Copperhead. This species can be identified by the unique “Hershey kiss” pattern on its sides. FWC photo by Andy Wraithmell

Venomous snakes to watch out for in Florida

There are only six native venomous snakes in the Sunshine State.

This is a good time of year to brush up on your venomous snake knowledge as many species are leaving their hiding places and are more visible on the landscape.

Florida has a rich diversity of snakes and other reptiles which play an interesting and vital role in Florida’s complex ecology. Our 44 species of native snakes are found in every conceivable habitat, from coastal mangroves and saltmarshes to freshwater wetlands and dry uplands, and many species thrive in residential areas. However, there are just a few species that are commonly seen in developed area, although any snake may occasionally be found in urban settings.

Snakes occupy a valuable place in Florida’s ecosystem. For example, snakes help reduce rodent populations, which destroy crops and sometimes carry diseases which can infect people. Non-venomous snakes also consume venomous ones, and can help maintain ecosystem balances. Venomous snakes are also beneficial; for example, some rattlesnake species have been reported to consume ticks in their native ranges.

FWC warns, be sure to stay safe and admire them from a respectable distance.

Author: FWC
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