Southern Florida’s Four Venomous Snake Species [Native]
There are four venomous snakes that flourish in central and southern Florida, namely the eastern diamondback, the eastern coral snake, the dusky pygmy rattlesnake and the Florida cottonmouth, also known as the water moccasin.
Florida residents shouldn’t be overly concerned about non-venomous snakes, but it’s important to note that it can be difficult to distinguish between the previously mentioned venomous snakes and certain non-venomous snake species. It should also be mentioned that north Florida is home to the timber rattlesnake and the copperhead.
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake species in the United States. The average length of an eastern diamondback is between five and six feet. This dangerous venomous snake will strike from a classic coiled position and can extend half of its body length to reach a target. Never go near an eastern diamondback to avoid serious injury.
Eastern Coral Snake
The eastern coral snake is distinguished by a red and yellow coloration pattern. The venom of the eastern coral snake is neurotoxic, affecting the nervous system and causing paralysis of the diaphragm.
Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake
The dusky pygmy rattlesnake is a small rattlesnake with an average length of between 15 and 22 inches. The rattle is so small it sounds like a buzzing insect. This venomous snake is gray with colored blotches running along its back. The venom of the dusky pygmy rattlesnake is painful but not lethal. This particular snake accounts for more Florida snakebites than any other venomous snake species.
Also known as a water moccasin, the Florida cottonmouth is a venomous water snake. This dangerous venomous snake is characterized by its solid dull black or patterned coloration. The most common way to identify a water moccasin is to watch for the black eye line running from the side of the snake’s eye and down the side of its head. Even baby cottonmouths have this distinctive eye line.