Snakes are known as long reptiles that crawl on the ground or climb trees. Some snakes can also travel through water. Known for the scales on their bodies, snakes come in all shapes and all colors.
Alabama is one of the states where it’s not difficult to find a snake. The state provides the ideal habitat for various snake species.
Some prefer higher altitudes while others only live next to the water. Alabama has varied terrains that cover all types of snake habitats.
Are there venomous snakes in Alabama?
Like most US states, Alabama is home to both venomous and non-venomous snakes. Properly identifying venomous snakes in the state can be life-saving.
There are 9 venomous snake species in Alabama. Medical attention is needed if bitten by these snakes.
Copperhead, Cottonmouth, and Eastern Coral snakes are just some of the most venomous snakes found in Alabama. These are also some of the most venomous snakes found in the US.
Types of Snakes in Alabama – Identification Guide
1. Eastern copperhead
Scientific name: Agkistrodon contortrix
Common name: Eastern copperhead, copperhead
The Eastern copperhead snake is also known simply as Copperhead. It represents the most widespread venomous species in the state. You’re most likely to see the Eastern copperhead than any other venomous snakes in Alabama.
Snakes of the genus stand out with their reddish color and dark red crossbands across their bodies.
Copperheads aren’t endangered species even if young snakes of the species are often eaten by other snakes such as Cottonmouths.
This species is known to live a long life. It routinely lives past 16 years old.
Eastern copperheads are carnivores. They eat small birds and small lizards.
The venom of the species is dangerous but not fatal. With the right medical attention, almost all people can survive its bite.
Copperheads are also known for dry bites which practically insert no venom. These are still dangerous and they can cause side effects.
2. Florida cottonmouth
Scientific name: Agkistrodon conanti
Common name: Florida cottonmouth
Florida cottonmouths are known venomous snakes common in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. This native species is mainly identified by its olive-green color and by the black lines seen on the sides of its head.
Snakes of the genus grow up to 48 inches. They’re known to differ from regular Northern Cottonmouths through a few black lines across the snout.
Snakes of this species are best avoided. Their venomous nature doesn’t allow them to be considered a species that can be handled.
Mortality rates are high whenever a snake of this species bites people if the bite isn’t treated. Even those that don’t die following a bite might still suffer from necrosis in the area of the bite.
3. Northern cottonmouth
Scientific name: Agkistrodon piscivorus
Common name: Cottonmouth, water moccasin, swamp moccasin, black moccasin, Northern cottonmouth
As Florida cottonmouth snakes, Northern cottonmouths are also a rare semiaquatic viper species.
Snakes of the genus are known to live next to the water and they’re also known for eating fish.
Bites are rare, but they can be dangerous. Various tests show that these snakes prefer not to bite people. Northern cottonmouths prefer to flee.
However, they can bite if handled or threatened. These bites aren’t necessarily fatal.
Amputation is frequent for untreated Northern cottonmouth snake bites.
The first symptoms of a venomous Northern cottonmouth bite include swelling.
4. Eastern diamondback rattlesnake
Scientific name: Crotalus adamanteus
Common name: Eastern diamond-backed rattlesnake, Eastern diamondback, diamond rattlesnake, diamond-back rattlesnake, common rattlesnake, diamond-back, diamond(-patch) rattler, eastern diamond-back (rattlesnake), eastern diamond rattlesnake, Florida diamond-back (rattlesnake), Florida rattlesnake, lozenge-spotted rattlesnake, rattler, rattlesnake, southeastern diamond-backed rattlesnake, southeastern diamond-backed rattler, southern woodland rattler, water rattle, water rattlesnake, diamondback rattlesnake
Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are known for their diamond-shaped marks. Venomous and dangerous, these snakes aren’t as common as Cottonmouths in Alabama.
Like most Rattlesnakes, these snakes are known to rattle their tails as a warning sign before biting.
Known as carnivores, these snakes can live for almost 20 years.
However, they also have many natural predators. Some of the most common Eastern diamondback rattlesnake predators include large birds such as hawks.
An increase of predatory animals in the snake has started to diminish the numbers of Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes in Alabama.
5. Timber rattlesnake
Scientific name: Crotalus horridus
Common name: Timber rattlesnake, canebrake rattlesnake, banded rattlesnake
The Timber rattlesnake is also found in many areas of Alabama. Snakes of this species are known for being seen in different colors.
From tan to gray, there are various colors this snake comes in. It uses a rattle as a warning sign.
People should stay away from this snake as it knows how to look for prey and how to bite properly through experience.
Timber rattlesnakes are some of the longest-living venomous snakes in Alabama as the species can live up to 30 years.
Like most other snakes, it also faces predation, mainly from hawks.
6. Eastern coral snake
Scientific name: Micrurus fulvius
Common name: Eastern coral snake, American cobra, candy-stick snake, common coral snake, coral adder, Elaps harlequin snake, Florida coral snake, harlequin coral snake, North American coral snake, red bead snake, thunder-and-lightning snake
This snake is recognized by the colored rings around its body. These rings are red, yellow, and black or dark brown.
Snakes of the genus are known for living in tropical hammocks but their range expands through the state.
Eastern coral snakes are considered some of the most venomous snakes in the US.
These snakes are often known for having dry bites where they don’t insert venom. One in 2 bites is considered a dry bite when it comes to an Eastern coral snake bite.
