24 Snakes With Black Heads (with Pictures)

Some of the most venomous snakes in the world have blackheads. From the Australian outback to The Amazon Rainforest, snakes with black heads live all around the world.

Some of these snakes are also found in North America, albeit much less dangerous than those in other areas, such as the dangerous snakes of Australia.

Not all snakes that have black heads are venomous, on the other hand. They can be peaceful, frightened, and non-venomous, often fleeing when seeing people.

However, species such as The Inland Taipan have often killed people with a single bite, right on the spot.

The following species are a compiled list of snakes with black heads both of venomous and non-venomous nature.

Some snakes with black heads are rarely seen as they can be nocturnal.

Found around the world, these snakes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They can have a permanently-black head or a morph that comes with a black head as seen from the following examples.

1. Baja California Coachwhip

Baja California Coachwhip. Image by Daniele Gualdoni via inaturalist

Southern and Eastern Californian territories are home to The Baja California Coachwhip (Masticophis fuliginosus).

This species comes in multiple colors and is often identified by its black head.

While the rest of its body can be brown or black as well, it turns out The Baja California Coachwhip goes through color phases.

Dark and bright phases are specific to this snake. It’s its dark phase, the head of the snake is black, as can be the rest of its dorsum.

An all-black appearance is not that uncommon for this Californian snake.

Coastal areas and areas of scarce vegetation are among the preferred habitats of the snake. Some of the largest metropolitan areas it can be found in include those of San Diego.

Black head characteristics – temporary color

2. Southeastern Crowned Snake

Tantilla coronata
Southeastern Crowned Snake

A species of North America, The Southeastern Crowned Snake (Tantilla coronata) is both common and small.

As one of the tiniest common species in the country, this is a snake that comes with a black head.

While its head is black, its body has a bright brown color.

This is also a snake known for having an additional black section right behind the head. A partial headband, this additional black band is located just behind its black head.

Both its small head and its small body dictate the types of foods the species can go after.

This is mainly limited to bugs, spiders, and other types of tiny insects it can easily ingest.

Black head characteristics – black head with black neck banding

3. Florida Crowned Snake

Florida Crowned Snake

Florida Crowned Snakes (Tantilla relicta) are highly similar to Southern Crowned Snakes.

This is a red-brown species with a bright nuance, brighter than the dorsum of the Southern Crowned Snake.

Still, Florida Crowned Snakes have a black head and a black neckband.

While bright, this type of snake is non-venomous. The tiny amounts of venom it produces are used against its small prey but it’s harmless to animals and humans.

A species that runs away when spotting humans, this Florida Keys species is known for hiding among ground-level leaves most times when noticing activity.

Black head characteristics – black head with black neck band

4. Red Coffee Snake

Ninia sebae
Red Coffee Snake

Red Coffee Snakes (Ninia sebae) are among the Mexican species that superficially resemble Florida Crown Snakes.

Black heads with black neck bands are characteristic of these Mexican snakes. The section between the black head and the black neckband is often brown.

Red Coffee Snakes are further identified by their red-brown dorsum colors. This is a color that resembles fresh coffee beans’ colors.

Often mistaken for a venomous coral snake, the species may end up killed on the farm fields it meets humans.

This is why human activity can be one of the biggest concerns of the species.

Red Coffee Snakes rarely bite as they avoid human confrontation. They even use deterring techniques such as flattening the head to keep humans and animals away.

Black head characteristics – black head with a black neckband

5. Black-headed Python

Black-headed Python

A species of Northern Australia, Black-headed Pythons (Aspidites melanocephalus) are a type of non-venomous with a black head.

The black head of the python covers a considerably larger area compared to other snakes as this snake also has a continuous black color down its neck.

The rest of its body is gray or brown, often striped.

Spending its days hiding in vegetation or among leaves, this is a snake that has a varied diet.

Its large size (Black-headed Pythons grow to 11 feet) allows the snake to have several feeding options.

This includes the juveniles of other snakes as well as rodents and other small mammals.

Black-headed Pythons eat according to the season as they tend to eat more in the Austral summer.

