In Alabama, it’s not hard to find a snake. Due to the state’s diverse topography, you may discover something crawling about practically anyplace. Alabama features a mix of venomous and non-venomous snakes, like the majority of states.
Alabama is home to 50 distinct species of snake in total. It’s extremely usual to encounter these snakes enjoying their surroundings because of the variety of terrains found across the state.
How many poisonous snakes are there in Alabama? is the true question that most people prefer to ask. Fortunately for you, this magnificent state only has six types of deadly snakes.
This list is what you need if you reside in Alabama and want to know what snakes you could meet or if you’re just a snake lover who wants to learn everything there is to know about snakes in North America.
Read on to get to know 12 of these species, including the poisonous snakes of Alabama, and discover what to watch out for when traveling to this wonderful state.
Venomous Snakes Found in Alabama
Let’s start by looking at the poisonous snakes in Alabama. You’ll notice that some of these species are far more likely to be encountered than others. While the copperhead is one of the most common poisonous snakes found in Alabama, two of them are even listed as endangered.
Eastern Indigo Snake in Alabama
This snake may grow up to seven feet long and is non-venomous. The chin of the eastern indigo snake is white rather than black. The correct lighting may sometimes make it look blueish. It is not a fast-moving snake.
Originally from Alabama, this snake’s range has been reduced by human development to Georgia and Florida. Sandhill and longleaf pine areas are preferred by the eastern indigo snake. To allow the reintroduced snakes to live there again, efforts are being conducted to rehabilitate this habitat in Alabama.
These snakes use the gopher tortoise’s burrows as refuge and a source of food in Alabama. This tortoise’s geographic range has also been impacted, which could have had an effect on the indigo snake’s geographic range.
In Alabama, look for these VENOMOUS snakes in mixed and deciduous woods, frequently close to rocky outcroppings. Since the temperature is cooler in the spring and fall, you are more likely to see them out and about during the day. Eastern Copperheads are frequently nocturnal in the middle of the summer.
This species hunts through ambush, which means it chooses an appropriate location and waits to surprise its target.
The fact that copperheads are referred to as “pit vipers” and have a heat-sensing organ between their eyes further supports this claim. By being able to detect infrared, this adaptation aids these deadly snakes in finding and estimating the size of their prey!
In Alabama, these snake bites seldom result in death.
They generate venom, although it’s not very potent. In addition, fake strikes, dry bites, and warning bites are regularly used by copperheads. Venom is absent from dry bites, while warning bites have just a trace of it.
The main prey of these snakes is tiny rodents, frogs, birds, and huge insects like cicadas. They will wait for the venom to start working after the initial bite before eating their prey completely.
Although the cottonmouth may be found all throughout Alabama, the Coastal Plain Swamps are where you’ll see it most frequently. Because of their size and white lips, they are the only poisonous water snakes in North America.
By consuming fish, turtles, tiny snakes, young alligators, and even lizards as food, the cottonmouth grows remarkably well in watery environments.
Although baby snakes can be eaten by otters, raccoons, and big birds, adult cottonmouths do not have any natural predators. These snakes are known to vibrate their tails as a warning before attacking when confronted.
Black Racer in Alabama
Another black snake found in Alabama is the black racer, which is sometimes confused for the aforementioned eastern indigo. Although it is not poisonous, when threatened, it will act as though it were.
Although they may grow up to six feet long, black racers typically measure between three and five feet. For their size, these snakes are slim. Before a fight breaks out, they’ll attempt to flee; nevertheless, if trapped, they become hostile.
Their belly can be either black or gray, but their upper body is all black. They have dark eyes and scales that are smooth. On their chin, they occasionally have a white patch. The youngsters are a little bit paler than the adults and have blotches.
Eastern Diamond-backed Rattlesnake
There are shades of brown, yellow, gray, and olive in their coloring. Seen on their backs are the recognizable jewels.
The eyes, which have vertical, cat-like pupils, are surrounded by a black ring. Adults have a characteristic rattle, and there is a pit between each nostril and eye.
The largest and heaviest VENOMOUS snake in Alabama belongs to this species!