However, these dry bites are often deflections as research suggests Eastern coral snakes cannot control the amount of venom they insert with each bite.
Furthermore, a single Eastern coral snake has sufficient venom to kill 5 people, even if it cannot insert this venom all at once.
Deaths are rare following an Eastern coral snake bite. This is mainly due to good medical care as antivenom is given to those bitten by the snake regardless of the amount of venom the snake inserted.
7. Dusky pigmy rattlesnake
Scientific name: Sistrurus miliarius barbouri
Common name: Barbour’s pygmy rattlesnake, dusky pygmy rattlesnake, Florida ground rattlesnake, ground rattlesnake, hog-nosed rattler, pygmy ground rattlesnake, pygmy rattler, pygmy rattlesnake, small rattlesnake, Southeastern ground rattlesnake
This patterned species of Rattlesnake is common in the Southeastern parts of the US, including Alabama.
The snake is a pit viper venomous genus. It’s known for a thick rather short body as it grows to a maximum length of 29 inches.
This gray patterned snake is venomous, but not dangerous to people or pets.
Its venom isn’t the most dangerous and it’s not considered lethal. Typical bite side effects include swelling and pain which may last up to 24 hours.
8. Carolina pigmy rattlesnake
Scientific name: Sistrurus miliarius miliarius
Common name: Pygmy rattlesnake, ground rattlesnake, hog-nosed rattlesnake, little rattlesnake, miliar(y) rattlesnake, North American smaller rattlesnake, oak-leaf rattler, pygmy ground rattlesnake, small rattlesnake, Southeastern ground rattlesnake, southern ground rattlesnake, southern pygmy rattlesnake, spotted rattler, spotted rattlesnake, Southern rattlesnake, bastard rattlesnake, nipple snake, Carolina ground rattlesnake, brick red rattlesnake, Carolina pygmy rattlesnake, Catesby’s small snake, dwarf rattlesnake, Eastern pygmy rattlesnake, grey rattlesnake, ground rattler
This gray, dark gray, and orange snake is common in the state. It’s considered one of the least threatening venomous snake species in Alabama.
It’s believed the Carolina pigmy rattlesnake cannot produce sufficient venom to kill humans or large animals.
Otherwise, the species is common in Flatwoods and mix-tree forests.
It can often be seen around public roads near forests. The behavior of this species cannot be generalized for aggressiveness.
Some Carolina pigmy rattlesnakes are very aggressive while others don’t react when seeing people.
9. Western pigmy rattlesnake
Scientific name: Sistrurus miliarius streckeri
Common name: Ground rattlesnake, pygmy rattlesnake, Southern pygmy rattlesnake, Strecker’s pygmy rattlesnake, Western ground rattlesnake, Western pygmy rattlesnake
These small snakes are venomous. They grow up to 22 inches and they are known to be smaller than the typical Rattlesnake.
Like others of their genus, these snakes can also rattle. However, their small rattle is barely audible.
Snakes of the genus are common in forests, especially hardwood forests. They spend a lot of time under leaves and in hiding.
This helps them ambush small prey such as frogs and centipedes.
Those who want to see these snakes might only be able to get a glimpse of the species at night in the summer when these snakes are seen in forests on paved roads.
10. Eastern worm snake
Scientific name: Carphophis amoenus amoenus
Common name: Eastern worm snake
These snakes are some of the smallest and most secretive in Alabama. Yet, they are very common in forests.
As their name implies, snakes of the genus look like worm snakes as they might grow to a maximum length of 10-11 inches.
Eastern worm snakes are among the species that are rarely seen as these are burrower snakes. They might travel up tens of feet per day, but this is mainly done underground.
Snakes of the genus are rarely seen at the surface. They might be uncovered by human activity in the summer.
Known to eat worms, the Eastern worm snake is affected by insecticide and all types of land-related human activities.
These snakes aren’t dangerous and they can release a foul smell when handled.
11. Midwestern worm snake
Scientific name: Carphophis amoenus helenae
Common name: Central twig snake, central worm snake, ground snake, Helen’s snake, Helen Tennison’s snake, Helen’s worm snake, red snake, Midwestern worm snake, worm snake
The Midwestern worm snake is highly similar to the Eastern worm snake. Coloring is the main difference between these species as the Midwestern worm snake has a darker brown color.
Small snakes of this species are mostly found on the ground. They can grow up to 12 inches, albeit most snakes of the genus are much smaller.
Midwestern worm snakes might approach the surface in the summer.
They dig deeper underground in dry periods.
Like its Eastern counterpart, the Midwestern worm snake is mostly found in woodland.
12. Northern scarlet snake
Scientific name: Colubridae
Common name: Northern scarlet snake
Similar to the Scarlet Kingsnake, this species is found in woodlands across Alabama. It has a tricolored body with red, black, and white blotches.
This tricolored body often makes people confuse the species with other venomous snakes.
Snakes of the genus aren’t venomous.
Growing between 14 and 21 inches, these snakes are burrowers. They move from burrow to burrow, often looking for food.
Preferred foods include the eggs of other snake species. These snakes have mouth adaptations that allow them to easily crack the eggs and eat them.
13. Northern black racer
Scientific name: Coluber constrictor
Common name: Northern black racer
The Northern black racer once used to be found across the entire state. Today, this snake is mostly found in Northeastern parts of Alabama.