Black head characteristics – black head and black neck

6. Cape Centipede-Eater

Cape Centipede-Eater

Cape Centipede-Eaters (Aparallactus capensis) are endemic to The Eastern Cape. This African species is common in its habitat but it cannot be found on other continents.

A bright brown snake with a slender body, this is a species that has a black head and a partially-black neck.

The snake is known for its small size as even the longest members of the species measure up to 15 inches.

Black head characteristics – black head with a dorsal black neckband

7. Plains Black-headed Snake

Plains Black-headed Snake

The tan-colored Plains Black-headed Snake (Tantilla nigriceps) is a species found in the Southern United States.

While active throughout the year, the snake is most active during the summer months when it comes out of its underground burrows.

Plains Black-headed Snakes have a black head which contrasts their bright dorsum.

This is a species that live secretive lives and which prefers to flee when spotting humans.

It doesn’t bite unless roughly handled.

As its name suggests, this snake prefers plains, open fields, and any other type of open habitat with grasses.

Black head characteristics – small black head

8. Neuwied’s False Boa

Neuwied’s False Boa

This type of small snake (Pseudoboa neuwiedii) with a black head is native to South America.

It lives in the Northern parts of the continent where it stands out with its slender shape, red-brown body, and black head.

Its main color can vary from bright red-brown to dark red-brown nuances.

This type of snake may be small, but it is venomous. Found in The Amazon Basin, this is a species that is not s dangerous as other Amazonian venomous snakes.

Its small teeth mean it can rarely pierce skin properly to inject its dangerous venom which means its bite is rarely severe.

Black head characteristics – slender black head

9. Orange-naped Snake

Orange-naped Snake

A species found in some of the most arid habitats of Australia, Orange-naped Snakes (Furina ornata) have black heads.

This is a species that also has a dark body, typically of a red-brown or brown nuance.

Large smooth scales are seen along its dorsum but the snake also shows a characteristic red-orange neckband.

The snake should not be handled as it produced dangerous venom and has long fangs to pierce the skin with.

Luckily, these snakes are nocturnal so actually being surprised by one is a rare occurrence.

Black head characteristics – black head with brown neckbands

10. Crowned False Boa

Pseudoboa coronata
Crowned False Boa

A South American native, Crowned False Boas (Pseudoboa coronata) are small slender snakes with black heads.

The species comes in a few morphs, mainly related to its head color.

The Crowned False Boa is a species with a black head and a black neck. It may also show a white neckband at times.

A vivid red color is mostly specific to the dorsum of the species.

Crowned False Boas are among the few snakes around the Amazon Basin to have a uniform red dorsum.

Black head characteristics – black head with or without a white neckband

11. Variable Black-naped Snake

Variable Black-naped Snake

Like many small and slender snakes with black heads, Variable Black-naped Snakes (Suta dwyeri) are known for their red-brown color.

This is a color with a uniform spread across the dorsum while the head of the species is mostly black.

Only the upper part of the head is black as the Variable Black-naped Snake has a white underbelly and a white mouth.

Much of its appearance is impacted by the red-brown soils of the Australian grounds this snake lives in.

The species is mildly venomous, relying on its venom to capture its terrestrial prey.

Its low venom yield is not dangerous to humans although many of the snakes in its range are highly dangerous.

Black head characteristics – black head with a white mouth

12. Dumeril’s Diadem Snake

Dumeril’s Diadem Snake

South America marks the native range of Dumeril’s Diadem Snake (Phalotris lemniscatus).

This is a contrasting species with different morphs. A black head is present across the morphs.

Black stripes run from its black head to the tip of its tail. Pink areas are seen between the stripe.s

In some morphs, there are additional yellow or orange stripes across the dorsum.

This type of snake is also venomous and dangerous. Its bites are rare, or the reports of human bites are rare.

Still, hospitalization might be required for those bitten by the Dumeril’s Diadem Snake.

Black head characteristics – black head connected to black stripes

13. Dumeril’s Black-headed Snake

Dumeril’s Black-headed Snake

The Dumeril’s Black-headed Snake (Sibynophis subpunctatus) is a brown species with a black head.

