Environment

A List Of Venomous And Non-Venomous Snakes Of Alabama

A large number of snakes, both venomous species and non-venomous species, call Alabam their home.

A large number of snakes, both venomous species, and non-venomous species call Alabama their home. Snakes are found in all regions in Alabama, from the northern mountains to the Gulf Coast. They vary in size, habitats, and diet. As a result of their presence, snakebites are a common occurrence in the state.

Where is Alabama?

The state of Alabama lies in the southeastern part of the US. It borders the states of Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. To the state’s south lies the Gulf of Mexico.

Where Do Snakes Live In Alabama?

Snakes in Alabama primarily inhabit forested areas as well as abandoned farms. The snakes also live in flood plains, hilly regions, and along the edges of swamps. The snakes seek shelter in rocks, wood piles, and under vegetation. Other snakes in the state prefer urban settings such as Birmingham city while others seek sparsely populated areas. The mountains in the state also provide a habitat for populations of the reptile.

Most Venomous Snakes In Alabama

Alabama is home to several poisonous snakes which pose significant threats to humans. These snakes are:

  • Copperhead- in the copperhead category are the southern copperhead and the northern copperhead highland moccasin. The snakes are named for their copper-red heads, and they grow to between 2 and 3 feet. The snake is commonly sighted in the Coastal Plain, and it attacks the blood system and muscles. Its venom is not highly toxic and rarely proves fatal.
  • Cotton-Mouth- cottonmouth snakes in Alabama are the Florida cottonmouth, green-tailed moccasin, and the eastern cottonmouth water moccasin. The snakes inhabit water habitats and grow to a maximum length of 74 inches. Its venom is extremely toxic because it breaks down the body’s tissues and blood cells and inhibits the blood’s ability to clot.
  • Timber Rattlesnake- this snake has a yellow and black patterned body, and it grows to more than 7 feet. The snake prefers sparsely populated areas including forests, cane thickets, and rocky outcrops. The snake’s coloration prevents easy detection, and its bite can be fatal and life- threatening since its venom is hemorrhagic.
  • Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake- this snake is one of the largest venomous snakes in the state, growing to a length of eight feet. It has distinct diamond patterns which appear dark-brown and dot the entire body. The snake attacks mostly when threatened and its venom destroy red blood cells and leads to tissue damage.
  • Pygmy Rattlesnake- this snake is small, growing up to 30 inches in length. Classified in this category are the dusky pygmy rattlesnake and the Carolina pygmy rattlesnake. The snake’s venom is cytotoxic, and it is rarely fatal.
  • Coral Snake- this snake is easily recognizable due to its red and black bands separated by yellow bands. This snake’s venom is deadly, and there is a saying that ‘red touched yellow kill a fellow.'

Snakebite Cases In Alabama

There were152 snakebites reported in 2014 in the state and Alabama. It is ranked among the top states where an individual is likely to die from snakebites. The bites mostly occur from April to October when most people are outdoors due to the warm weather. Antivenin is used to treat bites from venomous snakes.

Threats To The Snakes Of Alabama

Snakes in the state face direct persecution from humans. People are generally fearful of snakes, and they resort to killing the reptile upon encounter. Other threats are habitat loss, urban development, pollution of aquatic habitats, and the introduction of alien species.

Which Species Need Special Protection?

Snake species of the highest conservation concern are the eastern indigo, rainbow snake, southern hognose snake, and black pine snake. Snakes with high conservation concern are the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, prairie kingsnake, eastern kingsnake, speckled kingsnake, eastern coral snake, northern pine snake, Florida pine snake, and North Florida swamp snake.

