Both venomous and non-venomous snakes are found in Georgia. From Copperhead to Black Racer snakes, there are multiple species found throughout the state.
Most of them aren’t bound by state borders. However, the following species are the most widespread.
Table of Contents
Venomous Snakes In Georgia
This venomous snake (Agkistrodon contortrix) is endemic to the US. Found across Georgia, it’s a snake of the Agkistrodon subspecies of the Viperidae family.
Its name derives from Greek and Latin words, mainly describing a hook due to its appearance.
This snake reaches an average length between 20 and 37 inches only rarely being found in a longer form.
You can recognize it by its tan-brown coloration which intensifies closer to its head. This snake has several crossbands on its back, typically up to 18.
This snake is venomous but it’s also the least dangerous of all pit snakes. It’s believed it first uses a warning bite, a type of short bite where little venom is injected first.
2. Pigmy Rattlesnake
This venomous snake is part of the pit vipers group of Crotalinae in the Viperidae species. It’s an endemic US snake. The snake grows up to 24 inches in length, depending on the availability of its prey. The Pigmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius) typically eats birds, lizards, frogs, and large insects.
This snake is also venomous, but it’s believed its small venom injection is insufficient to kill an adult human. However, associated symptoms following a bite can last for days. In more extreme cases, hospitalization is needed, especially in the case of bitten children.
3. Timber Rattlesnake
This snake (Crotalus horridus) is known for its unique habitat as it prefers to live and hunt hidden under fallen logs. This behavior inspired its name. It’s considered one of the most dangerous venomous snakes in the state and the US since it produces a large quantity of venom.
The snake is an avid hunter preferring small mammals and birds as prey. It hunts actively during the summer preferring to hide away and bromate in the winter in crevices together with other snakes. Females have a typical mating ritual preferring to lay out in the sun before laying eggs.
The Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) is one of the dangerously venomous snakes in Georgia. Its bite leads to serious health complications and even death in extreme cases. While not particularly aggressive towards humans, the snake has been known to bite when touched by humans.
An avid hunter, the snake is part of the pit snakes group. This group has a special sensing gland in its head that allows it to distinguish heat, which is believed to help when looking for prey. The snakes normally eat other smaller snakes, mammals, fish, turtles, and even small alligators.
5. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) is considered the most dangerous venomous snake in the country. Its presence is feared by hikers and regular people who encounter the large snake that grows up to 7.8 feet.
This large snake is mostly terrestrial, living in pine-dense areas, swamps, and other high-altitude grounds. Its venom is the most dangerous with many studies pointing out it can kill up to 30% of people it bites. Otherwise, the snake is highly interested in rabbits, rats, birds, and other small animals.
6. Eastern Coral Snake
This venomous snake (Micrurus fulvius) is also known as the American Cobra or the candy-stick snake. Its bright orange stripes make it easy to recognize. Furthermore, it can be one of the most dangerous snakes to be wary about given it has up to 20% mortality with every bite.
The snake has also been tied to a media scandal referring to a shortage of Eastern Coral Snake antivenom. Up to 2021, companies stopped producing this antivenin putting those bitten by the snake at risk further. Hospitalization is needed following the Eastern Coral Snake bite and Pfizer antivenin is often given to sufferers.
Non-venomous Snakes In Georgia
7. Banded Water Snake
This freshwater snake (Nerodia fasciata) is highly common in the state. It has black, yellow, and white coloration growing to a size of just over 41 inches in adulthood. It’s known as a species of snake that gives birth to live snakes as an ovoviviparous.
The snake lives next to water sources such as streams, rivers, and lakes. It prefers areas with plenty of fish. The Banded Water Snake uses a fine sense of smell to locate prey such as fish, frogs, and other mammals next to water sources.
8. Black Racer
This black snake (Coluber constrictor) with a bright underbelly also lives next to water sources. It prefers tall grass fields where it can roam around looking for prey occasionally raising its head above the grass while hunting. As one of the snakes with excellent vision, it rarely misses an opportunity to attack small rodents.
