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Snakes of Louisiana

Louisiana has abundant wildlife, including reptiles such as snakes and turtles. All are welcome in Yvonne's backyard wildlife habitat.


A Snake in the Grass is a Good Thing

Snakes are probably one of the most controversial of all the reptiles. You either love them or hate them. Snakes are a very important link in the food chain and without them our earth would be overrun with vermin and harmful insects. Here in Louisiana there are many beautiful and beneficial non-venomous (non-poisonous) and venomous (poisonous) snakes so anyone who loves the outdoors should learn to identify them at an early age. This page is about coexisting in harmony with the Snakes of Louisiana.

Many of the photos seen here can be purchased in Naturegirl7's Zazzle Shop as print-on-demand products such as posters, cards, apparel, mugs, etc.

Holding Kingsnake photo is copyright Y.L. Bordelon, All Rights Reserved, as are other photos on this page (unless noted otherwise).

Snakes In Our Habitat

Here in Louisiana there are only 6 types of poisonous or venomous snakes and a multitude of non-poisonous ones. My husband has been interested in reptiles since he was a child and his Mother used to take him to Fountainbleau State Park in Mandeville and the Gulf Coast. It was standard procedure to search him before he was allowed in the car for the trip home.

Here in our habitat on the Tchefuncte River we do not kill any snake, even Water Moccasins. When we first moved here, a friend who lived nearby urged us to kill ALL poisonous snakes on our property, but we believe that all snakes are beneficial to the environment as a whole. To avoid accidents, we cut wide trails and watch where we walk. Al discourages those poisonous snakes that insist on lurking near the path by using a long stick to flip them back into the water.

During rainy periods, when the water rises, all water snakes spend more time on the high ground because their normal holes and dens are flooded. We know that we must be alert during these times.


Young Black Racer Postcard on Zazzle


Snakes are a Very Important Link in the Food Chain and in the Cycle of Life

Snakes and Other Reptiles Shed Their Skin


When we walk through our habitat, we often find snake skins. In fact, we found several, very large skins in our attic that came from a rat snake that visited it in search of the mice that got in when the house was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Now we don't have a problem with mice in the attic.

We think that the skin in the photo above belonged to a very large rat snake. You can see how it rubbed on leaves and branches to work the skin off. The head is somewhere behind the log on the left. We estimate that this snake was over 5 feet long.

When a snake (or any reptile) sheds its skin it is called ecdysis. Snakes shed their skins in one piece, including the eye caps. This is usually done about once a month. There are many factors which affect how often a snake sheds, such as: the species, its age, nutritional and reproductive status, the presence of skin parasites or bacteria and the temperature and humidity. Usually younger snakes shed more frequently than adults and shedding often precedes mating and giving birth.

You can tell that a snake is going to shed by the following signs:

  • Its skin becomes dull looking.

  • Its eyes become cloudy or bluish.

  • The snake becomes nervous because it can not see well. For this reason, Snakes may be a little more aggressive right before they shed.

Check out our Photo Gallery on Cottonmouth Moccasin Snake to see photos of a Cottonmouth that is preparing to shed.

Scroll to Continue


Reference: Drs. Foster & Smith

Most of the Time, If You Leave Snakes Alone, They Will Leave You Alone.

Diamond-back Watersnake Postcard on Zazzle


Some of Louisiana's Non-venomous Snakes

There are countless numbers of beneficial non-poisonous snakes in Louisiana. These snakes do a great service for us, by eating vermin and insects. Of course some of them also eat birds, but this is the cycle of life so it is as nature intended. The following is a list of non-poisonous snakes. Most have links to more information and I will be adding photos of the ones that are common here in Southeastern Louisiana. I have also written individual lenses about several of the more common species here in the habitat. Some of the photos are of our resident snake handler who has years of experience doing this sort of thing, so kids, don't try this at home.

King / Milksnakes

Louisiana Milksnake

mole kingsnake

prairie kingsnake

scarlet kingsnake


Scarlet King Snake Postcard by eaglelady1

speckled kingsnake


Buy Speckled Kingsnake Poster by naturegirl7 on Zazzle.

Water Snakes

Yellow Bellied Water Snake

Yellow Bellied Water Snake

yellow-bellied water snake (Picture Above by Y.L. Bordelon)

blotched water snake

broad-banded water snake (Picture below by Y.L. Bordelon)

Broad banded Water Snake

Broad banded Water Snake

diamondback water snake

Diamond-back Watersnake Poster on Zazzle


Gulf salt marsh snake

midland water snake

Mississippi green water snake


Buttermilk Racer

Buttermilk Racer



black-masked racer

Buttermilk Racer photo is

Creative Commons

Eastern Coachwhip

Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer

Southern Black Racer

Black Racer Sensing Poster on Zazzle


Black Racer Sensing Poster by naturegirl7

Tan Racer

Texas Rat Snake with (Rat) Lumps

Texas Rat Smale with Lump

Texas Rat Smale with Lump

Texas Rat Snake

Corn Snake


References: and Dundee, Harold A. and Douglas A. Rossman, The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana.

Corn Snake image is public domain.