While its black head is similar across its morphs, this is a species that may come in different brown nuances.

From red-brown to cinnamon, Dumeril’s Black-headed Snake has a row of tiny black spots across its dorsum as well.

Its head is black, with brown sections on the neck and a matching black neckband.

Almost all of its morphs are backed by a bright yellow underbelly.

This type of colubrid snake isn’t venomous and it prefers to flee rather than bite.

Black head characteristics – black head with brown patterns

14. Collared Black-headed Snake

Collared Black-headed Snake

A black head, a brown head, or a gray head are all specific to The Collared Black-headed snake (Sibynophis collaris).

A species of Southern Asia, Collared Black-headed Snakes have a dark brown and black head, most times.

This is a dark head appearance backed by a jet black neckband with a yellow border going into the dorsum.

Its dorsum is mostly bright brown with or without an additional black mid-dorsum stripe.

Its head is also characterized as being wider than its body and having a triangular shape.

Reaching a size of almost 30 inches at best, Collard Black-headed Snakes have contrasting white sections around the mouth.

Black head characteristics – common black head morph

15. Speckled Coralsnake

Calliophis maculiceps
Speckled Coralsnake. Image by herpingvietnam via inaturalist

Black plays an important role in the camouflaging appearance of The Speckled Coralsnake (Calliophis maculiceps).

This is one of the many types of venomous snakes in Southeast Asia. Its differentiating factors include its color patterns.

Apart from their black head, Speckled Coralsnakes also exhibit rows of black spots across their dorsum. These

spots vary in diameter from small to very small.

Even more, Speckled Coralsnakes show atypical black bands on the lower part of the dorsum, closer to the tip of their tail.

There are 2 main black bands here, the one closer to the tip appearing faded black.

Black head characteristics – black head and neck

16. Black-headed Ground Snake

Rhynchocalamus melanocephalus
Black-headed Ground Snake. Image by נדב גופר via inaturalist

A species of The Middle East, Black-headed Ground Snakes (Rhynchocalamus melanocephalus) have black heads in both their subspecies.

Tan variants of the species are highly common. However, orange or orange-brown uniform dorsum colors are also seen on the snake.

The black head itself may be plain or black and white. The orange morph of the snake additionally exhibits orange bands across the black head.

Both of its variants are further determined by off-white or cream underbellies.

Black head characteristics – black, white, and orange head colors

17. Gaige’s Pine Forest Snake

Rhadinaea gaigea
Gaige’s Pine Forest Snake. Image by Cristian Olvera via inaturalist

Found in multiple Mexican states, Gaige’s Pine Forest Snakes (Rhadinaea gaigeae) are high-elevation snakes that feature black heads.

These are the types of snakes that are found at elevations of several thousand feet, in pine woodlands.

A generally dark appearance is specific to these snakes.

Gaige’s Pine Forest Snakes show a brown body color with yellow stripes across the dorsum.

These stripes are also seen on the lower part of its black head.

Apart from its black nuance, the head of Gaige’s Pine Forest Snakes is considerably wider than the body.

Black head characteristics – wide black head with stripes

18. Black-headed Bushmaster

Black-headed Bushmaster

One of the rarest types of snakes with black heads in Central America, The Black-headed Bushmaster (Lachesis melanocephala) is a large specimen.

Typical size of 6-7 feet is recorded with these long and thick snakes.

Their heads are triangular, considerably wider than the body, as well as black.

A tan or gray base color is contrasted with black and brown blotches for this species. Snakes of this family are known to live at various altitudes.

A Costa Rica native, this type of snake is found across the country’s diverse habitats, up to an elevation of several thousand feet.

It should be avoided in any situation as Black-headed Bushmasters are highly venomous.

Black head characteristics – main morph

19. Inland Taipan

Inland Taipan

A mostly dark species, Inland Taipans (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) also have black head. The upper part of the body close to the head is also black.

Slowly fading into brown or brown-red nuances with darker specks, The Inland Taipan is also one of the most venomous snakes with black heads, or snakes in general, around the world.

This species has been tested for its toxicity many times. By some measures, it is the most venomous species that kills warm-blooded animals.