The non-venomous snakes eat rats, frogs, and other similar small animals. It doesn’t use suffocation preferring to swallow these small animals directly. Initially an endemic species of Central America, the Black Racer is now seen in multiple states across the US.
9. Black Swamp Snake
This swamp snake (Seminatrix pygaea) is recognized by its dark gray color with a red-orange underbelly. It’s a type of species that likes to eat small rodents and frogs by swallowing. Like many non-venomous snakes in Georgia, it gives birth to live snakes.
However, the pregnant Black Swamp Snake eats a large amount of food, this being possibly tied to the birthing process where the small snakes would benefit nutritionally from better feeding during the pregnancy stages.
10. Brown Snake
The endemic snake is part of the Colubridae family. This is the largest family of snakes in the world believed to be comprised of nearly 300 species. It’s found across the Eastern part of the US, Canada, and parts of Central America.
The snake gives birth to live young.
While not venomous, it’s highly specialized when it comes to prey. It likes to eat snails and slugs. Many of the small animals it eats are devoured straight from the eggs.
The Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi) has versatile jaws that allow it to eat a wide range of young animals straight out of the eggshell without actually eating any eggshell pieces.
11. Brown Water Snake
This large snake can reach lengths of up to 61 inches. It shows excellent abilities to move and hunt around water sources. It can catch fish both at the surface of the water as well as on river beds or at the bottom of a lake.
Unlike other water snakes, the Brown Water Snake (Nerodia taxispilota) also has excellent mobility. It can sometimes climb vegetation such as trees, albeit rarely venturing higher than 20 feet. From here, it often looks for prey pouncing without hesitation.
This snake is aggressive and it will bite humans, even if it doesn’t have any venom. Still, its bites are painful.
12. Florida Crowned Snake
This small snake (Tantilla relicta) comes from Florida. However, since it hides away when it sees humans it’s not seen as often as other snakes. The small snake hides in burrows preferring to be very active during the summer.
Not much is known about its mating habits except identifying its distinct elongated eggs. This snake is also not venomous. When people manage to catch it the snake doesn’t bite even when handled directly by hands.
The Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum) is a very fast snake. It often moves quicker than other snakes. This trait is what often triggers various myths such as being one type of snake that chases people. In reality, this small snake is trying to escape people out of fear in most situations.
Reaching a length of up to 93 inches, the species is sometimes hard to identify as it has varying colors. In some areas of the state, it has a dark color while in other states it also takes the color of the environment. This is why its color ranges from pink to red and even black.
14. Corn Snake
Like the Coachwhip, the Corn Snake (Elaphe guttata) is also known for its myriad of colors. This snake is found in all colors from pink to deep orange. Some unique colors of the snake are only seen in captivity where it lacks its natural environment.
The Corns Snake is a rate snake, which means it eats rodents. To eat rodents it has to find them. This is why it’s a snake often found in cornfields and wherever there are sufficient grains in storage to attract rodents.
The snake is not venomous but it’s often killed as confusion between the Corn Snake and the Copperhead is common.
15. Eastern Garter Snake
These snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis) prefer a mixed habitat where they can find food and tall grass or shrubs. The Eastern Garter Snake also travels far distances from water sources in the search for food such as small rodents.
The snake is venomous, but not to humans. Its small quantity of venom is insufficient to inflict serious health hazards to humans.
However, this venom is used to better control its prey during the swallowing process. The venom of the Eastern Garter Snake is mostly used to slow down the prey and control it better for swallowing.
16. Eastern Hognose Snake
This snake is known for exclusively eating amphibians. It’s often compared to a Cobra as it prefers to mimic a strike by raising its head. However, the snake’s fast head movements aren’t typically accompanied by biting.
Interestingly, the Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platirhinos) is one of the few in Georgia to play dead. It’s believed this snake will play dead in the event it believes it cannot escape a potential predator. The acting process often involves lying upside down with its tongue out for increased credibility.
17. Eastern Indigo Snake
The Indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) is known for living in flatwoods, hammocks, and even on sandy soils. These snakes are often moving from sandy soils to pine habitats from summers to winters. The snakes have great popularity across the South-Eastern part of the US where they have the highest longevity.