Yellow Rat Snake Postcard on Zazzle


Yellow Rat Snake Postcard by lisawilliamspostcard

Other Non-Poisonous Snakes

Pine Snakes, Brown Snakes, Worm Snakes and Mud Snakes

Black Pine Snake

Louisiana Pine Snake

Florida Red-bellied Snake

Marsh Brown Snake

Midland Brown Snake

Midland Brown Snake


Midland Brown Snake photo Creative Commons

Texas Brown Snake


Texas Brown Snake Photo Creative Commons

Midwest Worm Snake

Western Worm Snake


Western Worm Snake photo Creative Commons

Western Mud Snake

References: and Dundee, Harold A. and Douglas A. Rossman, The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana.


Rainbow and Eastern Hognose Snakes

Rainbow Snake in Georgia

Rainbow Snake in Georgia

Rainbow Snake photo permission for any purpose

Rainbow Snake

Eastern Hognose Snake (Pictured below, by Y.L. Bordelon)

Hognose Playing Dead

Hognose Playing Dead

Hognose Playing Dead

Crawfish Snakes, Earth Snakes, Garter / Ribbon Snakes, Crowned / Flat-headed Snakes

Delta Crawfish Snake

Graham's Crawfish Snake

Gulf Crawfish Snake

Rough Earth Snake

Western Earth Snake

Eastern Ribbon Snake (Pictured below, by Y.L. Bordelon)

More Ribbon Snakes

Ribbon Snakes

Ribbon Snakes

Delta Crawfish Snake

Western Ribbon Snake

Gulf Coast Ribbon Snake

Eastern Garter Snake

Flat-headed Snake

Southeastern Crowned Snake

Baby Ribbon Snake

Baby Ribbon Snake

Baby Ribbon Snake

Ring Neck Snake

Ring Neck Snake

Ring Neck Snake

Mississippi Ringneck Snake (Pictured above, by Y.L. Bordelon)

Northern Scarlet Snake

Pine Woods Snake

Rough Green Snake (Pictured Below, by Y.L. Bordelon)

References: and Dundee, Harold A. and Douglas A. Rossman, The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana.

Rough Green Snake by Y.L. Bordelon

Rough Green Snake by Y.L. Bordelon

Rough Green Snake by Y.L. Bordelon

Favorite Snake Poll

Encyclopedia of Snakes

Cottonmouth Fishing on Zazzle


Dogs and Venomous Snake

Recently, during a high water period, our Cocker Spaniel, 2nd Chance, encountered a Water Moccasin with a particularly nasty disposition.


As I look back on the incident, Chance is sort of a hero. I had my back turned and was standing about 3 feet away looking up into the trees for a water bird that had flown from Pruden Creek and Chance got between me and the snake. I heard a yip and a scuffle and turned in time to see Chance swinging a medium sized water moccasin back and forth as it hung from his neck. The snake finally dropped from Chance's throat and began to slither away as Chance lunged at him. I yelled for Al and got the leash on Chance and tried to take him in the opposite direction while Al herded the snake away from us. Chance still wanted a piece of that snake and followed it until it escaped into a hole. When I felt Chance's throat, there was blood, so I knew he had been bitten.

Cottonmouth Sunning Postcard on Zazzle


Our Vet told us years ago that unless it is an extraordinarily large poisonous snake, that dogs usually do not react like we do to the venom. Usually Benadryl given after the bite will suffice, but when they are bitten around the throat area, the wound can become abscessed, so more care must be given. We normally take our cell phone when we walk the dogs to the river, so we called Dr. Rusty and he said to bring him in. He shaved the area and sure enough, there were 2 fang marks, right in the middle of his throat. He cleaned the wound with hydrogen peroxide and gave him 3 shots (Cortisone, Benadryl and Penicillin) plus a weeks worth of antibiotic pills. We were told to watch for swelling and signs of an infection.


Snakes of the World Book

Snakes of the World Book

Dover Coloring Book: Snakes of the World

Dover Coloring Books: Snakes of the World
Dover coloring books are high quality productions using heavy white opaque paper, with first-rate artwork and informative text and captions. When I taught school, I used many Dover images in my thematic units.

Normally, A Snake Would Rather Flee Than Fight

Cottonmouth Water Moccasin Poster on Zazzle


Buy Cottonmouth Moccasin Poster by naturegirl7 on Zazzle

Louisiana's Poisonous Snakes

This is the list of all the poisonous snakes that are indigenous to the state of Louisiana. These are the only ones that could be dangerous or harmful, but even they have their place in nature and should be left alone if they are not threatening life or limb.Coral Snakes, Moccasins (Copperheads and Cottonmouths) and Rattlesnakes

   A. Eastern Coral Snake Texas Coral Snake

   B. western Pygmy Rattlesnake

   C. Copperhead

   D. Cottonmouth

   E. Timber (Canebrake) Rattlesnake

   F. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake



Photo reference: Dundee, Harold A. and Douglas A. Rossman. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana. LSU Press, 1989

Venomous Snakes of the Southeast

A great book about the venomous snakes that you may encounter in the Southeastern United States.

