USA Venomous Snakes

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by tacmotusn, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    It is important to know how to recognize snakes. If you do get bitten, you will be able to give the necessary information at the hospital so that they can administer the right anti-venom. Today I will show you X of the most common poisonous snakes in the US and tell you all you need to know about them. Take note, many hospitals will administer no antivenin until you have shown all the symptoms of a specific US venomous snake. It make little difference to them how well you can tell one from another. I assume this is an insurance liability thing. If you can somehow without further endangering yourself, and have already called for assistance and or have people with you capable of getting you to medical attention asap, I would seriously consider killing the snake dead dead dead, and taking the damn thing with you so they will administer antivenin ASAP.

    1. Coral Snake

    Looks: You can spot the quite easy because of their alternating, red, yellow, and black bands in this order. Remember it well because there are other snakes that have the same colors, but different patterns. Those snakes aren't poisonous, but take my advice: stay clear of any snake, just to be on the safe side.

    Coral snakes are shorter than other venomous snakes. They average about 40 inches and have smaller mouths and fangs.

    Habitat: They are usually found in dry areas with lots of shrub in southern and eastern U.S. Most of the time they stay hidden underground or under leaf litter. You'll see them more active after it rains or in the breeding season. Note that there's an aquatic species, so be careful where you go to cool off in the summer.

    Temper: Unless threatened, they won't bite or act aggressive. But if they do decide to bite, they hold on and won't let go. This is due to the fact that their venom takes longer to deliver.

    2. The Diamondback Rattlesnake

    Looks: Different species of rattlesnakes have different colorings, but they all have 2 things in common: the diamond pattern and the rattle. Diamondbacks grow to about 3.5-5.5 ft. long. The ones found on the eastern part of the US grow even bigger, reaching 7 ft.

    Habitat: You'll find them on the southern border of the United States from Florida to Baja California. You'll often find them basking in the sun's rays on a rock, so admire them from a far and move on without disturbing them. The eastern species have been known to climb and are excellent swimmers, so be careful.

    Temper: They'll often stand their ground and can strike repeatedly from a distance up to 2/3 of their body size. The attacks are lightning fast so stay as far away as possible from them. Diamondbacks have one of the deadliest venoms and people have died within hours of being bitten.

    3. The Mojave Rattlesnake

    Looks: It's similar to the diamondback, only the overall coloration is green-greyish and it grows to 3.4-5 ft. long.

    Habitat: As you might've guessed from its name, you can run across it primarily in the Mojave Desert. That's why be extra careful when you go to the Grand Canyon. They are common in wide expanses of desert and can often be found near scrub brush. They hibernate during the winter.

    Temper: They are quite aggressive, especially towards humans.

    4. Cottonmouth Snakes

    Looks: They have a brown, gray, tan, yellowish olive or blackish coloring segmented by dark crossbands. While normally they are about 2 ft. long, some have been known to grow to nearly 6 ft. Their name comes from the white interior of their mouths, which can be seen if the snake feels threatened.

    Habitat: This is an aquatic snake found in the south and southeast part of the United States. Everything from make creeks, streams, marshes, and lakes are home to the cottonmouth. They're active both in the day time and night time and if it's too hot, you might run into them in the shade.

    Temper: You know the saying: all bark and no bite? This applies to the cottonmouth. They often engage in a showy threat display without attacking by shaking their tail and letting a musky secretion rip from their anal glands. This doesn't mean that it won't bite if you push it into a corner. As with any poisonous snake, leave it alone.

    5. Copperhead Snakes

    Looks: Copperhead snakes are identified by their coppery colored head and neck. Adults reach lengths of 2 to 4 feet.

    Habitat: They can be found near water in the forests and woodlands of eastern US.

    Temper: If they feel directly threatened (you try to touch or pick them up) they will bite. Most venomous snakes flee when people are around, but the copperhead does the exact opposite. It freezes in place, which leads to humans stepping on it. Their bite isn't lethal if treated properly, but it is extremely painful.

    There are of course many other venomous snakes all around the world, but knowing where to look and how to spot the ones that are around our country, may safe your or a loved one's life one day.

    As I stated before, and I cannot stress this enough: If you come across ANY type of snake, go the other way. It's safer and wiser.
    One last thing I would like to add to this plagiarized article; Their are many color variations I am aware of that are not represented with the two different pics of rattle snakes here. Anyone who can add to that please post and Identify additional US rattlesnakes and the area where the pic is taken.
  2. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Cottonmouth all bark & no bite? I must strenuously disagree!

