Above, volunteer Tommy Boggs is holding an albino red rat snake. Below, a
red rat snake and a yellow rat snake live peacefully together. Rat snakes
are non-poisonous and may grow to a length of 8 1/2 feet. They are beneficial
and feed on rodents, small mammals, birds and their eggs. Rat snakes are
known to be very powerful constrictors and excellent climbers. Their habitat
includes sandy pinelands, hammocks and fields.
The Indigo snake, above, is a semi-tropical snake of considerable value for
humans. They are protected by law wherever they are found. Maximum
length is about 8 1/2 feet. Indigo snakes are found in sandy soils and often
crawl into the burrow of the gopher tortoise. They feed on warm or cold
blooded prey such as small mammals, birds, frogs, lizards and other snakes,
including poisonous ones.
The southern king snake, above, is another harmless snake that feeds on
rodents, lizards, birds and small alligators. Like the rat snake, it
is a powerful constrictor and suffocates its prey. Maximum length of the
king snake is 6 feet. King snakes are oviparous in reproduction.
The highly venomous
cottonmouth, above, derives its name from its white fangs and white mouth.
Maximum length is 6 feet. The snake's habitat are the wetlands of Florida.
It is often referred to as a water moccasin. Many toxicologists consider
the venom of the cottonmouth more deadly than that of a rattle snake.
Diet includes both cold and warm blooded mammals.
The venomous timber
rattlesnake, above, and its cousin, the highly venomous Eastern diamond rattlesnake, below, are declining
in numbers. The habitat for these snakes is being removed by urban development.
Their strike is powerful and highly accurate. Their adult length is about
7 feet. They feed on rodents and small mammals. The diamond rattlesnake with
its huge fangs and enormous venom glands represents the maximum degree
Note head of Diamond Rattle snake in center of picture
The venomous Southern
copperhead snake is closely related to the cottonmouth and often referred
to as the "highland moccasin". The adult snake averages about 5
feet in length and prefers rocky ground with nearby wetlands. This snake
is more often found in Northern Florida counties.
||The venomous pygmy rattlesnake
is quite common throughout Florida. It can be found in palmetto flatwoods,
marshes and near lakes. Its rattle is small and can only be heard a few
feet away. Most pygmy rattlers measure less than 18 inches. They feed on
frogs, lizards, mice and other snakes.
Coral snakes, above, belongs to the most deadly known species
of snakes in the world. Their average length is only 2 feet.
They feed on frogs, lizards and other snakes. Coral snakes can be found
throughout Florida in dry, sandy soil as well as in marsh lands. Their
distinct markings are the triangular black head, followed by a bright
yellow band (bottom right corner of picture).