as the northern Pacific rattlesnake. 

Some of these types of snakes in Idaho have bright spots and black coloring, while others have the opposite pattern. In this regard, they resemble one another almost exactly. 

Western rattlesnakes, however, differ little from one another save for color.

They can grow up to 6 feet long, with triangular heads and stripes that extend from their eyes to their mouths.

The western rattlesnake is adaptable in terms of habitat. Although they can be found in meadows, they prefer rocky regions.

Additionally, they can swim and can be active at any time of day. They wait while waiting for their moment to attack, preying on tiny creatures, including mice, birds, and lizards. 

If you hear a rattlesnake, back off because, like most rattlesnakes, it’s their last-ditch attempt to evade a predator.

Please seek medical assistance immediately, even though most rattlesnake bites are “dry bites,” meaning they do not inject any venom.

3. Gopher Snakes

Gopher Snakes
by Peter Kaminski is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In the Boise Foothills, gopher snakes are a common sight. They favor both forested places and warm, dry environments.

They also go by the name “bullsnakes.” Because gopher snakes mimic rattlesnakes by hissing and flicking their tails (which lack rattles), they are sometimes mistaken for rattlesnakes when threatened. 

Even their heads can be lowered to make them look more triangular.

Their dark-colored patches of patterns resemble rattlesnake markings. Adults can reach a length of about 42 inches. 

According to Bosworth, gopher snakes can bite. He advised merely leaving the bites alone because they can be uncomfortable. Bill Bosworth, a racer from North America Idaho Game.

4. Common Garter Snake or Valley Garter Snake

Common Garter Snake or Valley Garter Snake
by Franco Folini is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The valley garter snake, a subspecies of the common garter snake, is the predominant subspecies in the Pacific Northwest, including a sizable portion of Idaho.

They have a 55-inch maximum height, black and brown coloring, and, as you might imagine, three yellow stripes along the length of their bodies. 

The red coloring of this specific garter’s head, some of its body, and its yellow belly make it stand out.

Valley garters can be found in many different habitats in Idaho, including woods, grasslands, wetlands, and water.

These types of snakes in Idaho are adept swimmers, just like terrestrial garters.

They spend most of their time behind rocks and logs because they have to control their body temperature.

They collectively hibernate in any opening they can discover over the winter, including animal burrows, rock crevices, and even man-made objects.

They frequently visit developed regions and are fairly accustomed to people. 

Unfortunately, there is a cost to this because they are frequently killed by cars and other vehicles out of fear, possibly due to their color.

There isn’t much to worry about with this snake, though. It is non-venomous, and the worst it can do to a person upon capture is to exude a revolting musk as a last option.

Consequently, the valley garter snake poses no greater risk than other garters.

5. North American Racer

North American Racer
by CaliforniaDFW is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Racer from North America: Racers typically travel through dry terrain throughout the day, including the Boise Foothills.

They are mottled brown when they are initially born. The markings disappear as they age, and their color changes to a greenish-gray with a yellow belly. 

The average adult’s length is about 32 inches. The Idaho Way publication A weekly compilation of viewpoints, analysis, and comments from the area.

According to Bosworth, they stand out for their movement: They move quickly and glide rather than undulate.

If you notice a snake traveling quickly while in town, it probably belongs to a race land-based garter snake Fish and Game in Idaho. 

6. Striped Whipsnake

Striped Whipsnake
by PetrifiedForestNPS is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The striped whipsnake is a long, slender snake related to the North American racer that hunts insects, lizards, and sometimes other snakes during the day (notice its comparatively wide eyes).

It is one of the uncommon types of snakes in Idaho but can be found in lower elevations, dry foothills, and shrub environments. Its distinctive coloring includes a pink underside to its tail.

7. Northern Rubber Boa

Northern Rubber Boa
by Natalie McNear is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

“This is a really cool snake,” remarked Bosworth. It spends much of its life underground and inhabits rocky, wooded environments.

The color of this native boa, which ranges from pale olive green to blackish with a yellow belly, makes it easy to identify. 

The rubber boa has a broad tail and moves slowly. Because the blunt tail resembles a second head, the “two-headed snake,” as Bosworth put it, has earned its name. 

Typically, these types of snakes in Idaho eat at night by robbing rat and mouse nests.

In Bosworth’s office, there is a Northern rubber boa living there. Snake with a ring-neck Fish and Game in Idaho

8. Ring-necked Snake

Ring-necked Snake
by Greg Schechter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Bosworth called it “arguably our rarest, most beautiful types of snakes in Idaho.” The adult size of the ring-necked snake is just about 20 inches. 

They have a bright orange underbelly and are grey. Some people wear necklace rings. Others don’t. A desert snake Invoice Bosworth Fish and Game in Idaho.

9. Desert Nightsnake

Desert Nightsnake
by g_heaton is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Desert Nightsnake is next on our list of types of snakes in Idaho.

According to Bosworth, the venom released by desert night snakes is not harmful to humans.

The lizards that night snakes devour are rendered unconscious by their venom

They are primarily nocturnal and have arid environments. Tan to brown is one of their color options.

As adults, they are even smaller than ring-necked grebes, measuring 18 to 20 inches. Ground snake of the West Invoice Bosworth Fish and Game in Idaho 

10. Western Groundsnake

Western Groundsnake
by amdubois01 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

This small, nocturnal snake is distinguished by its eye-catching color, consisting of red and black lipstick bands.

In Owyhee County, western ground snakes are primarily found near the Snake River. lengthy snake Fish and Game in Idaho, Bill Bosworth 

11. Long-nose Snake

Long-nose Snake
by Rushen! is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Long-nosed snake is one extremely rare type in Idaho, mostly found in the counties of Owyhee and Ada along the Snake River region.

It stands out for having bands with black and white spots. According to Bosworth, the animal’s head and nose do not match its moniker. 

12. Prairie Rattlesnake

Prairie Rattlesnake
by 2ndPeter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ending our list of types of snakes in Idaho is the prairie rattlesnake.

The Frank Church wilderness area in Central Idaho is where it can be found the most frequently. 

Only in the past 15 years have these types of snakes in Idaho been recognized as distinct species from the Western rattlesnake.

This species resembles the Western rattlesnake in terms of appearance and behavior.

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