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Non-Poisonous Snakes of Florida

17 Common Non-Poisonous Snakes of Florida

These are the 17 most common snakes that one might
encounter in Florida.  They are all harmless.  
All of these snakes serve an important ecological function
and should be respected.



Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye
Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com


1.  Black Racers, (Coluber constrictor priapus)


Average size:  20-56 inches; Record 72 inches.

Range: Throughout most of Florida.
Diet: Lizards, snakes, frogs, insects, rodents and small birds.

Status: Common

Note that the Southern Black Racer has a white chin.
 An Indigo Snake normally has a dark to reddish orange chin.

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Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye
Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com


2.  Coachwhip Snake, (Masticophis flagellum flagellum)

Average Size:  50-72 inches; Record 102 inches.
Range:  Throughout Florida, excluding the Florida Keys.
Diet:  Lizards, snakes, rodents and birds.
Status:  Locally abundant, found in pine and palmetto flatwoods,
longleaf pine, and turkey oak sandhills.

Status:  Common

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Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye
Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com


3.  Brown and Red-bellied Snakes, (Storeria occipitomaculata)
Average Size:  8-12 inches; Record 16 inches. Young are 2.5 to 4 inches at birth.
Range:  Florida Panhandle and Northern Peninsula
Diet:  Feeds on small slugs, snails, and earthworms

Status:  Uncommon

Often found near hardwood hammocks, pine lands, 
bogs, marshes, ponds, and swamps.


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Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye

Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com



4.  Crayfish Snakes, (Regina alleni)


Average Size: 14-20 inches; Record 26 inches.
Range: Found throughout the peninsula
Diet: Mainly crayfish.

Status: Common

They are found in sawgrass prairie, cypress stands,
canals, sphagnum bogs and swamps.


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Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye

Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com



5.  Crowned Snakes, (Tantilla spp.)

TOP:  Central Florida Crowned Snake Tantilla coronata coronata
Average Size: 7-12.5 inches
Ranges: Northwest Panhandle
Diet: Insect Larvae, small centipedes and other small insects.

Status: Common, however rarely seen above ground.

BOTTOM:  Southeastern Crowned Snake Tantilla relicta neilli
Average Size: 7-9 inches
Range: North Florida.
Diet: Insect larvae, small centipedes and other small insects

Status: Common, however seldom seen above ground.



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Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye

Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com


6. Garter and Ribbon Snakes, (Thamnophis sauritus sakeni)


Average Size: 20-28 inches; Record 40 inches.
Young are 7-9 inches at birth.
Range: Throughout Florida.
Diet: Frogs, toads, lizards, fish and salamanders

Status: Common



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Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye

Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com



7. Green Snakes, (Opheodrys aestivus)
aka Rough Green Snake


Average Size: 22-32 inches; Record 45.4 inches.
Young are 7-8 inches at birth.
Range: Throughout Florida
Diet: Insects, crickets, grasshoppers, etc.

Status: Common


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Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye

Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com



8. Hognosed Snakes, (Heterodon simus)


Average size: 14-21 inches; Record 24 inches.
Range: North Florida to south-central Florida.
Diet: Toads

Status: Uncommon to Rare and declining.

Very infrequently encountered.
Habitats include sandy woods, fields and groves.

To learn more about this snake visit Project Simus Florida


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Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye
Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com



9. Indigo Snake, (Drymarchon corais couperi)

Average Size: 60-74 inches; Record 103.5 inches.
Young are 19-24 inches at birth.
Range: Peninsular Florida
Diet: Snakes, including rattlesnakes, cottonmouth,
moccasins, and copperheads, frogs, salamanders, toads, small mammals,
birds, and occasionally young turtles.


Status:  THREATENED

It is illegal to
harass, harm, capture, keep, or kill an eastern indigo snake without specific
state and/or federal permits. This is the largest of Florida snakes and requires a
relatively large area of undeveloped land. In one study, four male snakes
averaged 470 acres for their spring/summer activity ranges; one individual used a
territory of 1,400 acres. Habitat for indigos are becoming more and more
fragmented by roads and development. This is one reason for the population
decline. Some are killed by uninformed people that have no idea that this snake
eats venomous pit vipers such as: rattlesnakes, cottonmouth moccasins and
copperheads.  Education is the key to preserving this awe-inspiring snake.