As its name suggests, the snake is mostly black or dark-colored. It has large brown eyes.
These snakes are known to grow to a size between 3 and 5 feet. This allows them to use their body and strength to catch prey.
Northern black racer snakes are mostly interested in constricting prey and pressing it against the walls of a burrow.
Rodents are often pushed into a wall to avoid a quick escape whenever the Northern black racer enters their burrow.
This snake can be seen in woodlands, swamps, and agricultural areas known for a high rodent population.
14. Southern black racer
Scientific name: Coluber constrictor priapus
Common name: Southern black racer
These snakes have a dark color or even black body with a white mouth. They are known to be avid predators as they consume almost any small animal they can overpower.
While not venomous snakes of the genus aren’t particularly docile and good as pets. They always try to escape when handled.
Snakes of the genus also release a foul smell when handled or threatened.
Growing to a length of up to 50 inches, they can be found in areas with salamander and frogs, some of their favorite prey.
15. Northern ringneck snake
Scientific name: Diadophis punctatus edwardsii
Common name: Northern ringneck snake
The Northern ringneck snake is part of the Ringneck family. There are 3 subspecies of Ringneck snakes in Alabama.
Northern ringneck snakes have a dark gray to black body with a yellow ring around the neck.
These snakes grow up to 24 inches. They are normally terrestrial snakes found under leaves, rocks, and logs.
Females of the species lay up to 5 eggs under rotten logs in the mating season.
16. Southern ringneck snake
Scientific name: Diadophis punctatus punctatus
Common name: Southern ringneck snake
Snakes of this genus are known to live underground or hidden under a liter. They are found in many wooded areas of Alabama.
One distinct trait of the species is its appearance. These snakes can have a yellow ring and underbelly coloring but they’re also seen with an orange ring and underbelly, unlike other Ringneck snakes.
These snakes don’t bite and if they bite, they aren’t lethal to humans.
They do not have venom but they possess a type of venomous saliva that can immobilize small prey such as lizards.
17. Mississippi ringneck snake
Scientific name: Diadophis punctatus stictogenys
Common name: Mississippi ringneck snake
These snakes are common in broken fields, forests, and other areas around water.
They look like a regular Ringneck snake with a yellow-colored ring around the neck and a yellow underbelly.
Olive-green is the specific color for the rest of the Mississippi ringneck snake’s body.
These snakes are known, as predators. They look for vertebrates and invertebrates.
Like most snakes, they are preyed on by other animals as well. Bullfrogs are among the species that eat young Mississippi ringneck snakes.
The mating season results in the female laying a cluster of eggs in rotten logs. These are typically a cluster of up to 8 eggs that hatch within weeks.
18. Eastern indigo snake
Scientific name: Drymarchon couperi
Common name: Eastern indigo snake
This snake species is known to have a blue-black color. It grows to a size between 60 and 84 inches.
Snakes of the genus are excellent predators often feeding on young snakes of other species. This includes venomous snakes of the Rattlesnake genus.
Eastern indigo snakes are among the most active snakes in Alabama in the winter. Unlike most other species, they prefer to mate in the winter.
These snakes are perceived as not docile and they should be avoided.
While not venomous, snakes of the genus are known for making threatening gestures such as flattening their heads, hissing, and vibrating their tails.
Yet, these snakes rarely bite people.
19. Gray rat snake
Scientific name: Elaphe obsoleta spiloides
Common name: Gray ratsnake, gray rat snake, central ratsnake, chicken snake, midland ratsnake, pilot black snake
The Gray rat snake is a known constrictor. This species actively hunts rats and other rodents across any type of environment they are found in Alabama.
Gray rat snakes are common around populated areas as this is where many rats live.
These types of snakes can also eat frogs and other young snakes as long as they can constrict the prey.
When seeing people this snake becomes motionless. It prefers not to engage in a confrontation. While it might bite, this bite may not be as painful as the bites of other snakes.
20. Eastern mud snake
Scientific name: Farancia abacura abacura
Common name: Eastern mud snake
Eastern mud snakes are known for their black body with red markings on the underbelly. This snake grows to a size of at least 40 inches in adulthood.
Preferred habitats include aquatic areas as these snakes prefer amphibians and other creatures that live around and in the water.
Common in swamps, these snakes are nocturnal. They may bite people but they’re rarely seen due to their nocturnal nature.
Their capacity to entangle their bodies as a defense mechanism has also led to this species being known as the Hoop snake.
21. Western mud snake
Scientific name: Farancia abacura reinwardtii
Common name: Western mud snake
Known to grow up to 54 inches, the Western mud snake is identified by its shiny black body.
It also features red markings on the underbelly and this snake is known to inhabit areas of Alabama and nearby states.
Snakes of this genus are known to lay eggs. Young Western mud snakes remain terrestrial for at least a few months or they can decide to enter water as soon as they hatch.
Young snakes of the genus are mainly terrestrial, at least through the winter. Both the young and the adult snakes are also called Stinging snakes.
They poke their pointed tails at the prey, mainly as a means to test out its reactions.
22. Rainbow snake
Scientific name: Farancia erytrogramma erytrogramma
Common name: Rainbow snake
Rainbow snakes are similar to Western mud snakes in habitat. They also prefer aquatic areas, swamps, marshes, and riverbanks.