The Eastern Indigo Snake doesn’t bite and it isn’t venomous. It’s the type of snake that shakes its tail when defensive. Some people prefer to raise it as a pet snake given its non-aggressive nature.
18. Eastern Kingsnake
The Eastern Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula) is one of the pet snakes collectors are most interested in. This snake lays a few dozen eggs at a time. Small snakes are interested in the same prey as large snakes. This normally includes rodents, lizards, and turtles.
But the most interesting characteristic of this snake is its ability to prey on other snakes, even if they’re venomous. It’s believed the Eastern Kingsnake bites the jaws of other snakes to avoid being bitten while hunting. However, research shows the Eastern Kingsnake is one of the immune snakes to all types of venom from other snakes, making it a strong hunter.
19. Eastern Ribbon Snake
The Eastern Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus) is part of the Colubridae family. It’s a non-aggressive non-venomous snake that prefers to flee when in contact with humans. The snake has excellent camouflaging abilities preferring to hide away in tall vegetation in front of danger.
This snake is also known for staying away from warm-blooded animals. It prefers to eat frogs and fish instead, with excellent abilities around water, one of its preferred natural habitats. The snake is also targeted by other animals in the wild. It’s seen as ideal prey for large birds and larger amphibians.
20. Florida Brown Snake
This snake is a native to Florida and Georgia. The snake is part of the Colubridae family which has snakes on every continent. These snakes prefer to live in coastal areas far from people as they’re generally afraid of humans.
The Florida Brown Snake (Storeria victa) is a nocturnal snake which means it’s rarely seen by humans during the day. It lays in burrows during the day. It only gets out to hunt during the night. At this time, it’s particularly interested in worms, lizards, fish, and insects. The Florida Brown Snake can give birth to as many as 50 live snakes at a time.
21. Glossy Crayfish Snake
This olive-black snake is one of the most secretive in the state. These fish love aquatic habitats such as swamps. They typically eat crayfish and this is why they are often out of human-populated areas. The Glossy Crayfish Snake (Regina rigida) is a rare sight out in nature.
The snake only lives in cypress swamps and coastal areas. Away from human activity, it looks for Crayfish all the time. This snake gives birth to at least 6 live snakes, making it a prolific breeder. Its unique role and rare sight also make it a protected snake by local Georgia laws.
22. Eastern Green Watersnake
Part of the Nerodia Genus, the Eastern Green Watersnake (Nerodia floridana) is found in large numbers in Florida and Georgia. However, the snake’s wetland natural habitat makes it rarely seen to the point we don’t know exactly what it eats. Some people suggest this snake eats fish such as sunfish and small bass.
The snake reaches a length of around 55 inches in adulthood. It also gives birth to a large number of small snakes. Some Eastern Green Watersnakes give birth to around 60 small snakes at a time.
A large number of young snakes typically attracts plenty of predators and it’s the main reason most of them don’t reach adulthood. Natural predators here include rivers others and herons.
23. Milk Snake
The milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) is one of the most popular in Georgia. Instantly recognized due to their red, black, and white colors, they are seen in barns and under logs during the day. The snake is nocturnal which means it doesn’t move too much during the day when it prefers to rest in these secluded places or out in the sun.
The Milk snake has a varied diet. It’s believed this diet consists mostly of rodents, particularly at a young age. As they reach adulthood, Milk Snakes become truly nocturnal preferring to go out and hunt rodents as well as birds and other reptiles.
These snakes are most seen in forests when away from people-inhabited areas. It’s during the summer that the snake’s mate and the female Milk Snake lay up to 20 eggs at a time at the beginning of the warm season.
24. Mole Kingsnake
The Mole Kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster) is a protected species in Georgia. The snake lives underground and out of sight and as a result, there’s little known about its particular habits.
The Mole Kingsnake grows to a length between 30 and 40 inches and it can be recognized by its dark brown to red color with spots on its entire length. However, it’s believed these spots start to fade away and are almost invisible in aging Mole Kingsnakes.
Since the snake lives underground it’s rarely seen around the state. Exceptions apply on cold days when it can be seen on roads where it basks in the sun. The snake also lays 17 eggs that hatch in the fall.