Scientific Name Of Snake Found In AlabamaCommon Name Of The SnakesVenomous To Humans?Conservation Concern
Agkistrodon contortrix contortrixsouthern copperheadYesLowest
Agkistrodon contortrix mokesonnorthern copperhead highland moccasinYesLowest
Agkistrodon piscivorus conantiFlorida cottonmouth green-tailed moccasinYesLowest
Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostomawestern cottonmouth water moccasinYesLowest
Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivoruseastern cottonmouth water moccasinYesLowest
Carphophis amoenus amoenuseastern worm snakeNoLowest
Carphophis amoenus helenaemidwestern worm snakeNoLowest
Cemophora coccinea copeinorthern scarlet snakeNoLowest
Coluber constrictor constrictornorthern black racerNoLow
Coluber constrictor priapussouthern black racerNoLow
Crotalus adamanteuseastern diamondback rattlesnakeYesHigh
Crotalus horridustimber rattlesnake canebrake rattlesnakeYesLow
Diadophis punctatus edwardsiinorthern ringneck snakeNoLowest
Diadophis punctatus punctatussouthern ringneck snakeNoLowest
Diadophis punctatus stictogenysMississippi ringneck snakeNoLowest
Drymarchon couperieastern indigo snakeNoHighest, Possibly extirpated
Elaphe obsoleta spiloidesgray rat snakeNoLowest
Farancia abacura abacuraeastern mud snakeNoLow
Farancia abacura reinwardtiiwestern mud snakeNoLow
Farancia erytrogramma erytrogrammarainbow snakeNoHighest
Heterodon platirhinoseastern hognose snakeNoModerate
Heterodon simussouthern hognose snakeNoHighest, Possibly extirpated
Lampropeltis calligaster calligasterprairie kingsnakeNoHigh
Lampropeltis calligaster rhombomaculatamole kingsnakeNoModerate
Lampropeltis elapsoidesscarlet kingsnakeNoLow
Lampropeltis getula getulaeastern kingsnakeNoHigh
Lampropeltis getula holbrookispeckled kingsnakeNoHigh
Lampropeltis nigrablack kingsnakeNoLow
Lampropeltis triangulum triangulumeastern milk snakeNoModerate
Lampropeltis triangulum syspilared milk snakeNoModerate
Masticophis flagellum flagellumeastern coachwhipNoModerate
Micrurus fulviuseastern coral snakeYesHigh
Nerodia clarkii clarkiiGulf salt marsh snakeNoModerate
Nerodia cyclopionMississippi green water snakeNoModerate
Nerodia erythrogaster erythrogasterredbelly water snakeNoLowest
Nerodia erythrogaster flavigasteryellowbelly water snakeNoLowest
Nerodia fasciata confluensbroad-banded water snakeNoLowest
Nerodia fasciata fasciatasouthern banded water snakeNoLowest
Nerodia fasciata pictiventrisFlorida banded water snakeNoLowest
Nerodia floridanaFlorida green water snakeNoModerate
Nerodia rhombiferdiamondback water snakeNoLow
Nerodia sipedon pleuralismidland water snakeNoLowest
Nerodia taxispilotabrown water snakeNoLow
Opheodrys aestivusrough green snakeNoLow
Pantherophis guttatus guttatuscorn snakeNoModerate
Pantherophis obsoletusblack rat snakeNoLowest
Pituophis melanoleucus lodingiblack pine snakeNoHighest
Pituophis melanoleucus melanoleucusnorthern pine snakeNoHigh
Pituophis melanoleucus mugitusFlorida pine snakeNoHigh
Regina rigida sinicolaGulf crayfish snakeNoLowest
Regina septemvittataqueen snakeNoModerate
Rhadinaea flavilatapine woods snakeNoModerate
Seminatrix pygaea pygaeaNorth Florida swamp snakeNoHigh
Sistrurus miliarius barbouridusky pigmy rattlesnake Florida ground rattlesnakeYesModerate
Sistrurus miliarius miliariusCarolina pigmy rattlesnake ground rattlesnakeYesModerate
Sistrurus miliarius streckeriwestern pigmy rattlesnake ground rattlesnakeYesModerate
Storeria dekayi dekayinorthern brown snakeNoLowest
Storeria dekayi limnetesmarsh brown snakeNoLowest
Storeria dekayi wrightorummidland brown snakeNoLowest
Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculatanorthern redbelly snakeNoLowest
Tantilla coronatasoutheastern crown snakeNoLow
Thamnophis sauritus saurituseastern ribbon snakeNoLow
Thamnophis sirtalis sirtaliscommon garter snakeNoLow
Virginia striatulasmooth earth snakeNoLowest
Virginia valeriae eleganswestern earth snakeNoLowest
Virginia valeriae valeriaeeastern earth snakeNoLowest

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