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Most Venomous Snakes in the United States

Updated on July 12, 2014
Coral Snakes
Coral Snakes

Coral Snake Bites

# 1 Coral Snake

Coral snakes are most well known for their bright coloration. In fact their coloring has created a few sayings to help individuals remember which brightly colored snakes are poisonous coral snakes. “Red on yellow, venom fellow; red on black, safe from attack.” The coral snakes in North America contain some of the most potent venom, however, humans do not often come across Coral Snakes. In fact there are only 15-25 Coral Snake bites recorded each year. Coral Snakes often have very tiny heads and spend most of their time hidden away or under rocks. Even though they stay mostly out of the way of humans if bitten a human could experience respiratory failure and paralysis.

Cottonmouth Snake

Cottonmouth Snake
Cottonmouth Snake
Cottonmouth Distribution
Cottonmouth Distribution

# 2 Cottonmouth

The Cottonmouth is also known as a Water Moccasin. The Cottonmouth is a pit viper, whose inside of its mouth is a bright white, hence the name Cottonmouth. The Cottonmouth can grow anywhere from 37-71 inches long and it is one of the few snakes that is also aquatic. Cottonmouth snakes can be found near water, lakes, creek, rivers, or swampy areas. Most Cottonmouth snakes are black but some can have gray, brown, or tan coloring. This species of snake can be found in Eastern United States and in the Southern United States. Like most snakes the Cottonmouth’s diet includes some small mammals, turtles, frogs, toads, fish, birds, and other snakes. The Cottonmouth’s venom is more powerful than a Copperhead’s venom but fatalities are very rare.


Copperhead Video

# 3 Copperhead Snakes

The Copperhead is a member of the Pitt Viper family and it is the most common snake to bite in North America. This species of snake can grow to be 2-3 feet in length and it is a grayish brown color. It may even seem pink in places. The Copperhead snake seems to like habitats that are swampy, rocky, or located in a forest. They are ambush predators, which means they wait in stillness for their prey to come near. All Copperhead snakes of the copper coloring at the top their head and they have two heat sensing pits to strike their prey with great accuracy. Copperheads have a color that helps it blend in with dry leaves, compost, and old stumps, so often they are stepped on by humans or humans get too close without realizing. Copperheads eat mice, large insects, birds, toads, frogs, and other some mammals. The Copperhead is located northeaster United States, Southern United States and parts of Central United States

Timber Rattlesnake
Timber Rattlesnake

Timber Rattlesnake

# 4 Timber Rattlesnake

The Timber Rattlesnake has a triangular shaped head and can grow to be anywhere from 36-58 inches long. Timber Rattlesnakes can be yellow, black, brown, or grey in color and they have a rattle on the end of their tails, which they will shake as a warning to predators prior to striking. Timber Rattlers live in dense forest and rocky cliffs. Their coloration allows them to easily blend in with their surroundings. These Rattlers can live 12-24 years of age. Overall the Timber Rattlesnake is a docile animal and will not strike unless provoked. They are also a threatened animal due to loss of habitat so they are protected in many states.


The Sidewinder

Sidewinder Location
Sidewinder Location

# 5 The Sidewinder

The Sidewinder is found in the desert areas of North America, where there is little to no vegetation. The coloration of this species is that of sand. It can appear to be a light pink, tan, brown, or gray, in order to match its desert surroundings. One of the most noticeable physical attributes on a Sidewinder snake are the two protruding scales that appear over the snake’s eyes, which look like horns. Sidewinder also move in a very unique way, which is how they got their name. Sidewinders, move in a J-shape slither, which is very different from how other snakes move across the land. Sidewinders usually bury themselves in the sand and wait for their prey to cross their path before ambushing their prey.


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      You should never kill snkeas,(or any other living thing) especially if you don't even know they are poisonous. This certain snake is not poisonous. I too live in Costa Rica, Playa Zancudo to be exact, and I'm ashamed you make living things here so disposable.Yes, I feel bad for the dog, being married to a vet we are always treating dogs for all kinds of bites and other things, but this is life, treat it well. Carol

    • Neuendorffspeaks profile image


      4 years ago from Old West End Toledo, Ohio

      Wonderful Hub. Well done and informative.

    • susanmariaharris profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Harris 

      4 years ago from Earth

      Thank you so much Alphadogg I was inspired to write this hub after running into an unknown snake in the forest with my three young sons. Ends up it wasn't a dangerous snake but I suddenly felt like I needed to know some of the venomous snakes.

    • Alphadogg16 profile image

      Kevin W 

      4 years ago from Texas

      As an avid reptile lover, this was a very interesting & informative hub susanmariaharris. I am fascinated with snakes & own a Python. This is great for people who like to live & play out doors, they know what to avoid. Thumbs up on your hub.


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