Around 3,500 snakes can be found worldwide except in Antarctica, Iceland, Ireland, Greenland, and New Zealand. Some snakes lay eggs, and some give live birth. Six hundred of them are poisonous. Only 200 kinds of venomous snakes can seriously hurt or kill people. Because of this, lethal snake bites are less frequent than one might imagine.
Learn how many snakes there are in the world, whether they are deaf, and which ones you should avoid! Snakes are notorious for instilling disgust and fear in humans. On the other hand, some cultures revered Snakes as symbols of healing and fertility. Whatever your feelings are about these reptiles, the fact remains that we must coexist with them.
So, How Many Species Of Snakes Are There?
Snakes can be called legless lizards or limbless reptiles. Given their solitary nature, it is impossible to determine the precise number of individual snakes. Estimates for specific species are, however, occasionally possible. For instance, according to scientific estimates, there could be up to 1 million common garter snakes in the wild.
Classification of Snakes
Existing snake populations are classified into three groups: snakes belong to the class Reptilia and the order Squamata. Serpentes (snakes) and Sauria are suborders of Squamata (lizards).
Scolecophidia, commonly known as blind snakes, burrow underground and are found in South America, Africa, Madagascar, southern Asia, and Australasia. These nonvenomous snakes have small eyes that are hidden beneath their head scales.
Alethinophidia, commonly referred to as pit vipers, boas, and pythons, have heat-sensitive pits between their eye and nostrils on each side of the head. These sensory organs help these snakes locate their prey. Alethinophidia is found in Africa, Asia, and North and South America.
Caenophidia, commonly called venomous snakes, have long, hinged fangs at the front of their mouths. These fangs are connected to glands that produce and store venom. Caenophidia is found on every continent except Antarctica.
Venomous Snake Families
Six families of poisonous snakes are currently recognized. These are:
Colubridae has small fangs that inject venom and are located at the mouth’s back. They are frequently harmless snakes to humans. Other than Antarctica, these snakes can be found all around the planet. The boomslang, the vine snake, and the Japanese garter snake are some of the more hazardous members of this family.
Elapidae have large populations in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australia, found in tropical and subtropical regions. Additionally, certain species are sea snakes and live in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. These highly venomous snakes have venom glands ranging from a few centimeters to over 5 meters. Sea snakes had to alter their physical qualities to adapt to marine life. The shape and size of the head and fangs are also variable. As a form of defense, some Elapidae have openings in their teeth from which they can spit venom.
A dangerous snake like the black mamba has a deadly snake bite. It is the second longest venomous snake and one of the most aggressive snakes with deadly snake venoms. Other snake species such as kraits, king cobra, and the false coral snake are also examples of Elapidae.
Hydrophidae, commonly called sea snakes, comprises 16 genera and up to 53 species. In contrast, the partially terrestrial Laticauda, or sea kraits, includes five species. They are found in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. These mildly venomous creatures have a flattened tail that they use as a rudder when swimming. Their tiny eyes are located on top of their head, and they have no external ears. Most species of Hydrophidae give birth to live young instead of laying eggs.
Most snakes like the Beaked sea snake, blue spotted sea snake, banded sea snake, Hardwick’s sea snake, yellow-bellied sea snake, and sea krait are among the essential species.
Viperidae is located in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia and is all home to vipers and pit vipers. These snakes can be identified by their vertical pupils, long hollow fangs in the front of their mouths, and triangular-shaped heads. More than 200 different species of Viperidae are divided into four subfamilies. The Russell’s viper, the carpet viper, the puff adder, the rattlesnakes, and the lance-head pit vipers are some of the most hazardous snakes to humans among these. Its subfamilies are Crotalinae and Viperanae.
Crotalinae includes venomous snakes such as copperheads, water moccasins, and rattlesnakes. Pit vipers get their name from heat-sensing glands (pits) on either side of their triangle-shaped head.
Their fangs are hollow, allowing snake venom to be delivered deep into tissues. Pit viper venom is a highly complex mixture of toxins, including metalloproteinases— which cause local tissue destruction, and thrombin-like proteins, which then cause coagulopathy.