25. Mud Snake
The Mud Snake (Farancia abacura) lives in cypress swamps. It lives here because it likes to eat large aquatic salamanders which can’t be found anywhere else. This includes sirens and amphiuma. The snake might also go for other large salamanders.
The Mud Snake also has unique preying techniques. These include using their long tails to prod the aquatic salamanders. However, the snake cannot sting and this is considered a mimicking preying tactic.
The snake reproduces as often as other snakes but it lays fewer eggs. Mud Snake can lay as little as 4 eggs at a time.
26. Northern Water Snake
The Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon) is known for reaching lengths between 20 and 55 inches. These snakes are seen across Georgia where the species is protected. Females are generally larger than males and they bear live snakes.
The Northern Water Snake is often confused with the Cottonmouth, but it inhabits different areas. You can find the Northern Water Snake around lakes, rivers, or smaller ponds throughout the state.
Like most snakes of the state, it starts breeding in late spring or early summer, a period where the snake might be seen easier.
27. Pine Snake
The Pine Snake (Pituophis melanoleucus) is one of the species facing a diminishing natural habitat in the state. Since its preferred pine-oak woodlands are diminishing so is its habitat.
The snake prefers to live in sandy areas where it digs for rodents. It also lays eggs deep in the sand so a diminishing area of pine flatwoods sees major challenges in front of it.
The snake isn’t venomous but it will attack anyone entering its burrow. The Pine Snake hisses loudly and vibrates its tail whenever this happens. However, given the 24 eggs are laid away from populated areas deep in the sand it’s mostly rodents and other animals that might disturb its burrows.
28. Pine Woods Snake
This snake is another protected Georgia species. Mostly living in scattered populations around woodlands, it’s easy to recognize given its red-brown full coloration. The snake has no dots or lines which makes it easy to distinguish.
Its protection in the state comes from its limited breeding success as the snake only lays 4 eggs. Once the small snakes reach adulthood they prefer to prey on frogs and salamanders, albeit they can also eat small snakes.
The Pine Woods Snake (Rhadinaea flavilata) reaches a maximum length of 13 inches making it one of the smaller species in Georgia.
29. Queen Snake
The Queen Snake (Regina septemvittata) is one of the well-researched species in Georgia. This snake has been often confused with the Garter snake as both are olive green with pale-yellow stripes. However, the flat head of the Queen Snake differentiates it further.
This snake is known for almost exclusively hunting crayfish. As a result, it’s found in almost any area where there’s crayfish.
The female Queen Snake gives birth to live snakes either in the fall or in early spring. The young Queen Snake is often hunted by large frogs. However, the Queen Snake is often limited by human action on water such as drainage and pollution more than being exposed to natural predators from a young age.
30. Rainbow Snake
Like many Georgia snakes, the Rainbow snake (Farancia erytrogramma) is common in cypress swamps.
These are some of the most intriguing species of snakes due to their coloration and scarcity. The multi-colored snakes truly look like rainbows although they are rarely seen.
Excellent swimmers, the snakes are diurnal but they hide in vegetation.
Snakes are often seen as one of the main predators of the water eel. The Rainbow Snake is believed to eat eel almost exclusively.
Reproduction is highly successful in this species. Up to 50 eggs are laid at a time, making it a prolific breeder. Living in largely aquatic habitats, the Rainbow Snake is protected in Georgia.
31. Eastern Rat Snake
The Eastern Rat Snake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) is one of the most versatile in the state. It handles terrestrial hunting, water hunting, and even climbing better than other snakes. Since it climbs trees it’s often a snake that lives in attics. Many Eastern Rat Snakes live in attics for months without being detected.
These snakes are active during the night in the summer. However, they only come out during the day in the winter as they prefer the warm rays of the sun. These snakes often live in spaces with continuous sun exposure.
They hunt prey such as rodents and they are known as snakes that fight each other before mating, particularly in the case of male Eastern Rat Snakes.
They reach sexual maturity in year 4, the time where fights between males typically break out. Otherwise, these snakes are peaceful with other species.
