13 Different Types of Snakes in South Carolina

Types of Snakes in South Carolina
Photo by Tina Nord on Pexels

In South Carolina, snakes are very common. Intriguingly, they are all remarkably distinctive and have evolved to occupy various environments and niches.

You’ll observe that these types of snakes in South Carolina are remarkably diverse.

For instance, some species are poisonous, while others immobilize their prey by constriction.

Or the fact that while some types of snakes in South Carolina prefer to live underground, where they are rarely seen, others are content to live extremely near to people.

Let’s start with our post listing these types of snakes in South Carolina below! 

1. Northern Water Snake

Northern Water Snake
by pverdonk is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The northern water snake is first on our list of types of snakes in South Carolina.

It can be found in South Carolina’s far northwest, close to the border.

When fully grown, these snakes can reach lengths between 22 and 53 inches, making them a frightening sight to encounter while out and about.

These types of snakes in South Carolina frequently hide in beaver dams or muskrat burrows because they prefer to dwell near water.

Although members of this species can be active at all times, you’ll notice them hunting most frequently at night. 

They feed on worms, tiny fish, and frogs in the bodies of water they inhabit.

This species’ natural predators include coyotes, raccoons, opossums, birds of prey, and snapping turtles.

2. Corn Snake

Different Types of Corn Snakes
Photo by Kapa65

Corn snakes are also one of the types in South Carolina that inhabit the margins of fields and woodlands.

They are enormous snakes, often exceeding four feet in length.

Because of their striking red-orange coloring, corn snakes are easy to spot even when lurking in the tall grass at the border of a field. 

These snakes are a particular species of rat snake (also known as the red rat snake), and they eat rodents that prefer to live in grassy fields.

You should constantly glance up when strolling along the edge of a South Carolina field that borders a forest because corn snakes are excellent climbers and could be both above and below your feet.

3. Black Racer Snake

Black Racer Snake
by Mullica is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

In South Carolina, black racer snakes are among the most prevalent snakes.

Although they are harmless to people, their length and black color give them a slightly ominous appearance.

These types of snakes in South Carolina also move quickly and attempt to keep away from people whenever feasible. 

These snakes can move at rates of up to four miles per hour; therefore, if you see a Black Racer, it’s likely that you are only seeing the snake speeding away from you.

Black Racers are frequently spotted on rural roads and jogging trails around the state. Simply stop for a moment if you spot one, and it will probably run away.

4. Brown Water Snake

Brown Water Snake
by TomSpinker is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

When they reach adulthood, brown water snakes, which may reach lengths of between 30 and 60 inches, are among the largest snakes in South Carolina.

They enjoy residing in South Carolina’s larger rivers because there are more catfish to catch, which is their preferred prey. 

Despite not being poisonous, this species is often mistaken for a cottonmouth.

Instead of lying on the ground, you can frequently observe the brown water snake spreading among tree branches to enjoy the sun. 

They frequently fall into people’s boats since they frequently find themselves in trees.

They can’t kill you, but be cautious because these types of snakes in South Carolina have incredibly keen fangs and will bite to defend themselves. 

Due to its size, this species doesn’t have many predators. Humans pose the biggest danger to the brown water snake.

5. Green Water Snake

Green Water Snake
by TomSpinker is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The green water snake, which can reach 30 to 55 inches, is likewise non-venomous.

Since they are carnivores, these types of snakes in South Carolina primarily feed during the day on fish and tiny amphibians.

Although Florida is home to most green water snakes, they can also be found in South Carolina and Georgia.

They prefer areas with lots of vegetation to hide in and are frequently seen in marshes. Hawks and people are this species’ natural predators.

They are not constrictors; these are water snakes. Instead, they merely capture their prey and rapidly swallow it.

6. Banded Water Snake

Banded Water Snake - Different Snakes in California
by TomSpinker is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Eastern South Carolina’s rivers, lakes, and wetlands are home to the banded water snake.

