Snake Identification Guide

Learn About Snake Anatomy, Life Cycle, etc.

  Print Article By DoMyOwn staff


All About Snakes

There are over 200 types of snakes in North America. Of these, there are less than 20 species of snakes in the United States that have venom that is considered medically significant for humans and domesticated mammals. Snakes are reptiles that vary greatly in size, color, diet and lifespan. Some snakes lay eggs and other snake species give birth to live young. Snakes are particularly active in the warmest months of the year when their food sources are plentiful.

What Do Snakes Eat?

Snakes eat rats, mice, insects, bird eggs and other small animals.

Snake Facts

There are many myths that snakes do not have lungs or hearts. Snakes do in fact have two lungs, one small left lung and one larger right lung, and one heart.

NOTE: Many non-venomous snakes look very much like venomous snakes. With this in mind we encourage you to use extreme caution when trying to handle snakes on your property

Snakes shed skin as they grow. This means that young snakes or snakelets, can start out only a few inches long. Native US snakes can reach up to about 9 feet in length when fully grown.

NOTE: In the Southeastern United States, particularly Florida, non-native or invasive species of snakes have been introduced into the wild. Many of these species have been able to successfully breed and thrive in the tropical conditions. Some species of pythons that have been introduced can reach lengths over 20+ feet.

  • Snakes are cylindrical
  • Snakes do not have legs
  • Snakes have two eyes without eyelids
  • Snakes have a mouth that is capable of opening very wide
  • Snakes do not have fur
  • Snakes have scales that can be smooth or rough

Snakes can range in color from solid black to lime green. Some snake species have elaborate patterns on their bodies in many different colors. Some snakes appear to be very shiny and others quite dull.

Snakes live in every state of the US.

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