Pensacola Bay Area Snake Watch – 2023 Spring Update Report

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
Coastal 31    



  • 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.


Posted: August 31, 2023

Category: Natural Resources, Wildlife
Tags: 2023 Spring Snake Watch Report, Florida Sea Grant

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