Fortunately, the majority of snakes present in the United States are neither poisonous nor venomous. Garter snakes often snack on small mammals, too, such as mice, and small amphibians, such as toads and frogs. Their diet consists primarily of rodents in their territory, and unless directly disturbed, they are not known to be particularly aggressive in the presence of humans. Turtles. Typical snake encounters in the yard and in the wild often happen during the warmer months of the year, traditional season for these cold blooded reptiles. As already mentioned, some people immediately associate poisonous snakes, or venomous snakes with the snake world. A short species of snake, averaging 2 feet or less, and looking very similar to an average garter snake in coloration with rows of yellow, cream or peach colored stripes running the length of its body. Crotalus rattlesnakes, for example, inhabit most areas of North America. Scarlet snakes most closely resemble typical coral snakes with a base red color intermingled with alternating thin bands of black and yellow. On defense, these snakes rely on their maneuverability but, when challenged, they will flatten their neck out, hiss and vibrate their tail against the ground producing a sound similar to a rattlesnake. Medium-sized snakes with a striking coloration of red, black and yellow, or red, cream and black, milk snakes are most notable for being close look-alikes with the highly venomous coral snake, with the most typical differences being only that of pattern or color arrangement. Possessed of iridescent, deep blue-black scales that appear purple in bright light (hence the name) they can be found in many habitats, everything from stream bottoms to sandy fields, dry glades to pine forest. The snakes are seriously carnivorous, they eat absolutely any other small animal that they can catch and subdue, and are famously known to kill or stun their prey by thrashing it violently against anything nearby, a technique which often results in injury to the snake itself. A medium sized snake of striking coloration, the California Kingsnake is found throughout the western United States in abundance as well as northern Mexico. Possessed of a typically rust-red body with ivory or cream colored bands of variable width along its length, it is sometimes mistaken for the American coral snake. Though the trail travels through an urban environment, adjacent parks and natural features help diversify the landscape. Red bellied Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata). Required fields are marked *. The look very similar to the common water snakes they share territory with. Near water, that means frogs, tadpoles, and fish. Garter Snakes are common and plentiful snakes found throughout North America, of medium build and length, averaging about 2 feet long. Posted in Born, Species. All of these snakes have a light underbelly that simplifies identification. Garter snake identification can be a fun activity because they are not aggressive snakes and taking the time to look at one means little personal harm to the observer. Some of them are downright temperamental, and will pick a fight with a much larger creature that they cannot best! There are an awful lot of snakes on the North American continent, and most of them are non-venomous. While Water Snake species are not venomous, many species are known to be ill tempered, and quick to bite when startled. Plains garter snake. Learning to reliably identify snakes is a good idea, since this knowledge will inform your decision of how to react. Predominately Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma, U.S. The head shows a characteristic copper color. There are dozens of other potential situations where a positive ID can give you the confidence to act knowing that you are in no real danger, such as retrieving a snake that slipped into your sleeping bag, or after taking up residence at the edge of your camp. Even more remarkable is that these snakes are incredibly docile, and have a reputation for never biting people under any circumstances. Like the eastern racer, this is another fast, athletic snake that is most often active during the day. Assuming you can get close enough to one, they can be handled easily enough since they are fairly docile, but they are quick to emit excrement and a foul-smelling odor when handled. These 1- to 2 foot snakes can occasionally be seen with an olive or yellow coloration. Will it harm my children or pets in the yard? They hibernate during the winter, but occasionally emerge on warmer days to soak up the sun’s rays. The plains hognose snake, the western milksnake and the smooth green snake are listed as ‘species of concern.’ However, this does not provide any legal protection. They appear totally unique compared to other snakes and their habitat. In fact, their scientific name, catenifer, references this; it is Latin for “chain bearing”. However, during the day they will bask in the sun to regulate their body temperature. Note that, while not aggressive towards people, they will bite readily and often if handled while simultaneously ejecting feces. Plains garter … Garter snakes will eat nearly anything. It goes without saying that you must never attempt to interact with any snake if you are not 100% sure of its identity! When frightened, they will attempt to flee at all costs, usually retreating towards water or into heavy brush. Large and powerfully built snakes that are commonly mistaken for rattlers, gopher snakes are a subspecies of bull snake, so named because their hoarse, brassy hissing sounds similar to that emitted by bulls and cattle. Note that this is not one hundred percent totally reliable, as some milk snakes have colors that are virtually identical to the coral snake, and some coral snakes lack the usual band patterns. Brown to dark brown in color, they may have stripes ranging from yellow to blue depending on subspecies. They are small nonvenomous snakes that also go by the name grass snakes. It lives in most states east of the Rocky Mountains. Rattlesnake identification can be a bit tricky because rattlesnake diversity translates into species with substantially different body patterns. The desert Southwest hosts over a dozen different species. It’s found in all states east of the Rocky Mountains. Northern Red-Bellies are notable for their striking coloration. These cannibalistic reptiles average about 2 feet in length, with a few subspecies growing upwards of 5 feet long. For general identification purposes and for personal safety reasons, most people only need know that a rattlesnake can be identified by the rattle at the end of the tail. Prairie Garter snake Thamnophis radix. Range: Majority of continental U.S., southeast Canada, Central- and South America. Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata. Also notable is its method of dispatching prey; using it strong jaws it will slam smaller prey against the ground to stun it before swallowing it whole and alive, occasionally even eating other snakes. The shorter and thicker body of the Water Moccasin can normally be used as field identification clues to distinguish between them. Snake identification becomes especially important when the topic comes to poisonous snakes. The snakes are most active during the day, taking it easy and resting during the night. The most dangerous part about procuring snake meat to eat is often actually capturing the snake. Bait Worms Calciworms Crickets Dry Goods Frodents Fruit Flies Mealworms Prepackaged Food Superworms Waxworms Frodents. Copperheads grow to an average three feet in length and their light body is covered with darker crossbands. Most snakes in the yard are not poisonous and they would prefer flight to fight in any instance where they come into contact with the pets and kids. Garter Snake removal and control is the most common call a animal removal professiona receives in the spring of the year and we will continue to receive these calls throught the entire year. nonvenomous snakes of Idaho include the Rubber Boa, Racer, Ringneck Snake, Night . They are about a foot in length and normally a solid bronze or copper color. There’s no reason to be afraid of snakes so long as you know their habits and their territory, and even less of a reason to be afraid of the non-venomous ones. Tortoises Turtles. Their abundance and hardiness make them popular pets and they do well in captivity. These snakes are not aggressive, and will typically freeze when threatened. In my garden their menu runs to grasshoppers, beetles, and small mammals—all pests I would gladly be rid of. When not raising hell after being picked up, the snakes are commonly seen basking in the sun on rocks and logs near wetlands and ponds. You’ll also be able to tell which ones are easy sources of food in case you run low on calories far from civilization. They are popular pets and comparatively docile, tolerating extensive handling well. It happened to me up at the edge of Bowman Lake northwest of Glacier. In the Montana Outdoors magazine publication, IDENTIFICATION OF MONTANA’S AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES, by Jim Reichel and Dennis Flath, 1995, two garter snakes are listed as native to the Townsend area: the Common Garter snake, (Thamnophis sirtalis) … Your e-mail is 100% safe. As the most common snakes, they also are the focus of the snake identification guide. LAWS §287.731, it is clearly defined which animals cannot be kept as pets. Their typical schedule means they are rarely encountered if one is not searching for them. Coachwhips are commonly black or a very dark gray which fades towards a tan or dusky color towards the rear. All snakes are wild animals, and that means should be treated with the respect they deserve. Red-bellied snakes, the second picture, live mostly in wooded areas of the east. This multi-use trail runs north-south, stretching from Azusa to Seal Beach. Is it a poisonous snake? Pit Vipers are the largest group of venomous snakes. Many people reading this article will no doubt show more curiosity than squeamishness at the presence of a snake. Greensnakes can be either rough keeled or smooth keeled. Not a pretty sight I tell you! While the venomous snakes typically get all the limelight and infamy as the ones to watch out for, you are far more likely in most places to run into non-venomous snakes then their deadly brethren. Ones that remain too long in a dry burrow will typically die in place. So long as they are cleaned properly and cooked well, snake meat is generally safe to consume. Posted on April 5, 2020 by Administrator April 5, 2020. Some will even play dead. While garter snakes can act as a natural pest control, most people who discover snakes in their home find it to be a frightening experience. Your email address will not be published. Montana. Kingsnakes kill by constriction, and are among the most powerful constrictors in proportion to their body mass. By entering your e-mail you consent to subscribe to my newsletter. So all around, it is in everyone’s best interest to learn about the snakes in their area and the rest of their country to better improve their personal readiness. Populations of Cottonmouth Snakes are limited to water areas of the Southeast and up the Mississippi River to Illinois. Generally east of the Appalachian mountain range all up and down the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Your email address will not be published. Others are not bluffing and will strike repeatedly and vigorously when threatened. These snakes range from Alaska, Canada and in just about every state in North America, in fact it is the only Non-venomous snakes can still potentially hurt you: Several species of non-venomous snakes are still reasonably dangerous thanks to their size, strength and rows of razor sharp teeth, more than capable of inflicting lacerating bites that are highly likely to become hideously infected thanks to the copious bacteria in their mouths. The family covers around one hundred species, including the most common types of snakes such as garter snakes, kingsnakes, rat snakes and coachwhips. Montana hosts three species of garter snakes: common, terrestrial, and plains. Many snakes will run at the first sign of trouble. We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. And there are a few, even though they aren’t venomous and stand next to no chance against a large mammal like ourselves, will even fight back. There are 35 species of garter snake. North America is host to over a dozen different species packing potent poison, all of them can seriously injure you, and a few of them can kill you with ease. This is another species that can expel a foul musk from their anus when threatened. The garter snake is certainly the most common snake found in North America. Some fairly big garter snakes can scare the bejeebers out of snake-phobiacs. You have not viewed any products recently. Some have even been known to vibrate their tails against the ground, leading onlookers to mistake them for rattlesnakes. When threatened, the snakes will curl up into the typical S-shaped pre strike pose common to many snakes, but rather than biting, they will thump interlopers with a closed mouth, a sort of reptilian headbutt, to ward off potential predators. Central U.S. through New England and Deep South.