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Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye

Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com



10. Kingsnakes, (Lampropeltis calligaster rhombomaculata)
 AKA Common Kingsnake, Florida Kingsnake


Average size: 30-40 inches; Record 47 inches.
Young are about 5-7 inches at birth.
Range: Primarily in the Florida Panhandle
Diet: Snakes, lizards, and rodents.

Status: Rare

May be found near pine lands, hardwood hammocks,
sandhills, prairies, and agricultural fields.
Spends much of its life below ground.

SUBSPECIES Lampropeltis calligaster occipitolineata
AKA South Florida Mole Kingsnake

Average Size: 18-30 inches.
Young are 5-7 inches at birth.
Range: Central Florida
Diet: Snakes, lizards, and rodents.

Status: Rare

May be found near pine lands, hardwood hammocks,
sandhills, prairies, and agricultural fields.
Spends much of its life below ground.

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Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye

Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com



11. Mud and Rainbow Snakes, (Farancia erytrogramma)

Average size:  40-54 inches; Record 66 inches.
Young are about 9 inches at birth.
Range:  Throughout the panhandle and northern peninsula.
Diet:  They almost entirely feed on eels (Anguilla rostrata)
Juveniles may also eat frogs, tadpoles, and fish.

Status:  Uncommon to rare.

Its main habitats are clear waters of springs and rivers.

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Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye

Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com




12. Pine Snakes, (Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus)

Average Size: 48-66 inches: Record 90 inches.
Young are 19-20 inches at birth.
Range: From Lake Okeechobee north throughout Florida
Diet: Pocket gophers, small mammals and birds.

Status: Special Concern. Rare.

Population is decreasing mainly from habitat reduction.
Seldom seen -- spends up to 85% of its life in gopher burrows.
Hisses loudly. When first encountered will hold its own
by striking vigorously. This is a large, powerful constrictor.

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Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye

Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com



13. Pine Woods Snake, (Rhadinea flavilata)


Average Size: 1-12 inches; Record 15.75 inches.
Young are 5-6 inches at birth.
Range: Found throughout most of Florida except
extreme south Florida (south of Lake Okeechobee).
Diet: Small snakes, lizards, toads, and frogs.

Status: Uncommon
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Gray Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta spiloides)

Average Size:  36-72 inches:  Record 84.25 inches
Young are 11-17 inches at birth.
Range:  Throughout the panhandle.
Diet:  Rodents and birds.

Status:  Common

Commonly called the "oak snake."


Gray Rat Snakes


Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye
Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com




Black Rat Snake (Pantherophis obsoletus)

Record length 101 inches (2.6 m)
the longest snake in North America
Diet:  Other snakes, frogs, lizards, birds.




Photo Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye

Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com


Red Rat Snake (Pantherophis guttatus)


Average Size: 18-44 inches; Record 72 inches.
Range: Throughout Florida
Diet: Rodents and birds.
Young will eat lizards and frogs.

Status: Common

14.  Rat Snakes 


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Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye

Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com



15. Ringneck Snakes, (Diadophis punctatus)


Average Size: 6-10 inches; Record 18.9 inches.
Young are about 3-4 inches at birth.
Range: Throughout Florida excluding the lower Keys
Diet: Earthworms, smalls snakes, lizards and frogs.

Status: Common

Found in a variety of habitat, under logs, leaf litter
and debris. Brightly-colored underside.
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Photos Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye
Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com



16. Scarlet Snakes, (Cemophor coccinea)


Average size: 14-20 inches; Record 32.5 inches
Young are 5.5 inches at birth
Range: Throughout Florida
Diet: Small snakes, lizards and frogs.

Status: Uncommon

Very shy; hides under bark, logs, etc.
Seen mainly at night or after heavy rains.

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Photos above and below
by Phillip Lott


Photo Courtesy of Daniel D. Dye
Florida Backyard Snakes
http://www.floridabackyardsnakes.com



17. Water Snakes, (Nerodia fasciata pictiventris)


Average Size: 24-42 inches; Record 62.5 inches.
Young are 7.5-10.5 inches at birth.
Range: Throughout Florida Peninsula
Diet: Live or dead fish, frogs, and aquatic invertebrates.

Status: Common

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