    An easy way to remember the color scheme for a coral snake is "black to yellow, kill a fellow. Red to black, venom lack"

    If in doubt, go 'round about ;)
  3. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @techsar I forgot about that saying... my problem has always been, where does the black begin ;)
    techsar likes this.
  4. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Doesn't matter @Ganado will either have yellow on both sides, or red on both sides.
    Ganado likes this.
  5. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    oh, that's how you tell, I could never figure that out.. Thanks!! the info is much appreciated!
    i think the way I heard it was this
    "black to yellow, kill a fellow. black to red not so dead"
    techsar likes this.
  6. Wheelsucker

    Wheelsucker Out of Airspeed, Altitude & Ideas

    Having been chased out of a lake by a cottonmouth (and nearly managed to walk on water) I'd say they are very territorial and aggressive. He was beaten to a pulp with a hoe by dad who was waiting on shore.
    Bandit99 and techsar like this.
  7. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I too have experience this 'walk on water' phenomena when being chased by a cotton mouth =)
    Bandit99, techsar and Wheelsucker like this.
  8. Wheelsucker

    Wheelsucker Out of Airspeed, Altitude & Ideas

    I heard it as: "red on black, friend of jack, red on yellow, kill a fellow"
    Bandit99 and techsar like this.
  9. Wheelsucker

    Wheelsucker Out of Airspeed, Altitude & Ideas

    It's motivating! Toss one in the pool at the Olympics and see the records fall!
  10. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I agree completely. In fact in my experience of 55-60 years rambling around where Water Moccasins / Cotton Mouths can be found I have found them to be aggressive to the point of having to kill it or run. Was not afraid of me at all and was intentionally advancing on me even when I changed course more than once.
    Ganado and techsar like this.
  11. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I must live a charmed life in a country where every critter is a killer. :eek:

    Although the following link pertains to Australian reptiles, there is useful information about best practice for treating snakebite.
    What Snake Is That - Snake Identification
    Ganado likes this.
  12. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Monkey+++ Founding Member

  13. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Found this in my backyard earlier this year, within an hour of it being shed...needless to say my visits to the under house storage are for the next few weeks was tentative....

  14. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    A lot of bites every year are from dead snakes, they still have a reflex action that can leave you bitten. After you kill one be sure to safely cut off the head and bury it where a dog or kid can't dig it up and get hurt.

    I've seen rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths all up in trees and shrubs, so I know they all will climb. Have had cottonmouths drop in the boat from low hanging limbs around lake edges, always a fun event. Got bitten 3 times on my left forearm by a copperhead while cutting down a small sapling in thick brush. Happened so fast I didn't realize what was going on until it was too late. The itch makes a brown recluse bite itch seem tame, and I was sick with it for 3 weeks. There are also long term after effects too which lasted about a year after the event for me.

    The ones that really get my adrenaline pumping are the cottonmouths which are more likely to come at you when you get in their territory, and they are fast. If your in the water you need to keep a lookout 360 degrees around your position. They can bite you while they are under water too.

    Around here some of the copperheads are a tan while others are brilliant copper, even on their bellies. Rattlesnakes are the timber variety and they vary in color also, some have a thin orange streak that runs down their back, while others will be all black. Cottonmouths are a light dirty tan color, but I've seen pictures of black ones in Florida.

    Wearing boots helps to protect you, watch where you put your hands, be careful around woodpiles, rock piles, stacked brush, and boulder outcroppings. Use a light after dark as these critters are nocturnal.
  15. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Granted it isn't US variety, (therefore off topic) but here's one in my experience, just not direct experience. Python vs. calf.


  16. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    You Aussies are too nice to big snakes. Or so it seems. I am sure someone owned the calf and thus were unhappy. The way the snake is trussed up, unless you all strangled it (is that even possible?), it would appear to be alive and thus a threat. Too late for the calf I would surmise, so why not either let the damn thing go or kill it and eat it? Just wondering?
  17. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Monkey+++ Founding Member

    That's not in Australia.
    Brokor likes this.
  18. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    One fine example of a Mohave rattler. Note the green coloration. This picture was taken about 3/4 of a mile from the BOL on the access road. Never found any snakes on the BOL itself. That doesn't mean they aren't there, just means I haven't seen any in the 12+ years of busting brush on the property. It also doesn't mean I'm not constantly watching for them.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
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  19. svjoe

    svjoe Angry Monkey

    Hate to say it, but a cottonmouth will mess your day up! Tons of em around here; also known as a water moccasin. Got these bastards as well and have killed several in the yard:
    Timber (Canebrake) Rattlesnake
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  20. svjoe

    svjoe Angry Monkey

    Killed by a friend of mine not to far from the house last week......... dead_snake.
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