Some remarkable creatures have even grown as long as 8 feet. They may be found in wet prairies, savannas, and the edges of wetlands in addition to their preferred habitats, which are generally dry ecosystems. Because they are most active in the morning and evening, these are the best times to search for these rattlesnakes.
These remarkable poisonous snakes have a striking range of up to two-thirds of their total length, which enables a six-foot snake to reach food from a distance of four feet! They inject venom into their prey, which includes mice, rabbits, and squirrels, during an assault. After biting their prey, they release it and follow it to where it died so they may eat it.
As you might have anticipated, when threatened, Eastern Diamond-backed Rattlesnakes usually rattle as a warning. Back off and go on if you hear this noise to avoid getting bitten. WATCH BELOW!
It’s interesting to note that baby snakes lack a rattle, which develops as they age. A new portion is added each time an individual loses their skin (though sections do commonly break off).
The majority of Alabama is home to the timber rattlesnake, however owing to habitat problems, they are no longer present where they previously were. This large, heavy-bodied snake is well known for its tan rattle, which warns potential victims and prey of its impending attack.
The crossbands of the timber rattlesnake, which has a range of hues, have a reddish dorsal stripe. Small rodents, including chipmunks, shrews, and even squirrels, are what these snakes love to eat. Some of the predators that will target and consume juvenile timber rattlesnakes are bobcats, hawks, and even coyotes.
Ringneck Snake in Alabama
The average length of a ringneck snake is just about 18 inches. Even if some ringnecks are more blue than black, enough of them are black to merit inclusion on this list. They are among the coolest-looking snakes in the world because to the necklace ring around their neck.
These snakes have a little cream- or yellow-colored band around their necks, and they also have light-colored bellies. Since they are gentle and non-venomous, they are frequently kept as pets. They are so little that it is feasible for them to coil up in their owner’s fingers.
Ringneck snakes are harmless because when they bite, their back teeth do not puncture the flesh. They like munching on frogs, lizards, earthworms, and slugs. They will also consume young snakes.
Midland Water Snake
One of the most prevalent water snake species in Alabama is this one!
The slow-moving or still water found in ponds, lakes, vernal pools, marshes, and slowly flowing rivers and streams is what Midland Water Snakes like. They are most frequently spotted in or close to the sea, sunbathing on rocks or logs.
Despite being non-venomous, they may nonetheless bite you painfully!
A small anticoagulant in their saliva can make bites bleed, making the damage look worse. Water snakes can withstand predators including raccoons, snapping turtles, foxes, opossums, other snakes, and birds of prey thanks to these crucial defense systems.
Alabama’s Midland Water Snake numbers are thought to be steady. However, this species risks habitat loss and degradation, much like many other water snake species. Unfortunately, humans frequently murder them out of fear.
In Alabama, pigmy rattlesnakes are becoming less common. The rare images, which have been sporadic in recent years, have occurred in the state’s far south.
These snakes are little and mostly gray in appearance. Their tiny rattles are scarcely audible. These snakes often consume frogs, small birds, lizards, mice, and lizards. Natural enemies of the pigmy rattlesnake include hawks, owls, raccoons, and other snakes, which may be contributing to their dwindling population.
Black Pine Snake in Alabama
The endangered black pine snake inhabits Alabama west of Mobile Bay. Additionally, Louisiana and Mississippi are included in its range. This snake favors tight tree canopies and dry, sandy terrain.
The alteration of their habitat into homes and farms has been occurring more quickly than reforestation, making this species vulnerable. Pocket gophers, various small animals, and birds, including their eggs, are all favorite foods of black pine snakes.
Near a variety of water sources, including as rivers, floodplains, lakes, ponds, and wetlands, the Plain-bellied Watersnake may be found.
Compared to other water snake species found in Alabama, this species spends a disproportionately large amount of time on land. They may be found in forests relatively far from a water supply, especially in hot, humid conditions.
They consume both aquatic and terrestrial prey, such as salamanders, frogs, crayfish, fish, and other amphibians. This species’ ability to wait patiently to ambush its victim, especially on land, is another peculiar trait. Nearly all other water snakes aggressively pursue and hunt down their prey!
