Are There Purple Snakes? 8 Purple Snakes (with Pictures)

Snakes come in different colors. Some of them are multicolored while others are identified by a single color. Purple snakes can have partial or full purple coloring.

Purple is atypical for snakes. This is why the color is even integrated into the name of certain snake species given its unusual nature.

There are multiple purple snakes around the world. Most people are only familiar with Lavender corn snakes which have purple coloring. However, there are at least a few other snakes with purple coloring.

8 Types of Purple Snakes

The following snakes are commonly purple or they have purple versions. Many of them are seen through North America.

1. Western blind snake

Scientific name: Rena humilis.

Common name: western blind snake, western slender blind snake, western threadsnake.

Rena humilis
Western blind snake. Image by Daniel via inaturalist

With a common presence in Southwestern, this snake is known for being blind. It lives underground and it’s believed it has lost vision as it has no need for it in the dark.

This snake is commonly purple or pink.

However, it’s rare to see a Western blind snake easily as it lives deep underground. Some snakes of the species live at depths of down to 66 feet.

Western blind snakes rarely seen in the US are rather small, similar to the size of earthworms. It grows to around 12 inches in adulthood.

2. Banded Rock Rattlesnake

Crotalus lepidus klauberi
Banded Rock Rattlesnake. Image by David G. Barker via inaturalist

Scientific name: Crotalus lepidus klauberi.

Common name: anded rock rattlesnake, green rattlesnake, green rock rattlesnake.

The Banded Rock Rattlesnake is another common species in the Southwestern United States. This snake is known for its gray body with darker gray banding.

Darker gray banding on this snake is sometimes purple.

Seeing a Banded Rock Rattlesnake is not easy. This is a nocturnal snake that goes out of its way to hide during the day.

It lives in crevices and under rocks. The snake is also known for not traveling far either. It can spend its entire life on a certain ridge.

3. Corn Snake

Opal corn snake

Scientific name: Pantherophis guttatus.

Common name: corn snake, American corn snake.

The Corn snake is one of the most popular pet snakes around the world. Bred in high numbers, it has already started to alter its genetic heritage morphing in various colors.

4 types of Corn snakes have partial purple coloring. These are Lavender Corn snakes, Lava corn snakes, Plasma corn snakes, and Opal corn snakes.

These are all gray snakes with purple markings except Opal snakes. The Opal Corn snake has a bright color body with pink to purple markings.

Lavender morph Corn snakes have similar coloring to Opal snakes. They have a darker grey body color with dark purple markings.

4. Ball Python

Python regius
Ball python (purple passion morph)

Scientific name: Python regius.

Common name: ball python, royal python.

Ball Python snakes are some of the most common pet snakes. They are known for unique morphs.

Purple passion morph is achieved by mixing Mojave and Phantom morph. The final result is a light pink and light purple snake that grows up to 5 feet.

5. Reticulated Python

Malayopython reticulatus
Malayopython reticulatus

Scientific name: Malayopython reticulatus.

Common name: reticulated python.

The Reticulated Python is found in parts of Asia. As the world’s longest snake, it also has high value as a pet snake.

Its Purple albino morph is known for its yellow color with purple markings that run along its body. This snake reaches a maximum length of 5 feet only when in captivity.

It largely grows only in captivity where it prefers high humidity tanks.

6. Cape file snake

Limaformosa capensis
Cape file snake. Image by maddyo via inaturalist

Scientific name: Limaformosa capensis.

Common name: Cape file snake.

This snake is common in Africa, while not poisonous, it often appears as poisonous due to its colored body.

Cape file snakes are mostly found in gray coloring with brown markings. In rare cases, it also appears with wide pink to purple markings on its body.

The purple coloring is prominent between the snake’s scales.

7. California Kingsnake

Lampropeltis californiae
Purple California kingsnake morph. Image by Amy via inaturalist

Scientific name: Lampropeltis californiae.

Common name: California Kingsnake.

The Purple Passion California Kingsnake is a California Kingsnake morph mostly seen in captivity with very rare sights out in nature.

This snake is characterized by bright body coloring. It has a yellow body with pink markings that can turn purple in adulthood.

Casper Ghost California Kingsnake morphs are also pink with hints of purple. This snake differs from the Purple Passion morph as it has no yellow coloring.

8. File Snakes

File snakes
File snake. Image by James via inaturalist

Scientific name: genus Mehelya.

Common name: File snakes.

The File snake is mostly gray-brown. It’s known for having purple skin between the scales.

Part of the Colubridae snake family, this is a large non-venomous snake. As an avid hunter, it prefers to prey on other smaller snakes.

Are Purple Snakes Poisonous?

Purple snakes are generally considered harmless. They aren’t poisonous and there have not been reports of serious health impacts following their bites.

However, purple snakes haven’t been properly studied. Their venom hasn’t been the subject of extensive research.

Many purple-colored snakes live underground and they’re nocturnal creatures which means it rarely meets humans.

A considerable percentage of purple snakes are bred in captivity as pet snakes. They are believed not to be poisonous.

It’s best to exercise caution when meeting a purple snake out in nature regardless. Studies on the effect this snake’s venom has been very limited.

Exceptions apply to the category of purple snakes. For example, the Western Blind Snake is considered mildly venomous.

This snake species uses venom to immobilize prey such as frogs and lizards. On the other hand, its venom isn’t dangerous to humans or other larger animals.


Purple snakes are often found in captivity as morphs. They have a high aesthetic value as they look, unlike other snakes.

Finding purple snakes out of captivity is rare. These tend to be nocturnal snakes that live underground.

Those who encounter purple snakes out in nature typically have no real reasons to worry about. These snakes aren’t venomous.

Rare exceptions see purple snakes as mildly venomous. However, their venom is not a threat to large mammals and humans.

Many purple snakes are slender and short. They can have a bright color with pink to purple bands or marking.

All-purple snakes are rare. Even California Kingsnake morphs aren’t all purple. This is one of the most common purple snakes. Its Purple Passion morph has the most purple, but it still exhibits a pale-yellow coloring.

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