Most snake species’ venom contains significant amounts of neurotoxins, such as phospholipase A2, which inhibits nerve transmission.
Viperinae, members of this subfamily range from Bitis schneideri, with a maximum total length of only 280 mm, to Gaboon Viper, with a complete full length of over 2 m, are members of this subfamily. Most terrestrial species are, but a few, like those in the genus Atheris or bush vipers, are entirely arboreal. Their absence of the heat-sensing pit organs makes them distinct.
Common Venomous Snakes In The U.S.
Most dangerous venomous snakes are found throughout the United States, with different species inhabiting different regions. About 30 other poisonous snake species can be found in the United States, including 23 different rattlesnakes, three different coral snake species, two different cottonmouth species, and two different copperhead species.
Copperhead snakes have copper-colored heads and a chestnut brown body. It has a diamond-shaped head and a thick body coated in scales with ridges and patches that resemble an hourglass.
The northern copperhead, one of the snake’s five subspecies, has the broadest distribution. They are spread out across the U.S. Florida’s Panhandle, Georgia, Alabama, as far north as Massachusetts, and as far west as Illinois are all where it can be found.
The cottonmouth snake is easily identified by its large head, bright white mouth, and light and dark patterns. The most common colors for a cottonmouth snake are black, brown, or olive; this helps to camouflage with their surroundings.
The cottonmouth can be found all year long in various aquatic environments in the southeastern United States, including cypress swamps, river floodplains, lakes, bays, and marshes. Their range includes Texas and southern Illinois, and there is some overlap between the northern cottonmouth and the Florida cottonmouth in Florida.
Most of them have backgrounds ranging from brown to grayish, although some have pinkish, red, or orange hues. These have a roughly rectangular beginning before taking on a diamond form as they descend the rear. Darker blotches cover their base color and run the length of their back.
They have a stripe on their head that begins just below the eye and runs diagonally down their head. The eyes of Western diamondback rattlesnakes are covered in scales and have oval pupils.
The Southwest U.S. and northern Mexico are home to western diamondback rattlesnakes. They prefer to live in arid desert and semi-desert environments. They frequently hide under vegetation or other cover materials, such as rocks, branches, and trash.
They have a body primarily gray, brown, or even pinkish, with dark vertical zigzag bands (often made of black or dark brown colors) contrasting against it. A straight orange or yellow stripe runs along the head and back. There are several recognized color morphs, including the black color morph and the yellow color morph.
Along the eastern half of the U.S., timber rattlesnakes can be found in various habitats, including rocky hills, hardwood woods, wetlands, and agricultural areas.
Mottled Rock rattlesnake
The Mottled Rock Rattlesnake can be found in the far southeast of New Mexico and other rugged and mountainous areas in the southwest of the United States. Steep slopes and rocky outcrops typically characterize its habitat. The coloration of this snake varies depending on its location, but it is typically marked by dark bars and little spots all over its body, giving it a mottled appearance.
Blacktail rattlesnakes come in a variety of colors, including greenish-yellow, olive-gray, yellowish, reddish-brown, and black. They have dark bands that run from their eyes to their tails. The Northern black-tailed rattlesnake has a dark gray or black tail. These snakes live in the mountains and low deserts of the southwest and central New Mexico.
The Mojave rattlesnake is a snake found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. It is similar in appearance to the Western rattlesnake, but it has a white band on its tail and a dark diamond pattern running down its back. It can come in varying colors, including olive-green, greenish-gray, and brown (sometimes with a greenish tint).
The prairie rattlesnake can be found throughout much of New Mexico. Its coloring varies, but it is typically brown, gray, or green with brown patches running along its back. These white borders surround oval-shaped dark blotches. Due to its keeled or ridged scales, the body has a harsh, desert-like texture.
