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Poisonous Florida Snakes, part 2

Previously we discussed the Copperhead, the Water Moccasin and the Diamondback Rattler as poisonous snakes that are found in Florida.  If this wasn’t bad enough, there are 3 more that complete the list.  Here is a list and description of the remaining 3.

  • The Timber Rattlesnake.  This snake is a large, heavy bodied snake. It has a reddish brown stripe going the length of its back and the back has chevron type crossband designs on it. Its tail is a uniform black.  The snake can be anywhere from 3-5 feet in length.  And of course, the body ends with a rattle at the tail.  This snake has a fairly limited range in Florida, only being seen in 9 counties, mostly northern and as far down as Volusia County. These snakes prefer bottomlands like riverbeds, swamps and cane thickets.  This snake should be given a wide berth.  Its coloring lends it to be camouflaged and if it doesn’t rattle, you can easily find yourself in a precarious situation.
  • The Dusky Pigmy Rattler.  Even though the name makes this snake seem less dangerous than the other venomous snakes in Florida, don’t be fooled.  The only thing different about this snake is its size.  The Dusky Pigmy Rattler has a length from 12 to 24 inches.  Its body is light to dark grey and its head has 9 large scales on it.  This snake has a reddish brown stripe going the length of its back that is interrupted by black splotches.  Its habitat is in the lowlands around lakes, ponds, marshes, swamps and prairies.  The bite is rarely deadly, but causes a lot of pain.  Before it strikes you may hear it rattle; it sounds like an insect buzzing.
  • The Eastern Coral Snake.  This is the most colorful snake on the venomous list. The snake can be anywhere from 20-30 inches.  The body of this snake has rings of black, yellow and red rings around its body. The Coral Snake’s tail is black and yellow, with no red rings.  These snakes are a bit secretive and are often found under debris or even in the ground.  The like both dry areas and wet areas, meaning they can be found anywhere. The bite of the Eastern Coral Snake is venomous and should be treated immediately.

So, there you have it.  Yes, you may encounter any one of these snakes while in Florida.  Stay away if possible and if the snake becomes a pest, contact a pest control specialist.

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