They don’t hesitate to bite when trapped and exude a nasty scent. Largemouth bass, egrets, hawks, and occasionally other larger snakes consume plain-bellied water snakes.
Eastern Coral Snake
In the state of Alabama, the eastern coral snake is vanishing quickly and might be deemed endangered. The red, black, and yellow stripes on these snakes are their most distinctive feature.
The coral snake is preyed upon by the majority of other snakes in the state since it is known to devour largely tiny snakes, mice, and lizards. Despite not being thought of as aggressive, these snakes are renowned for possessing the most lethal venom in North America.
Black Kingsnake in Alabama
Despite being predominantly black, the kingsnake has some yellow spots that help identify it. Although they seem black when they’re slithering on the ground, black kingsnakes have smooth scales and nearly pixelated patterning on their bellies.
These snakes are native to Alabama and are frequently kept as pets since they are simple to train after being captured in the wild. Wild snakes will engage in combat by biting, musking, and rattling their tails. If you want to possess one, your cage will need to be rather large because they may grow up to five feet long.
Black kingsnakes are constrictors that consume poisonous snakes in addition to the typical snake food. That is as a result of their immunity to pit viper poison.
In southern Alabama, close to most water sources, the Southern Watersnake may be found. In lakes, ponds, rivers, marshes, swamps, wetlands, and streams, keep an eye out for them. They frequently may be seen tanning themselves on branches that dangle over the river.
These nocturnal snakes spend a lot of their time searching the beach for frogs and tiny fish. Like other watersnakes, they seize their victim with lightning speed and ingest it whole.
Southern watersnakes are non-venomous and gentle. However, if they are caught or seized, they may bite, flatten their heads, and produce an offensive odor from glands at the tip of their tail. Sadly, they occasionally end up being murdered when they are mistaken for the poisonous cottonmouth.
Eastern Milk Snake
The eastern milk snake has a gray or black background, with reddish-brown streaks covering the remainder of the body. Although it is most known for frequenting Alabama’s northern regions, sightings of this snake have decreased significantly in recent years.
Small animals, especially mice, make up the majority of the eastern milk snake’s diet. When kept in captivity and given proper care, this snake’s lifespan often climbs to 15 to 20 years. Raccoons, skunks, and opossums are some of the animals that naturally threaten this snake.
North Florida Swamp Snake in Alabama
North Florida swamp snakes have a red belly, but when they’re moving around, their belly is mostly black. Although their scales appear keeled, they are smooth. These aquatic, non-venomous snakes live in water.
Swamp snakes in North Florida often grow to a length of a foot and a half. Due of their preference for the coastal plain, Alabama makes up the northwest portion of their range. They reside in lakes, canals, marshes, ponds, and ditches. They can live everywhere there is water and a lot of plants.
Slow-moving waterways including cypress swamps, roadside ditches, ponds, lakes, marshes, streams, and rivers are where Gulf Swampsnakes live and are rarely seen leaving.
These water snakes are quite covert, frequently hiding in crayfish burrows or beneath logs and other objects near the water. The best opportunity to observe one could be on the roads during or right after a significant downpour.
The main food source for these nocturnal snakes is crayfish. They normally swallow their prey tail-first and don’t constrict it; instead, they utilize their coils to assist hold it while they consume it alive. They can eat crayfish with hard shells because to their tiny, chisel-shaped teeth.
Gulf swamp snakes immediately descend to the bottom of the water after being disturbed. They could flatten out if confronted and exude a foul-smelling musk from glands near the base of their tail. They may hiss and pretend to strike if picked up, but they hardly ever bite.
The population condition of these water snakes in Alabama is poorly understood because of their very guarded character. However, because of habitat loss and degradation, as well as their reliance on aquatic areas and crayfish, they may see a decrease.
You can better prepare yourself for life in Alabama now that you’ve met a couple of its snakes. Remember to be alert, listen, and keep an eye out when exploring the outdoors, marshes, or other regions where snakes are frequent. They might be everywhere, as you’ve seen with many of the snakes above, simply waiting to introduce themselves.