These snakes get their name from their colorful bodies. They are known to have wide differences in coloring depending on their habitat and their sex.
Males are known to have more yellow coloring compared to females. Both males and females are known for having a black body with 3 red lines.
Yellow coloring can be in the form of lines or in the form of rings that go around the body.
As semi-aquatic species, these snakes are known to feed on eels. They might also look towards other types of food such as salamander and even tadpoles.
23. Eastern hognose snake
Scientific name: Heterodon platirhinos
Common name: Eastern hognose snake
The Eastern hognose snake is known for living in almost all areas toads and frogs live. This snake prefers toads and it has rear fangs it uses to eat toads a bit better.
Toads are known to be toxic to other animals. But the Eastern hognose snake is immune to the highly toxic skin of toads.
Snakes of the genus are also known to be part of a group of Alabama snakes that know to play dead.
This type of mimicry is used for defense. The snake is known to roll over and lay motionless with an open mouth and its tongue hanging out of the mouth.
Such behavior can deter some types of predators that are known not to eat dead snakes.
24. Southern hognose snake
Scientific name: Heterodon simus
Common name: Southern hognose snake
This type of fossorial snake is known for living in the ground. It has a gray color with dark blotches and orange markings on its body.
Snakes of the genus are tied to loose terrain and even to sandy terrains. It can be seen crossing roads at night at most, as it remains secretive otherwise.
Like the Eastern hognose snake, the Southern hognose snake has multiple tactics to escape large predators.
It’s known to make hissing sounds and to flatten its head when seeing predators or people.
If all deterring tactics fail this snake resorts to playing dead, similarly to the Eastern hognose snake.
25. Prairie kingsnake
Scientific name: Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster
Common name: Prairie kingsnake, yellow-bellied kingsnake
These snakes are identified by their mostly gray body color. They show dark blotching as well as orange coloring at times.
Often confused with Rattlesnakes, Prairie kingsnakes aren’t dangerous to people. These snakes shake their tails similarly to Rattlesnakes, but this is just to keep people away.
Prairie kingsnakes eat a combination of rodents and either lizards or frogs, depending on their environment.
Snakes of this genus can be found next to woodlands as well as next to water sources.
They are adapted to living in almost all habitats in Alabama. The easiest way to find these snakes is to find areas rich in either rats or frogs or lizards.
26. Mole kingsnake
Scientific name: Lampropeltis calligaster rhombomaculata
Common name: Mole kingsnake, brown kingsnake
Mole kingsnakes are some of the largest fossorial snakes in Alabama. These snakes are very secretive and rarely seen since they live secretive lives underground.
As an underground species, snakes of the genus are seen on roads or on occasion at night attracted to lights.
Snakes of the genus are found in cultivated areas as well as in populated areas.
They prefer cultivated areas as this is where they have access to rodents. They are also seen eating lizards at times, which means their habitat expands from prairies and farmland to areas near water.
These snakes are known to lay eggs at the end of the summer. The female Mole kingsnake lays up to 17 eggs at a time.
27. Scarlet kingsnake
Scientific name: Lampropeltis elapsoides
Common name: Scarlet kingsnake, scarlet milk snake
Scarlet kingsnakes are tricolored nonvenomous snakes in Alabama. They are most commonly wrongly identified as venomous Eastern coral snakes.
Their resemblance to the Eastern coral snakes also makes Scarlet kingsnakes victims as people kill them thinking they are venomous.
Scarlet kingsnakes are a type of fossorial species similar to Mole snakes. They are known to spend most of their lives underground.
These snakes can also climb, but they only climb at night. They are known to actively seek out lizards.
Some Scarlet kingsnakes have also been seen eating young snakes of other species.
28. Eastern kingsnake
Scientific name: Lampropeltis getula getula
Common name: Eastern kingsnake, common kingsnake, chain kingsnake. kingsnake, Carolina kingsnake, chain snake, bastard horn snake, black kingsnake, black moccasin, common chain snake, cow sucker, eastern kingsnake, horse racer, master snake, North American kingsnake, oakleaf rattler, pied snake, pine snake, racer, rattlesnake pilot, thunder-and-lightning snake, thunderbolt, thunder snake, wamper, wampum snake, pied piper
This species is identified by its shiny black body with white rings. It has smooth scales and it’s known to grow up to a size of 48 inches.
Snakes of the genus are widespread in areas where other snakes live as they often consume young snakes of other species.
Eastern kingsnakes are very good constrictors. This allows them to catch mammals and other snakes, even venomous snakes.
They are known to consume pit snakes. Eastern kingsnakes even eat cottonmouth snakes.
Apart from eating other species, the Eastern kingsnake also lives in the same pit with venomous snakes.
Females are generally productive when it comes to mating. Female Eastern kingsnakes lay up to 24 eggs at once.
29. Speckled kingsnake
Scientific name: Lampropeltis getula holbrooki
Common name: Speckled kingsnake
The Speckled kingsnake is a non-venomous species known to live in almost all parts of Alabama.
Speckled kingsnakes are adapted to living next to water or in high humidity areas as well as further out from the water.
Like most snakes in the state, it eats mammals, frogs, and lizards.
This snake is easily identified through its black speckles and off-white speckles on its body.