Coral snakes are venomous elapids that are well-known for being extremely hazardous worldwide. They are one of the few snakes with a famous and unique, personal, and universal rhyme. Coral snakes have one of the most deadly venoms, despite not being nearly as dangerous as some vipers, like the saw-scaled viper or the Mojave rattlesnake.
All coral snakes have different combinations of yellow, black, white, and red rings. Although bi-colored coral snakes are occasionally seen, most of these tri-colored reptiles.
From North Carolina to Louisiana, encompassing the entire state of Florida, the southern coastal plains include coral snakes in a few isolated locations. In some portions of this range, they can be found in pine and scrub oak sandhill environments. Still, they also occasionally live in hardwood forests and pine Flatwoods that experience seasonal floods.
Non-Venomous Snake Families
Non-venomous snake families are much more diverse than venomous snake families. There are many different species of non-venomous snakes! The largest non-venomous snake in the world is the reticulated python, which can grow to be over 30 feet long!
There are many non-venomous snakes, but they can all be classified into four prominent families: colubrids, boas, pythons, and blind snakes.
Colubrids are the largest family of snakes and include species like garter snakes and corn snakes. Boas are a family of snakes that consists of some of the largest snakes in the world, like the anaconda. Pythons are a family of snakes closely related to boas and include the world’s longest snake, the reticulated python. Finally, blind snakes are a family of small, burrowing snakes that lack eyes.
Common Non-Venomous Snakes In The U.S.
There are many different snake species in the U.S. It has some of the most diverse populations of snakes. These scaly reptiles thrive because of the state’s tropical environment, year-round sunshine, and proximity to water. We’ll examine several snakes today, focusing on the non-venomous varieties.
Black pine snake
The black pine snake is a big, heavy snake with a cream or tan background color and a reddish-brown splotch pattern. Some pine snakes are light-colored and lack any pattern, while others may even appear to be entirely black.
These snakes may be found throughout the state except for the Keys, Everglades, and the southwest part of the state. They are most frequently seen in pine and turkey-oak stands, as their name would imply. Pine snakes occasionally inhabit residential environments and dig in arid, sandy soil.
The black racer is a long, thin snake with a cream-colored or white chin and a black body. Young snakes resemble juvenile corn snakes because they are brownish and frequently have reddish markings. The moniker “racer” refers to the swiftness with which they are reputed to flee from danger.
The Florida Keys is home to these snakes.
Some of the most attractive snakes are corn snakes. These medium-sized snakes can reach lengths of four feet. Although they come in a variety of colors, the majority of Florida’s species have a gray or white body and a vivid red or orange pattern across their backs. Their name comes from the checkerboard pattern on their belly, which is black and white.
All of Florida, including the Keys, has corn snakes. They are also sold in stores and maintained as pets.
The eastern coachwhip is a long, thin snake with a maximum length of 4-5 feet. The adult eastern coachwhips have a peculiar two-toned appearance due to their pale tan bodies and exceptionally dark brown or black necks and heads. They also have noticeable golden irises.
Florida’s mainland is home to the eastern coachwhip.
Mississippi green water snake
The size of the green water snake is comparable to that of the other snakes on the list. This snake is thick, with narrow patterns running down its back and sides, and its background is a dark green tint. Although people frequently identify it as “green,” it can also be confused with brown or olive.
You can find this snake only along coastal Escambia County in the far western Panhandle.
Need Help With Snakes On Your Property?
If you need help with snakes on your property, AAAC Wildlife Removal is the best company to call. We’ll take care of the problem quickly and efficiently so you can feel safe in your home.
We’ll also ensure that no other snakes can get into your home, so you won’t have to worry about these slithery creatures again. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!
Now that’s just a portion of snake species! It is pretty impossible to memorize all of the information stated above. Still, at least you are now familiar with parts of venomous species and nonvenomous species. From now on, whenever you see a snake, you can impress your friends with some of your newfound knowledge.
If you have any questions or concerns about snakes on your property or want to learn more about the dangers associated with different snake species, contact AAAC Wildlife Removal!
To explore the dangers of snakes and gain a deeper understanding of various snake species, click here: snake species.