32. Red-bellied Snake
These snakes are some of the hardest to identify in Georgia. Their color varies from gray to black or to red and black combinations, which tend to be the most frequent.
The Red-bellied Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata) is one of the most intelligent snakes that doesn’t grow longer than 10-11 inches.
It’s believed these snakes map out their habitat, which is a swamp continuously for changes in water levels.
As the Eastern Rate Snake, the Red-bellied Snake also takes a few years to mature. This snake reaches sexual maturity in year 3 and it generally gives birth to up to 9 live young snakes.
33. Plain-bellied Water Snake
This non-venomous snake is mostly aquatic. However, it’s also terrestrial hunting all types of prey, mainly amphibians while on land.
When on water, the snake hunts crayfish, other species of fish, and frogs. Its preying technique involves a lot of waiting around as the Plain-bellied Water Snake (Nerodia erythrogaster) patiently waits for prey to come to it.
This snake is also seen as ideal prey for other vivacious snakes such as the red-white-black Kingsnake. Largemouth bass also eats young Plain-bellied Water Snakes. Birds such as egrets also live in the same habitat as the Plain-bellied Water Snake. These birds prey both on young and adult snakes alike.
34. Ringneck Snake
The Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus) is known for its distinct look. Its name is inspired by the pale yellow-white ring around its neck, making it a species that’s almost impossible to confuse.
This snake is known for being one true hunter considering all types of prey it prefers to bite first and constrain later. Its venom is mostly used for prey and not as a defense mechanism.
Mating processes are also complex in these snakes. The female uses pheromones to attract males. It’s the male snake that seeks the female, particularly in the fall. The male bites the female around the neck where the ring lies to position itself for insemination.
After mating the female lays her eggs in loose soil in their natural habitat that is found in wet woodland grounds.
35. Rough Earth Snake
Like the Ringneck Snake, the Rough Earth Snake (Virginia striatula) prefers woodlands, particularly those with plenty of water sources. It’s believed this is the natural habitat with the most worms for the Rough Earth Snake to eat. Earthworms are the almost exclusive diet of this snake.
Coloration varies from red to dark gray, depending on the age and location of this snake. However, it’s one of the small snakes of the state as it barely reaches 10 inches in length in adulthood.
These small snakes are easily found across the state, particularly beneath rocks or logs. They mate in the summer when the female gives birth to 10 live snakes.
36. Rough Green Snake
These protected snakes are some of the most arboreal snakes in Georgia. Green and small, the snakes spend most of their life high in trees and on vegetation. It’s here that they eat and sleep during the night.
The Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus) is looking for insects and spiders up in trees. Most of the time the snake waits for daylight to start looking for prey.
One of the distinct characteristics of the snake is its ability to stay still. It uses camouflage and staying still to encourage spiders and insects to get closer.
Found in large numbers near wetlands which abound in insects, the snakes mate in the summer. The female lays up to 12 eggs in early summer. Young Rough Green Snakes resemble Black Racers.
37. Scarlet Snake
This snake (Cemophora coccinea) is recognized by its yellow and white blotches with black bordering. It’s a small species of snake of the Cemophora species. Its preferred activity is during the summer where it can be seen in open forested areas, particularly on sandy ground.
The snake is not venomous as shown with the few documented human bites. However, it uses a bad smell released when touched by humans or other predators as a means of defense. Its biggest predators are birds but deforestation is considered a threat to its habitat.
The snake is an avid hunter with jaws that are specialized in opening eggs of snails or turtles. Their long teeth help them deal with the eggs of almost any type of animal encountered in their habitat.
38. Smooth Earth Snake
Similar to the Rough Earth Snake, the Smooth Earth Snake (Virginia valeriae) is identified by its smooth scales. It grows to a small size barely reaching 7-10 inches into adulthood. It can further be correctly differentiated from the Rough Earth Snake by its pointed snout.
These snakes are normally found on the ground where they camouflage in debris, under leaves, or under rocks. Ideal prey includes earthworms although the snake also eats plenty of insects.
Like many other snakes, it mates in early summer. The female gives birth to young live snakes in late summer. Up to 14 young snakes are born at the end of the summer.
