There are only four types of venomous snakes located in the United States. Many states do not have venomous snakes, but it is good to know what they are in case you ever visit states where they live.
The following 3 snakes are called vipers. That means they have a large, arrowhead shaped head and large teeth we call fangs that can put poison in you when they bite. They have other ways to identify them, but you don’t want to get that close to them.
- Rattlesnakes live in some part of every state in the United States except Maine, Delaware, Alaska, and Hawaii. They have many different types of design on their back, but the common thing is the rattle on the end of their tail. They shake their tail and make a rattling sound to warn you not to come too close. Turn around and go the other way and find an adult.
- Cottonmouths (also called water moccasins) live in the southeastern states including: Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina. They can be very black or a dark brownish green. Sometimes you can see a pattern on their back, but their belly is usually a speckled light color. They do not live in the water, but usually are found within several miles of water. They do not like it when people come in the area they live in and they have a very stinky smell. Stay away from these mean snakes.
- Copperheads come in three different types. They are related to the cottonmouth. They are found in the southeastern states including, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Their pattern is a little more difficult to identify. Like the Rattlesnake and the Cottonmouth, they have a large head and large fangs. Go get an adult if you see one.
The fourth snake found in the United States is not a viper.
- The coral snake is found in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The coral is not a viper. It does not have a big head, or big fangs. Its head is the same size as the rest of its body. It has small fangs in the back of its mouth. It is very pretty, but it is venomous. There are some non-venomous snakes that look like it. If you see a snake that is red and yellow and black, just leave it alone. That is the safest thing to do.