It can reach 24 to 42 inches long and prefers to eat fish and frogs.

They share a habitat with a species called cottonmouths, and because of this, they frequently get confused for cottonmouths. 

Although they tend to remain solitary and secretive when left alone, this species can become violent.

The natural predators of this species are the same as those of the other types of snakes in South Carolina on our list.

7. Yellow Rat Snake

Yellow Rat Snake
by MyFWC Florida Fish and Wildlife is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Only near the coast of South Carolina can you see yellow rat snakes.

They have a nasty reputation, just like other varieties of rat snakes, yet they are quite helpful to people since they consume and kill tiny mammals and rodents that damage and eat crops. 

Brownish-yellow to golden-yellow in color, yellow rat snakes have fine brown stripes.

Rat snakes can reach lengths of up to eight feet but typically only reach four to six feet.

8. Red-bellied Water Snake

Red-bellied Water Snake
by ncwetlands.org is licensed under CC CC0 1.0

The red-bellied water snake is next on our list of types of snakes in South Carolina.

Although they have been discovered in rivers, South Carolina’s lakes, and swamps, their name comes from their red belly. 

They are predators that can grow between 24 and 40 inches long, and they gorge themselves on tiny animals and fish both on and off the land.

They are nocturnal and will travel a great distance across the land to find another body of water, unlike the other types of snakes in South Carolina on our list.

When attacked, these snakes can become violent and bite their adversary repeatedly while spraying a scent similar to musk.

9. Cottonmouth

Cottonmouth - Types of Snakes in Alabama
by Greg Schechter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The cottonmouth, commonly known as the water moccasin, comes to mind when most South Carolinians think of a water snake.

Sadly, this snake is poisonous, and many of the snakes mentioned above are injured when people mistakenly believe they have encountered a cottonmouth.

This snake species is notorious, and you may frequently see it swimming in the swamps, rivers, and waterways in South Carolina.

The diet of this species includes fish, reptiles, and amphibians, just like that of typical water snakes.

Getting medical attention right away is crucial if a cottonmouth has bitten you.

10. Copperhead

by 2ndPeter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The venomous copperhead snake can grow up to 37.4 inches long by adulthood.

It has a large head and a strong body. This species consumes insects, frogs, and small rodents.

Although a copperhead’s bite is rarely lethal, you should still seek medical attention if you are bitten.

The most frequent poisonous snake in South Carolina is this one.

This snake is primarily nocturnal in the southern hemisphere during the hot summer months but active during the day during the colder spring and autumn months.

11. Coral Snake

Coral Snake
by snakecollector is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Another poisonous type of snake in South Carolina is the coral snake.

Even though this snake is reputed to have a highly lethal bite, no deaths have been linked to it since the 1960s. 

This species feeds on lizards, small non-scale snakes, and frogs. They are primarily found in South Carolina’s marshes.

Since coral snakes are second only to the black mamba in terms of venomousness, you should seek medical assistance immediately if you are bitten by one.

12. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
by MyFWC Florida Fish and Wildlife is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The largest venomous snake in South Carolina is allegedly the eastern diamondback rattlesnake.

They can weigh up to 10 pounds and grow to a length of three to six feet. The longest measurement ever made was 8 feet.

These types of snakes in South Carolina wait in hiding until their prey approaches and then strike to kill them.

Since these rattlesnakes give birth in the summer, you should exercise caution and watch them if you’re going along South Carolina’s highways or hiking trails in the autumn.

13. Pygmy Rattlesnake

Pygmy Rattlesnake
by 2ndPeter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The pygmy rattlesnake, which matures 14 to 22 inches long, is the smallest venomous snake in South Carolina.

Except for the mountains, this snake may be found around South Carolina.

These types of snakes in South Carolina consume insects, centipedes, and frogs.

Unfortunately, it is also venomous, so if you are bitten, you must get medical attention at an emergency room.

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