39. Southeastern Crowned Snake
This tan-brown snake is rarely seen in Georgia given it has excellent camouflage abilities. Protected by the state, it’s still present in large numbers in forests and areas with plenty of insects. The small snake reaches up to 10 inches in length in adulthood.
The Southeastern Crowned Snake (Tantilla coronata) is one of the few insectivore snakes in Georgia. This means it solely eats insects such as centipedes and spiders. While rarely seen by humans as it tends to run away, it’s not considered a dangerous species as it’s neither venomous nor aggressive.
40. Southern Hognose Snake
This snake lives in humid habitats where toads live. They eat toads almost exclusively.
The Southern Hognose Snake (Heterodon simus) is a very smart snake that has multiple defense mechanisms, including playing dead. While it doesn’t run when encountering humans, it does make noises in a defensive response. The snake is also one that plays dead when facing danger.
Seen on sandy terrains, it’s also a snake that likes to relax and warm up in the sun. The ideal place for such habits is roads that cross their natural habitat. This snake is known for basking in the sun whenever there are nearby roads with reduced to no traffic.
41. Striped Crayfish Snake
The Striped Crayfish Snake (Regina alleni) gets its name from its favorite prey, the crayfish. Part of the semi-aquatic family, the snake eats crayfish almost exclusively.
The snake is rare in the US and its concentration is right on the border of Georgia and Florida.
It’s in this area that the snake favors cypress swamps. However, the snake is rarely seen in open water as it prefers dense vegetation. This is also why there’s little information on its habits and reproduction as it’s rarely seen outside this area.
The snake is very active during the day when it seeks out crayfish. Some data also suggest the snake might also be active during the night.
42. Eastern Worm Snake
This small snake species (Carphophis amoenus amoenus) is protected in Georgia. Its conservation status is very specific but this snake can rarely be seen by people as it prefers to hide beneath surface levels most of the time.
While it likes woodlands, it’s not a snake that lives out in the woodland but rather in woodlands close to major sources of water such as cypress swamps.
The snakes are rather small and feed on small prey as well. They grow to a maximum length of 13 inches making them some of the smallest in the state. They are known for mating in the fall. These snakes lay eggs in the spring and up to 12 young snakes are expected to hatch in the summer.
43. Black Kingsnake
The Black Kingsnake (Lampropeltis nigra) is one of the most frequently encountered snakes in the state. It’s considered medium to large as it can reach up to 48 inches in adulthood.
The black snake is part of the Lampropelties genus. This means it’s an opportunistic hunter with a varied prey preference. The snake eats rodents, lizards, birds, and even the eggs of other snakes.
44. Brahminy Blind Snake
The Brahminy Blind Snake (Indotyphlops braminus) is the smallest in the world. It measures anywhere between 2 and 4 inches in adulthood making it a very small snake easy to confuse with earthworms. As its name suggests, this snake is completely blind. It lives underground away from natural light.
The snake can be found in moist ground, particularly in abandoned farmlands, abandoned basements, and out in nature where there are plenty of ants and larvae.
Insufficient data are referring to the reproductive habits of this species. Up to this moment, all collected Brahminy Blind Snakes have been female. The females can lay eggs and they can give birth to live young snakes.
These snakes aren’t endemic to the US. They have been introduced in agricultural lands to control ants and the expansion of termites.
45. Gray Rat Snake
The Gray Rat Snake (Pantherophis spiloides) is one of the common snakes in the state. It’s known to be an excellent hunting snake that is mainly guided by its sense of smell. It’s the smell that prompts this snake to hunt both on the ground and up on trees. Its favorite prey includes mammals, birds, and their eggs
The young Gray Rat Snake doesn’t have fully developed hunting capacities which see it mainly having a diet of frogs and small lizards. The snake has multiple defense mechanisms, including the capacity to mimic a false strike by raising its head and making a hissing sound.
The Gray Rate Snake is also one of the longest-living species in the state. For example, the female is known for late development reaching maturing as late as the age of 9.
The reproductive season of the snakes is in mid to late summer. It’s the time when the female deposits up to 27 eggs which emerge in the fall.