We finally got the spring snake watch data complied. The Pensacola Bay Area Snake Watch Project is one where citizens report snake sightings from around the bay area. They report species, location, and time of year. There are 40 different species of snakes that have been listed as being in the area. For 2023, as of the end of spring, 20 of those (50%) have been reported. Below is a breakdown of which species, and locations, for the first six months of this year.
Winter of 2023
57 records; 13 species
Banded Water Snake was the most common followed closely by the Southern Black Racer and Eastern Cottonmouth.
Spring of 2023
89 records; 20 species
Cottonmouth is now the most common snake followed by Banded Water Snake and the Southern Black Racer.
Species Records as of the end of spring 2023
|Species||Number of Records||Species||Number of Records|
|Eastern Cottonmouth||30||Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake||3|
|Banded Water Snake||25||Brahminy Blind Snake||3|
|Southern Black Racer||23||Florida Red-bellied Snake||2|
|Eastern Coachwhip||10||Scarlet Snake||2|
|Eastern Ribbon Snake||8||Florida Pine Snake||2|
|Eastern Garter Snake||7||Gulf Salt Marsh Snake||2|
|Gray Rat Snake||7||Pygmy Rattlesnake||2|
|Corn Snake||7||Pinewoods Snake||1|
|Brown Water Snake||4||Eastern Kingsnake||1|
|Southern Ring-necked Snake||3||Eastern Coral Snake||1|
|Green Water Snake||3|
Species Records by Size or Type as of the end of spring 2023
Small snakes (<12”) 6 records; 3 species (43% of possible small snakes) – Ring-necked
Mid-Sized Snakes (1-6’) 17 records; 5 species (63% of possible mid-sized snakes) – Ribbon Snake
Large Snakes (6’ or >) 50 records; 6 species (86% of possible large snakes) – Black Racer
Water Snakes 34 records; 4 species (31% of possible water snakes) – Banded Water
Venomous Snakes 36 records; 4 species (100% of the possible) – Cottonmouth
Non-native Snakes 3 records; 1 species – the only non-native snake – Brahminy Blind
Species Records by Location as of the end of spring 2023
|Location||Number of Records||Location||Number of Records|
|Uplands||25||North of I-10||51|
|Wetlands||16||South of I-10||73|
- Since the beginning of 2023 there have been 146 snake records logged.
- 57 reported during winter; 89 records during the spring (7 new species added since the beginning of spring)
- Most have been reported south of I-10 (most likely due to participation).
- The Eastern Cottonmouth is the most often encountered snake so far. Followed by the Banded Water Snake, and the Southern Black Racer.
- All four possible species of venomous snakes (Eastern Diamondback, Cottonmouth, Pygmy rattlesnake, and Eastern coral snake) have been seen at least once. (Note: though reported in Florida, the Timber rattlesnake and Copperhead are low possibilities in Pensacola Bay Area; neither have been reported this year).
- One rare species – the Florida Pine Snake – has been seen this year.
We encourage you to call in your reports, and please send photos if you can.
The summer update is expected during the month of October.