Watch out for Venomous Snakes

Florida is home to over 50 native snakes, and as the temperatures warm up these snakes are more active. Four species of snakes found in Central Florida are venomous, meaning their bites inject life-threatening venom into the body. By learning about these venomous species, you can better keep yourself and your family safe.


Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is a dark, thick, and heavy-bodied snake. It usually has loud rattles on the tip of its tail. It has a diamond design and white or yellow markings along its back.


Pygmy Rattlesnake

The Pygmy Rattlesnake has small rattles that are much quieter than the Eastern Diamondback’s. It is a dusky gray/brown color with black splotches. It has a distinct reddish-orange stripe along its back that forms a spearhead design on its neck and head.


Cottonmouth/Water Moccasin

A young Cottonmouth (also known as a Water Moccasin) looks different than an adult. When young, it has bright copper bands on its side and back and a bright yellow tail tip. The adult’s color varies widely – from olive to brown, to nearly solid black. It has a lighter belly color.  Both adult and young Cottonmouths have a brown or cream-colored stripe down the side of its face.


Coral Snake

The Coral Snake has distinctive narrow yellow bands that separate thicker red and black bands (thus the order is red band, thin yellow band, black band, thin yellow band, etc.). It has a black nose. Don’t be fooled by its small to medium size, it is just as venomous as larger snakes.


Safety tips

Learn how to recognize the venomous snakes of Central Florida. Visit for identification help. Because venomous snakes can be tricky to identify, never pick up snakes of any kind. Don’t reach into holes or brush that you can’t clearly see. Wear gloves when gardening or doing yard work and closed toed shoes or boots whenever outside, especially at night.

If you do see a snake, sit still and give it plenty of room to crawl by. In the unfortunate instance of a snake bite, stay calm and seek help immediately by calling 911. While identification of the snake is helpful, it is not necessary. Don’t pick up the snake or try to capture it. Your health and safety are the top priority.


Posted: December 5, 2022

Category: Natural Resources, Wildlife
Tags: Snakes, Venomous, Wildlife, Wildlife Safety

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