Growing to a size of up to 72 inches, the snake is larger than the average snake species in Alabama.
Humans are rarely bitten by this snake. The Speckled kingsnake is fairly docile.
It is also known to expel a musk-like smell that keeps predators away. It may also expel feces when handled.
30. Black kingsnake
Scientific name: Lampropeltis nigra
Common name: Black kingsnake
The Black kingsnake is a non-venomous species found in Alabama. This snake grows to a size between 35 and 48 inches and it has a black body with a black head.
Identifying this species can be more difficult as it also comes in other colors apart from simple plain black.
It also comes in a patterned color, albeit rare to see in Alabama.
Snakes of this species are known constrictors. They squeeze or constrict prey until they suffocate it. This includes rodents they find on abandoned farmland.
Snakes of the genus are also very common in other habitats. They inhabit swamps where they also consume a wide range of amphibians.
31. Eastern milk snake
Scientific name: Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum
Common name: Adder, blatschich schlange, chain snake, checkered adder, checkered snake, chequered adder, chequered snake, chicken snake, common milk snake, cow-sucker, highland adder, horn snake, house snake, king snake, leopard-spotted snake, milk sucker, pilot, red snake, sachem snake, sand-king, scarlet milk snake, spotted adder, thunder-and-lightning snake, Eastern milk snake
The Eastern milk snake is one of the most common types of non-venomous snakes in Alabama. This species is not as widespread throughout the state as initially thought.
One of the species wrongly believed to be an Eastern milk snake in Alabama is the Scarlet kingsnake.
As the Scarlet kingsnake, the Eastern milk snake is known for its tricolored body. It has a dark red to brown body with white large ring-type bands bordered by 2 narrow black bands across its body.
This specie is common in rural areas. These are areas with plenty of abandoned buildings such as farmland and old homes.
Mammal burrows abound here and they attract the Eastern milk snake.
This snake is also docile making for a good pet snake.
32. Red milk snake
Scientific name: Lampropeltis triangulum syspila
Common name: Red milk snake, red milksnake
These snakes are identified by their red-orange body with white bands with black borders. These white bands can be tan in some members of the species.
Red milk snakes grow to a size between 24 and 36 inches. They might grow larger in captivity with a constant food supply.
Red milk snakes are constrictors. They use body force to constrict small prey such as rodents.
Rodents are among its favorite types of prey as it’s easy to constrict.
These snakes largely live on their own across the state. They can be found in isolated populations in almost all habitats.
33. Eastern coachwhip
Scientific name: Masticophis flagellum
Common name: Eastern coachwhip, coachwhip, whip snake
The Eastern coachwhip snake is known to grow up to 72 inches. This is one of the most adaptable snake species in Alabama, mainly when it comes to habitat.
It lives in sandy terrains further South but in Alabama it may be seen around woodlands and marshes.
This snake is mainly nocturnal and hard to see. The pale green Eastern coachwhip is very active at night.
Snakes of the genus are known to guide themselves by smell. A developed sense of smell allows them to easily hunt for small prey.
These snakes can raise their head above vegetation to smell their prey better.
Once located, the prey is swallowed alive.
Types of prey this snake eats include birds and lizards.
The snake is known to avoid human contact as much as possible.
34. Gulf salt marsh snake
Scientific name: Nerodia clarkii clarkii
Common name: Gulf salt marsh snake
This snake species is commonly found in Southern states and it’s also present in Alabama. Snakes of this species are known for living without drinking any water.
Gulf salt marsh snakes draw their water from their prey.
Commonly found in sandy terrains, these snakes are also adapted to marshes where they feed on frogs and crayfish.
Female Gulf salt marsh snakes are known for bearing live young. They give birth to a maximum of 44 young Gulf salt mash snakes.
35. Mississippi green water snake
Scientific name: Nerodia cyclopion
Common name: Mississippi green water snake
This snake species is known to live in marshes. They are normally found in marshes.
Snakes of the genus get their name from their habitat as they mostly occur along the Mississippi River.
Unlike other snakes in Alabama, these snakes are known to grow up to a few feet.
As adults, these snakes can measure anywhere between 2.5 and 3 feet.
Their bodies are almost entirely black. Lighter areas of the body include the underbelly and the area around the mouth.
These snakes aren’t venomous but they can bite. It’s best not to handle them.
Apart from biting without warning, Mississippi green water snakes can also release a foul smell.
36. Red-bellied Watersnake
Scientific name: Nerodia erythrogaster
Common name: Plain-bellied water snake, plainbelly water snake
This snake species grows to a size between 30 and 48 inches.
Red-bellied Watersnakes are found near water. Inhabiting spaces around lakes and rivers, these snakes are known for their colored yellow-pink underbellies.
Snakes of the family are mostly known for eating amphibians. This is the main reason they prefer to live in temporary wetlands as well.
Most people confuse Red-bellied watersnakes with Banded water snakes. They can be distinguished by their uniform underbelly as opposed to the patterned belly of Banded water snakes.
37. Yellowbelly water snake
Scientific name: Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster
Common name: Yellowbelly water snake
The Yellowbelly water snake gets its name from its off-white underbelly. This snake is known for having an olive green or gray dorsal.
Snakes of this genus are considered adaptable, given they live in different types of habitats.
