Snake species in Georgia are numerous and varied. The state is home to numerous species due to its hospitable environment.
There is much to learn about snakes, from non-venomous species like rat snakes to deadly species like the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake.
We’ll show you some images of snakes in Georgia and educate you on the most prevalent species as well as the poisonous snakes you should be aware of.
We’ll also teach you the fundamental abilities you’ll need to recognize snakes in Georgia and deal with them.
Copperhead (Agkistrodon Contortrix)
The United States is home to this poisonous snake. It is a snake of the Viperidae family, the Agkistrodon subspecies, that is common across Georgia. Its name is derived from Greek and Latin terms that mostly describe a hook because of how it looks.
This snake seldom appears in lengthier forms and typically grows to a length between 20 and 37 inches.
It may be identified by its tan-brown coloring, which becomes more intense closer to its head. This snake often has up to 18 crossbands on its back.
Although this snake is poisonous, it is also the safest of all pit snakes. It’s thought that the creature first injects a little amount of venom into a warning bite, a form of brief bite.
In Georgia, 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!
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.
Eastern Green Water Snake
The Eastern green water snake (Nerodia floridana) is mostly located close to the Florida border, while there is a tiny population close to the South Carolina border.
As adults, these snakes grow to a length of 30 to 55 inches. Adults have a consistent uniform greenish-brown color with a pale belly.
Age-related fading of the black bars in juveniles.
The Nerodia genus of water snakes is seldom encountered outside of water. They favor calm bodies of water, such as lakes, marshes, swamps, and extremely sluggish rivers.
These snakes are predominantly water prey, including frogs and fish, and they are diurnal.
Ponds, rivers, lakes, and wetlands all around Georgia are home to many snakes. Five species of the genus Nerodia that reside in the state’s lakes and ponds go by the popular name water snake.
Because older water snake specimens tend to have darker bodies, which removes the typical physical identification cues, it might be challenging to identify them. Red-bellied Water Snakes may be an exception due to their striking color.
The snake’s geographic location may be helpful. For instance, the Green Water Snake can only be found along Georgia’s southern border. A brown watersnake may be seen in the image. The most reliable field identification cues are the black spots on a brown body.
The pygmy rattlesnake, eastern diamondback rattlesnake, copperhead, and cottonmouth are among the poisonous pit vipers found in Georgia, which are all members of the Viperidae family. Viperidae have triangular heads and eyes with slit-shaped pupils. These snakes derive their name from the facial pits between their nostrils and eyes.
Warm-blooded prey, such as tiny mice, squirrels, and rabbits, are detected by sensors in these pits. Pit vipers have two very huge, hollow fangs that are linked to the roof of their mouths close to the front and are packed with venom. Be cautious because even little Georgian baby snakes are lethal if they bite.
Pigmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus Miliarius)
This poisonous snake belongs to the Viperidae family’s Crotalinae subfamily, which includes the pit vipers. It is a native snake to the US. Depending on the availability of its prey, the snake can reach a maximum length of 24 inches. Typically, the Pigmy Rattlesnake consumes huge insects, lizards, frogs, birds, and lizards.
Although this snake is similarly poisonous, it is thought that the amount of venom it injects is inadequate to kill an adult human. However, after a bite, the related symptoms might linger for days. Hospitalization is required in more severe situations, especially when children have been bitten.
Eastern Diamond-backed Rattlesnake
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.
Brown Water snake
With the exception of the state’s northern region, the brown water snake (Nerodia taxispilota) is present across much of Georgia.
This harmless snake can be mistaken for the poisonous cottonmouth. The length of these snakes ranges from 30 to 60 inches.
Brown water snakes often have huge, square blotches that are a deeper shade of brown than the surrounding skin.
They have pale bellies with black crescents and brown markings.
They differ from cottonmouths by having eyes that are high on the head and have spherical pupils.
Compared to other watersnakes in the region, their heads are smaller. They favor continuously flowing water.
They mostly stay near water, and they consume fish. Due to their excellent climbing abilities, they may be found up to 20 feet above the water, where they can sunbathe on branches.
Additionally, there are three subspecies of the common eastern rat snake in Georgia (Elaphe obsoleta). Living in the piedmont and mountainous regions are black ratsnakes. Southern regions including those along the Savannah River are home to gray rat snakes.
Visitors to the beach may come into contact with a yellow ratsnake. They live in Georgia’s coastal regions. All three subspecies have adapted to human living conditions and are frequently seen climbing trees in residential areas. Their main food source is rodents.
Adults may reach lengths of over six feet, and their sheer size terrifies humans. Nothing to be concerned about. They are harmless snakes that often try to stay away from people. Frequently, they are simply moving through the area in search of food.
The smaller cousins of ratsnakes, corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus), are also widespread in Georgia, particularly in longleaf pine woods. They are renowned for climbing trees, just as other rat snakes.
Eastern Coral Snake
The sole poisonous snake found in Georgia belongs to the Elapidae family and is called the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius). The poisonous eastern corals have circular pupils, unlike pit vipers. The lower length of the teeth on eastern corals sets them apart from the other poisonous snakes in Georgia.
These snakes have little control over how much poison they inject when they bite. Red, yellow, and black markings may be seen on the skin of these snakes. According to the University of Georgia Museum of Natural History, eastern coral snakes prefer to hide behind leaves or logs and rarely come out into the open.
Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus Horridus)
This snake is renowned for having a distinctive habitat since it prefers to reside and hunt secretly behind downed logs. Its name is derived from this habit. Its high venom production makes it one of the most hazardous poisonous snakes in the US and the state.
The snake is an active predator that favors birds and small animals for prey. It vigorously hunts in the summer but prefers to winter in cracks where it can bromate with other snakes. Females prefer to lie out in the sun before depositing eggs as part of their customary mating ritual.
Common Water Snake
The preferred habitat of common water snakes is still or slowly moving water, such as ponds, lakes, vernal pools, marshes, and slowly flowing rivers and streams. They are most frequently spotted in or close to the sea, sunbathing on rocks or logs.
Common Watersnakes dive into the water to escape when startled. They are ready to defend themselves, nevertheless, if they are caught or taken prisoner.
They will flatten their body and hit the assailant after releasing a foul-smelling scent from glands near the base of their tale. A small anticoagulant in their saliva can make bites bleed, making the damage look worse.
In Georgia, common 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.
Plain-bellied Water Snake
With the exception of the hilly regions in the southeast of the state, the plain-bellied watersnake (Nerodia erythrogaster) may be found across much of Georgia.
Depending on the precise subspecies, these snakes may also go by different names in addition to red-bellied watersnake.
As adults, they are 30-48 inches long and dark brown, light brown, or gray in color. Their bellies range from orange to yellow. With spots all over their bodies, juveniles have a light brown to pinkish color.
They like residing close to lakes, wetlands, rivers, and streams. Although they occasionally consume fish, their main diet consists of amphibians.
They often spend time in or near water, and unlike other watersnakes, they will run away from an approaching person onto land rather than into the water.
Kingsnakes and Milk Snakes
Kingsnakes were fortunate in their evolutionary journey. They are at the top of the Georgia snake food chain because they are resistant to the poisonous snakes’ bites.
Like other constrictors, they bite their victim before wrapping their body around it to suffocate it. They are otherwise calm and non-venomous snakes, so people shouldn’t be alarmed.
The body of an Eastern Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula) is typically black with a row of thin white stripes running down the back.
There are two subspecies of milk snakes in Georgia. Even if the ranges are imperfect, the milksnake is often more prevalent in the highlands, while the scarlet milk snake lives in the majority of the Piedmont and Coastal regions. The Eastern Milk Snake is seen in the image.
For identification purposes, the Scarletsnake (Cemophora coccinea) is also brought up since, as the image demonstrates, it resembles a Milksnake or Kingsnake strikingly. They belong to a different genus and are rather prevalent in the Southeast.
Non-venomous snakes of the Lampropeltis genus include king snakes. The milk snake, mole king snake, and eastern king snake are the three king snake species that exist in Georgia.
Georgia is also home to the red king snake, a subspecies of the milk snake. Because they consume other snakes, especially deadly species, king snakes get their moniker.
These snakes are resistant to the venom of pit vipers and eastern coral snakes. The eastern king snake, which may grow to a length of 4 feet, is the longest king snake in Georgia.
Because of their similar skin patterns, humans confuse milk snakes and scarlet king snakes for eastern corals. The patterns on milk snakes and scarlet king snakes, however, are red-black-yellow or -white.
Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon Piscivorus)
One of Georgia’s potentially lethal snakes is the cottonmouth. In severe circumstances, its bite can cause fatal health problems. Although the snake is not very hostile to people, it has been known to bite when approached.
The snake, a dedicated hunter, belongs to the family of pit snakes. This species possesses a unique gland on its head that detects heat, which is thought to be useful while hunting for food. The snakes typically consume smaller snakes, animals, fish, turtles, tiny alligators, and even other snakes.
Queen Snakes typically live in streams and rivers with rocky bottoms because they love moving water. Due to their very porous skin, they are vulnerable to water loss due to evaporation. As you might expect, they are seldom seen far from water.
They spend the most of their time throughout the day sunbathing on rocks, hanging branches, or plants close to the water. They frequently hide down behind rocks by streams’ margins. They could be swimming if you’re lucky.
Queen Snakes are specialized predators that eat crayfish as their main prey. Their main source of food is freshly molted crayfish, which have soft bodies and are still unable to utilize their pinchers. They hunt by looking for crayfish under rocks and other submerged things.
Banded Water snake
The southern region of the state is where you can usually find the banded watersnake (Nerodia fasciata).
Adults measure from 24 and 48 inches long.
Their primary hue might range from light brown to reddish to black. Crossbands that are broad on the back and then thinner on the sides are another feature of them.
Nearly all freshwater environments in the Coastal Plains area include them.
They may be spotted searching for fish and amphibians in the water while basking on logs or branches above it.
Since they are mostly found in Florida and other nearby states, oak snakes are a little harder to identify in Georgia. However, southern Georgia is where you may locate oak snakes.
These snakes, which may reach lengths of up to 7 feet, are named for the way their skin blends in with oak trees. They are typically 4-5 feet long. If you see one, you probably don’t need to be concerned because they are reputed to be non-aggressive, shy, and secretive.
You should not fear since even if they do bite, they are venom-free. In addition to insects, squirrels, rats, and mice, they may also devour tiny lizards, frogs, and rodents. These snakes have an average lifespan of 12 years and a maximum longevity of 20 years.