According to incipient studies and approximations, the bite of a single Inland Taipan can theoretically release sufficient venom to kill multiple humans.

Multiple reports of its venom killing humans arise regularly.

One common report includes the death of Andrew Vaughan, a worker clearing tracks hundreds of miles out of Brisbane.

The potent venom of the black-headed Inland Taipan killed Andrew on the spot.

The snake’s appearance is dark and often in line with the appearance of its habitat, which is the dark soil of Southeast Australia.

It may be spotted too late in the outback.

Black head characteristics – black head and neck

20. Tschudi’s False Coral Snake

Tschudi’s False Coral Snake

The 2 subspecies of Tschudi’s False Coral Snake (Oxyrhopus melanogenys) come with black heads.

There’s a red morph and a black morph with bright bands accepted for this species.

Its bright red subspecies come with a black head and a white mouth. Black coloring of its head continues down its neck.

The rest of its dorsum is red while its underbelly is white.

These types of snakes also come with a black subspecies that features an orange neckband plus additional white and orange banding along the body.

A South American species, the snake is nocturnal, coming out in its tropical forests for food at night.

Snakes of this family can be found in Brazil and Peru’s moist neotropical habitats.

Black head characteristics – black head and neck

21. Spectacled Snake

Spectacled Snake

Australia is home to 10 of the most venomous snakes in the world. The country provides an ideal habitat for highly venomous species.

Spectacled Snakes (Suta spectabilis) aren’t an exception. This cross-county species is venomous and should be avoided.

It features a distinct black head with a white mouth and bright brown sections along the sides.

While only the top of its head is black, the rest of its body features a red-brown nuance.

The snake can be easily identified based on the distinct color of its head.

It can also be identified by its reduced size, as Spectacled Snakes are some of the smallest venomous snakes in Australia.

This is a species that grows to an average of 8 inches, also being one of the shortest venomous snakes in the world.

Black head characteristics – black top of the head

22. Gould’s Hooded Snake

Suta gouldii
Gould’s Hooded Snake. Image by Bryce Van der Heide via inaturalist

Gould’s Hooded Snake (Suta gouldii) is one of the multiple venomous Australian native species.

This is a snake with a black head that may show additional orange-brown spots on the sides of the head in its juvenile period.

The snake otherwise features a black head and a bright or dark brown dorsum.

Adapting to its grassland or shrubland vegetation for camouflage, Gould’s Hooded Snakes aren’t as venomous as other Australian venomous snakes.

This is a species that doesn’t kill humans.

Seeing this snake is a rare event in itself. A nocturnal species, the snake only comes out for food after sunset.

Despite its venomous status, it doesn’t go for warm-blooded creatures as it prefers geckos or other types of lizards.

Black head characteristics – a large black spot on the top of its head

23. Black-headed Collared Snake

Sibynophis melanocephalus
Black-headed Collared Snake. Image by veronicafoo via inaturalist

Black-headed Collared Snakes (Sibynophis melanocephalus) are found in the forests of Thailand.

This is a species that spends its days on the ground, looking for food such as small lizards and rodents.

The snake shows a distinct black head as well as a gray head.

A combination of gray and black colors may also be spotted on its head.

The dorsum shows black and yellow stripes, with some room for brown-striped morphs as well.

The Black-headed Collared Snake is known to be a species that doesn’t rely only on its appearance for self-defense.

It even can shed its tail, much like different species of lizards to escape predators going after its tail.

Black head characteristics – common morph

24. Black-headed Royal Snake

Black-headed Royal Snake

While it looks highly dangerous, Black-headed Royals Snakes (Spalerosophis atriceps) aren’t venomous.

There are other more dangerous animals living in Northern India, the main range of this species.

Its morphs include a variant with a black head and an orange-red dorsal color.

This snake stands out with a bright main color and multiple black spots of various shapes and sizes.

Orange Black-headed Royal Snake morphs additionally feature a red neck section, which also shows black contrasting spots similar to its orange-red dominating section.

A diurnal species, Black-headed Royal Snakes take on the colors of the arid lands they move on in India.

Black head characteristics – common morph