Not venomous, this snake species grows to a maximum length of 40 inches. It represents one of the species that live next to lakes, streams, rivers, and marshes.
It prefers natural wetlands to manmade wetlands.
It’s around water that the Yellowbelly water snake finds its prey. It can be seen during the summer when it looks for fish.
Others types of prey this snake eats include salamander and frogs, also known for preferring semi-aquatic habitats.
Unlike other snakes, it shows multiple hunting tactics such as predatory behavior as well as the ability to sit still underwater waiting for prey to come to it.
This snake is also eaten by other snake species that may be found around water sources.
38. Broad-banded water snake
Scientific name: Nerodia fasciata confluens
Common name: Broad-banded water snake, banded water snake, Southern water snake
This snake species is both diurnal and nocturnal. It can be seen around lakes and rivers in Alabama.
Endemic to the Midwest, the Broad-banded water snake grows to a size of up to 40 inches.
Snakes of this genus can have slightly different colors. While most are dark green with white crossbands some snakes are brown, even within Alabama.
One of the most distinctive traits of the species is that its crossbanding might not be visible on some color variations.
There are Broad-banded water snakes that are still crossbanded but these crossbands aren’t visible as they’re also darker in color than the rest of the body.
39. Southern banded water snake
Scientific name: Nerodia fasciata
Common name: Banded water snake, Southern water snake, Southern banded water snake
Sothern-banded water snakes also live next to lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers. These snakes are considered aggressive.
While not venomous, the Southern banded water snake can still bite.
It bites people when they get in its range.
Snakes of the genus are known for eating frogs and fish.
Southern banded water snakes can be seen during the day. They can be seen looking for prey or simply resting on vegetation around water or overhanging vegetation.
40. Florida banded water snake
Scientific name: Nerodia fasciata pictiventris
Common name: Florida banded water snake
The Florida banded water snake expands its habitat in Alabama. This aquatic snake species is known as one of the most prolific breeders in the state.
Female Florida banded water snakes are known for laying up to 57 eggs at once.
These snakes get their name from their banded body look. They have a dark green-gray body with brown blotches.
Snakes of the genus are only different from the Southern banded water snake in appearance.
41. Florida green water snake
Scientific name: Nerodia floridana
Common name: Florida Green Watersnake, Eastern Green Watersnake
The Florida green water snake is the largest North American native water snake in Alabama.
Snakes of this species grow to a size of over 50 inches. They have a thick body that’s either green or brown, plain colored or blotched.
Most snakes of this species are diurnal, but rarely seen given their aquatic nature.
People seeing these snakes say they are aggressive as they always try to bite.
At night, these snakes may still come out around water sources to look for fish and amphibians.
Female Florida green water snakes give birth to live young. The female can give birth to as many as 100 young snakes at once.
42. Diamondback water snake
Scientific name: Nerodia rhombifer
Common name: Diamondback water snake
Often mistaken for Cottonmouths, the Diamondback water snake isn’t venomous. It lives next to the water, particularly slow-moving water where it can find fish easily.
This species can be seen around the state in vegetation overhanging ponds and streams.
Snakes of this species dip their heads underwater looking for fish to eat.
Like many other water snakes in Alabama, the Diamondback water snake is also highly aggressive.
However, this snake doesn’t bite without warning. It first hisses or flattens its head into an attacking position as an initial warning sign before biting.
43. Midland water snake
Scientific name: Nerodia sipedon pleuralis
Common name: Midland water snake
This species is endemic to the US. It’s also found in Alabama. It prefers to live next to water sources, as its name implies.
Blotched in appearance, the snake is fairly large as it grows up to 40 inches. Some of the largest Midland water snakes have been known to measure more than 50 inches.
It’s believed this species is both diurnal and nocturnal.
It can be seen in marshes. It also inhabits areas around ponds and streams.
Snakes of this genus are a subspecies of the Northern water snake, not found in Alabama.
44. Brown water snake
Scientific name: Nerodia taxispilota
Common name: Brown water snake, water-pilot, aspic, false moccasin, great water snake, pied water snake, Southern water snake, water rattle
Brown water snakes get their name from their brown and dark brown coloring. These snakes like to live next to slow-moving bodies of water.
They are commonly seen in the summer when they overhang the water using nearby vegetation.
Snakes of this genus can swim but they’re also very good climbers.
While not venomous, these snakes should be avoided as they are known to be aggressive.
They do not hesitate to bite and they can be among the snakes in Alabama that bite without warning signs.
Brown water snakes are also prolific breeders. Females give birth to multiple live snakes.
Up to 60 live snakes can be born from a female Brown water snake.
45. Rough green snake
Scientific name: Opheodrys aestivus
Common name: Rough green snake
The Rough green snake is one of the smallest green snakes in Alabama. This slender snake can grow to 48 inches, but it remains very thin even when an adult.
Snakes of these species are known to be among those that can climb and swim. Rough green snakes are very good climbers, this is why they are often seen on trees.
Their reduced size doesn’t allow them to prey on mammals like other types of snakes in Alabama. Instead, they eat various types of insects.
Its thin size also makes the Rough green snake a target for predatory birds and animals. The Eastern racer is one of the snakes that also eat Rough green snakes.
46. Corn snake
Scientific name: Pantherophis guttatus guttatus
Common name: Corn snake
Corn snakes are known to live in a vast area around Alabama. These snakes are known to prefer overgrown fields of all types.
