O-Ri—Including the Rattlesnake

Pine Snakes

The pine snake can be found in pine forests. They prefer sandy soils where their tan color gives them good camouflage. Adults can reach a size of almost 70 inches (1.7 m).

They can be found all over Florida in few numbers, except in the southernmost part of Florida. The number of pine snakes is unfortunately decreasing.

They feed on rats, squirrels, rabbits, birds, and eggs. They are not venomous but strong enough to constrict their prey.

If the snakes feel threatened, they will make a very distinct hissing, which is hard to miss if the snake feels you are a threat.

A pine snake

Pine Woods Snake

Coming soon...

Plainbelly Water Snake

The plainbelly water Snake is a quite common snake in aquatic habitats such as rivers and lakes and swamps but is only found in Northern Florida. It can reach a length of more than 50 inches, and females are usually longer than males.

They feed on fish, tadpoles, and salamanders found in their natural habitat. They give live birth to anywhere from five to 50 juveniles that are born from August to September.

There are two sub-species of this snake found in Florida: the redbelly and the yellow belly plainbelly water snake.

Queen Snake

Coming soon...

Rainbow Snake—a.k.a. South Florida Rainbow Snake

Rainbow snakes are not often seen by most people in Florida since they are shy animals preferring to stay far away from humans.

It has a lot of red and yellow stripes on it, which has given it its name.

It is almost always found in aquatic, habitats and it is one of the largest species of snakes found in Florida.

These non-venomous snakes can reach a length of more than four feet (1.3 m) and feed on eels and fish they capture.

The pictures is from North Carolina - but it still is a queen snake

Rat Snakes

There are three types of rat snakes in Florida: the gray, the yellow, and the Everglades rat snake. They are very common in Florida and do a good job keeping populations of rodents low. They are quite large animals. Lengths of more then four feet (1.3 m) are not uncommon.

They are most often encountered in swampy areas or humid forest areas. They also enjoy feeding on birds and eggs, causing people with chickens to often catch the snake stealing and eating the eggs. They are not venomous and put an end to their prey by constriction.

A black rat snake with some grey in it - probably an intergrade

Florida Rattlesnakes

This snake is dangerous and venomous and should be left on its own. Adult Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes usually reach a length of anywhere from 30 to 70 inches, some up to almost a hundred inches.

Eastern diamondbacks have a brownish ground color and different colored tail, usually more grayish. Rattlesnakes are known for their rattle at the end of their tails. The tail of newborn rattlesnakes ends in a button, which is actually the first segment of a future rattle.

Other rattlesnakes are described below.


Diamondbacks are found all over Florida. They are even found in the Keys. They are extremely fast, so watch out. At the end of this video, the camera man is almost hit by the snake. Let it be a warning.

Life Cycle

The litter size of rattlesnakes is 8-12 hatchlings. Rattlesnakes give live birth to their offspring. In reality, the egg is broken inside the female some time before the birth. Rattlesnakes look after their offspring for a week or two after their birth.

During the winter, they hibernate in snake dens. A group of snakes hibernates at the same spot in the same crevice. They get out of hibernation from the end of April to the mid of May.


An ideal habitat for rattlesnakes involves a lot of rodents nearby, warm temperatures, and no disturbances. Rattlesnakes prefer to hunt and mate on relatively small areas, so everything needed must be within a mile or so.

Timber Rattlesnake

The average size of the timber rattlesnake is from 3 to 4.5 feet. Its coloration consists of two base colors: black and yellow, with dark crossbands. Like other rattlesnakes, it has a sensory organ used to detect its prey.

They are active from April to October, and every three to five years females give birth to 4-14 young rattlesnakes in the period from late August to September. It's almost a live birth since young rattlesnakes emerge in a membrane that is broken in a few minutes. They shed their skin once every second year.

Every time they change skin, another rattle is added to their tail. Timber rattlesnakes are only found in Northern Florida.

Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake

This is the most often encountered rattlesnake in Florida. A more detailed description of this snake is on its way.


It is possible to find three types of black racers (BR) in Florida. First there's the Southern black racer, and then there's the Everglades racer, and lastly the brownchin racer. All are constrictors and, hence, non-venomous. Racers are fast and slender. The Southern BR is shiny black while the Everglade BR is gray, but both have white bellies. Southern BRs are found throughout the state, while the Everglades BR is only found south of Lake Okeechobee.

A black racer - the picture is from Maine, not Florida

Redbelly Snake

It's possible to find two sub-species of the redbelly snake in Florida. The largest is the Northern redbelly snake, and the smallest is the Florida redbelly snake. The length of the Northern redbelly snake is from eight to 16 inches, while Florida redbelly is a bit smaller.

Adult Florida redbelly snakes are thin with a head darker than the rest of their body. This is not the case for the Northern redbelly snake. It does not have a dark head. Both snakes are uncommon, but the Florida redbelly is sometimes seen in pinelands, marshes, or bogs, while the Northern redbelly prefers mountain areas or slopes. Both feed on small animals like snails and earthworms and both are live bearing.

Ribbon Snake

Coming soon...

Rim Rock Crowned Snake

Adult rim rock crowned snakes (RRCS) have a black head and chin while the rest of the body has an off-white, almost pinkish, color. The body of younger individuals is almost red. This species is not found anywhere other than Florida, and in Florida it's very rare. It can be found in the Monroe and Dade counties only. Some species have been found elsewhere in Florida, but there may not be a thriving population of RRCSs there. It feeds on invertebrates, such as insects, snails, worms, and spiders.

Ringneck Snake

Coming soon...

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