Mice are the primary food of these snakes. However, they can also eat various types of small birds and their eggs.
Corn snakes are very good climbers. They are seen climbing trees to get to bird nests where they can feed on their eggs.
Often killed due to the Corn snake-Cottonmouth confusion, snakes of these species are some of the smartest in Alabama.
Studies show this snake has a good memory and great orientation skills. Part of this very good surroundings navigation is based on its good vision.
These snakes can bite and they often vibrate their tails before biting.
47. Black rat snake
Scientific name: Pantherophis obsoletus
Common name: Western rat snake, black rat snake, pilot black snake, black snake, black chicken snake, black coluber, chicken snake, mountain black snake, mountain pilot snake, pilot, rat snake, rusty black snake, scaly black snake, cow snake, schwartze Schlange, sleepy John, and white-throated racer
Similar to Corn snakes, Black rat snakes are also agile. They can swim, crawl, and climb. Black rat snakes are some of the fastest climbing snakes in Alabama.
These dark-colored snakes are known to live in an expanded habitat. They can live in woodlands, grasslands, parks, gardens, and next to water sources.
Black rat snakes are constrictors. They use their powerful muscles against all types of prey, particularly against small mammals.
Their constriction is so strong that prey often suffocates.
Unlike many water snakes in Alabama, Black rat snakes are rather docile and not aggressive towards humans. They are often seen as good pet snakes.
48. Black pine snake
Scientific name: Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi
Common name: Black pine snake
The Black pine snake is one of the largest constrictors that lives in Alabama. As its name suggests, this snake is black or almost completely black.
Snakes of this genus grow between 42 and 64 inches as a maximum length as adults.
They are known to prefer sandy soils or loose soils as well as pine woodlands.
Black pine snakes are also known for being strong constrictors. They make the most of their long thick bodies to constrict mammals, gophers, and other small animals.
49. Northern pine snake
Scientific name: Pituophis Melanoleucus
Common name: Northern pine snake
The Northern pine snake is one of the partially-communal snakes in Alabama. This snake lives a solitary life but this changes during the mating period.
Female Northern pine snakes lay eggs in communal nests. It’s believed this helps protect the eggs of each female.
The Northern pine snake is a secretive species. It spends most of the year underground, even during the summer.
It can sometimes be seen in the warm months (anywhere from May to October). Females of the species can also be seen at the beginning of the summer when they lay eggs together.
50. Florida pine snake
Scientific name: Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus
Common name: Florida pine snake
This snake is endemic to Florida. It can be found in remote areas of Alabama.
Florida pine snakes are either dark brown or light brown or tan in coloring. These snakes also exhibit dark brown patches on their bodies.
Their coloring largely depends on their habitat. These snakes prefer to live in or next to woodlands.
Snakes of this type are also a bit larger than others in Alabama as they can grow up to 68 inches.
51. Gulf crayfish snake
Scientific name: Regina rigida sinicola
Common name: Gulf crayfish snake
Secretive by nature, Gulf crayfish snakes are aquatic reptiles that feed on fish.
These snakes are identified by their black bodies. They can rarely be seen next to water sources as they’re nocturnal.
Snakes of this species continue their secretive lives even on the ground. They live subterranean lifestyles without necessarily depending on crayfish for survival.
Gulf crayfish snakes can also eat amphibians when they cannot find crayfish.
52. Queen snake
Scientific name: Regina septemvittata
Common name: Banded water snake, brown queen snake, diamond-back water snake, leather snake, moon snake, North American seven-banded snake, olive water snake, pale snake, queen water snake, seven-striped water snake, striped water snake, three-striped water snake, willow snake, yellow-bellied snake, queen snake
Queen snakes are said to resemble Garter snakes. These small snakes rarely grow past 24 inches.
They have a slender green body with off-white stripes that run from head to tail.
Like Florida pine snakes, the Queen snake also eats crayfish. However, Queen snakes are almost exclusively feeding on crayfish, particularly on young crayfish that don’t know how to properly defend themselves.
These snakes are also known to be found in clean waters where crayfish are found in larger numbers.
53. Pine woods snake
Scientific name: Rhadinaea flavilata
Common name: Pine woods snake, yellow-lipped snake, brown-headed snake
Pine woods snakes are some of the most secretive snakes in Alabama. These snakes live underground and can be rarely seen or studied in their natural habitat.
They come in a pink-orange color that makes them look slightly different than other snakes in the state.
Pine woods snakes are known for having a plain color without blotches.
The diet of these snakes consists of salamander and frogs.
Pine woods snakes aren’t venomous. They have toxic saliva they insert in salamander and frogs to subdue them.
This toxic saliva can also cause reactions in people such as swelling and localized pain.
54. North Florida swamp snake
Scientific name: Seminatrix pygaea
Common name: North Florida swamp snake, black swampsnake, mud snake, red-bellied mud snake, swamp snake
The Northern Florida swamp snake is a small species also found in Alabama. This is a black snake with a red underbelly.
Snakes of this genus are known to live in areas people rarely go to, such as swamps. They can be seen after the rain when they come out to eat salamander.
Snakes of this genus are known to live a long life. They have even been shown to survive years of drought, unlike other swamp snakes.
North Florida swamp snakes give birth to live young. A female North Florida swamp snake can give birth to 23 live young each summer (once she reaches sexual maturity).
55. Northern brown snake
Scientific name: Storeria dekayi dekayi
Common name: De Kay’s brown snake, De Kay’s snake, brown snake, Northern brown snake
This small blotched snake has a brown or dark brown coloring. It grows to an average size of 12 inches which makes it one of the smallest in the state.
Snakes of this genus eat slugs and snails. They can sometimes eat worms as well.
Their reduced size also makes them vulnerable to other predators such as cats.
56. Marsh brown snake
Scientific name: Storeria dekayi limnetes
Common name: Marsh brown snake
Marsh brown snakes are also small species similar to the Northern brown snake.
Snakes of this genus only grow up to 16 inches.
This snake species is among those that can climb even if its prey is mainly situated on ground level.
Snakes of this genus are known to eat worms and slugs.
Generally, a fearful species, this snake tries to escape when seeing people. It also flattens its head into a defensive position.
57. Midland brown snake
Scientific name: Storeria dekayi wrightorum
Common name: Midland brown snake
Midland brown snakes resemble Marsh brown snakes as they have a short body of up to 14-16 inches.
These snakes have a tan-brown body color. They also feature distinctive brown spots across the body.
Typically tied to sandy-loose terrains, these snakes can eat snails and earthworms.
58. Northern redbelly snake
Scientific name: Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata
Common name: Northern redbelly snake
Northern redbelly snakes are small snakes commonly found in Alabama. This snake is mostly known for being raised in captivity due to its docile nature.
Snakes of this genus are known to eat snails, like many other small snakes.
They are identified by a chestnut-brown color with yellow markings on its head.
Northern redbelly snakes are good pet snakes. However, they only live up to 4 years.
59. Southeastern crown snake
Scientific name: Tantilla coronata
Common name: Southeastern crown snake
The Southeastern crown snake is a species of snake that lives underground. It can be seen in different colors from tan to dark brown.
The snake is primarily identified through its short body. Southeastern crown snakes grow to a maximum size between 6 and 9.6 inches.
These snakes are insectivores which means they only eat insects and bugs. Some reports show the Southeastern crown snake might also eat snails occasionally.
Spiders and centipedes are among the preferred prey for the fossorial snake.
60. Eastern ribbon snake
Scientific name: Thamnophis sauritus sauritus
Common name: Eastern ribbon snake, common ribbon snake
The Eastern ribbon snake gets its name from its off-white ribbons. This olive-green snake is known to grow to a maximum size between 16 and 28 inches.
As a semi-aquatic species, the Eastern ribbon snake lives and eats near water. It prefers fish as prey but it can also eat amphibians.
Females are known to bear live young. The mating process of these snakes is also distinct.
The male is known to insert a copulatory plug in the female after mating. This stops other males from mating with a mated female.
61. Common garter snake
Scientific name: Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis
Common name: Eastern garter snake, common garter snake
This type of snake is also common in Alabama as it finds plenty of fish, birds, and amphibians to eat in the state.
Known for its ribbons, this snake is also one of the toxic-resistant snakes in Alabama that can eat toads.
Common garter snakes are known to be resistant to the toxicity of toads and other amphibians they eat.
These snakes also exhibit toxic saliva. They insert this toxic saliva in toads so that they control them better.
Common garter snakes aren’t particularly dangerous to humans as they don’t bite often.
As with all snakes that have toxic saliva, the bite of the Common garter snake can be unpleasant.
Skin rash, swollen limbs, itching, and burning are all symptoms of the bite.
62. Smooth earth snake
Scientific name: Virginia striatula
Common name: Smooth earth snake, rough earth snake
Smooth earth snakes live in scattered locations around the US. They are believed to be secretive species as they live underground.
These snakes have a light brown color and they are known for living in forests where they dig underground.
Smooth earth snakes are known for reaching a maximum length of 10 inches with the average individual measuring just over 8 inches.
They can only be seen when uncovered below a log or a large rock.
Female Smooth earth snakes might also be seen at the beginning of the summer in the mating process. Up to 14 live young snakes are born at the end of the summer.
63. Western earth snake
Scientific name: Virginia valeriae elegans
Common name: Western earth snake
The Western earth snake is common in woodlands across the state. This dark color snake is known to prefer loose soil and soil covered in leaves such as the ground in forests.
As an underground species, the Western earth snake is rarely seen out in the sun. It spends most days hiding away and looking for earthworms and arthropods.
These snake species aren’t dangerous to humans. They can bite but their small teeth come with a minimum impact.
64. Eastern earth snake
Scientific name: Virginia valeriae
Common name: Eastern earth snake
The Eastern earth snake is known to live in Alabama and neighboring states.
Snakes of this species grow to a maximum length between 7 and 10 inches.
Snakes of the genus are known for their bright tan coloring.
These snakes are fossorial which means they mostly live underground.
In common forests, Eastern earth snakes might arise after the rain.
Some Eastern earth snakes are also known to live at the edge of forests. These are areas where soils can be damp when it rains as there’s no forest canopy above.
Otherwise, they might never be seen unless removing logs and large stones they might crawl under.
Eastern earth snakes eat spiders, flies, bugs, and worms.
Female Eastern earth snakes don’t lay eggs. They carry live young Eastern earth snakes which are born in the summer.