Snakes of North America and Canada

An excellent book for identifying these North American reptiles.


Slinky Scaly Slithery Snakes Book & CD

Slinky Scaly Slithery Snakes
Your little reptile lover will love to read and listen to this wonderful, informative book.

More Books for the Snakelings

Snakes Poll

Rattlesnake Video

Black Racer Hunting Postcard on Zazzle


Keeping Snakes

Many people enjoy keeping snakes as pets. There are many habitats, products and books available for snake fanciers.

The Art of Keeping Snakes

Snake Keeping Habitats and Equipment

Pet Snake Poll

Our lens was featured on Giant Community Showcase and this is what they had to say about it:

I Don't Like Spiders and Snakes

October 9th, 2008

But I do want to know what I'm up against if I ever run into one. That's why lenses like new Giant lensmaster Naturgirl7's Snakes of Louisiana are so great! I can get up close and personal without really getting up close and personal with something I am a little bit fearful of.

The lens makes fantastic use of photos, articles, links, and video to help the reader truly understand the world of these somewhat creepy but oh so beneficial reptiles. It discusses both poisonous and non-poisonous snakes native to Louisiana and points out the benefits of both in nature. Naturegirl7's lens is fun to read yet highly educational.

What knowledge do you have to share with the world? What are you an expert at? Sometimes we overlook the obvious when we think about that question. Sometimes we reach too far. Naturegirl7 could have made a lens about snakes in general but by localizing her lens to her own region, she actually shares more by concentrating on less.

By sharing something she knows about her own "backyard" she's opened up that backyard to the world and become the Snakes of Louisiana expert.

© 2008 Yvonne L B

Scratch Out a line for Us.

Snakesmum on April 17, 2014:

Great lens, with some awesome photos. Thanks for including one of my lenses in your lists above. Snakes make great pets!

chantel-nunur on March 11, 2014:

I have a king and Mr and my family love, s him.

Ramona from Arkansas on June 29, 2013:

BRAVO!!! Standing ovation. Wonderful Lens! I am super afraid of snakes but, I do find them fascinating.

Gregory Moore from Louisville, KY on June 03, 2013:

Excellent lens. I've always believed that snakes are beneficial, but they still scare the snot out of me, because they are usually under my feet by the time I see them. I spend a lot of time outdoors and in the woods, but luckily there are only a few poisonous snakes in my area and they are not common.

happynutritionist on May 31, 2013:

Great pictures! As a young girl, and not a very girly-girl at that, I used to catch and keep Garter Snakes as pets. I get a start when I see them now, but once I know they are there, enjoy seeing them now and then. We have ringnecks and the hard-to-see green snakes as well.

ConvenientCalendar on May 07, 2013:

Well done!

mistaben on April 22, 2013:

Totally enjoyed this lens! I love black racer snakes, thank you.

CampingmanNW on January 30, 2013:

I enjoyed your lens. I too believe that generally speaking, if you leave snakes alone, they will leave you alone. They are indeed, natures equalizer. Thanks for a good read.

srsddn lm on December 21, 2012:

A great lens. Very thoroughly done with amazing images and description.

anonymous on September 29, 2012:

nice lens

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on September 07, 2012:

@tonybonura: Yes, there are plenty of snakes in southeastern Louisiana, but in the riparian area where I live, the only venomous one that we see a lot of is the Cottonmouth. Even though I was recently bitten by a small one, I continue to only relocate them if they are by the house. However, I am much more careful about watching where I walk and where I put my hands.

esichrissa on September 07, 2012:

agility + poison makes it too creepy

Tony Bonura from Tickfaw, Louisiana on August 29, 2012:

I still hate rattlers and cottonmouths. They are just plain mean and nasty, not to mention evil ugly. I still do not want to kill them just live and let live. They should eat rats and leave people and their pets alone.

You're in St Tammany Parish? I'm next door in Tickfaw in Tangipahoa Parish. We got plenty of snakes here too! I did like your lens, but I still don't like snakes, any kind of snakes. Herpetology is not for me! Especially the snakey aspect of the discipline.


WriterJanis2 on August 19, 2012:

I'm not a snke person, but this is such an informative lens. Blessed!

JoshK47 on August 17, 2012:

I'm in the camp of leavin' them alone and watching from a distance - such pretty creatures, but I'd rather not get bitten. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

potovanja on July 31, 2012:

I think your lens worht another LIKES:). Thank you 4 visit my lens...

SpenceG on July 18, 2012:

I like the kingsnakes. They're non-poisonous and great for preserving crops and garden.

hntrssthmpsn on June 10, 2012:

Snakes are cool! I had a really great teacher in elementary school who kept his very large gopher snake, Gumby, in the classroom, where we all grew accustomed to caring for him. Love the pictures here... the rainbow snake is beautiful!

Barbara Walton from France on May 21, 2012:

I've read a few novels about Louisiana which feature snakes and I'm just pleased that we have few snakes here in Limousin.

BestRatedStuff on April 23, 2012:

I have always found them fascinating, but never really wanted to own them. But have held young pythons and felt pretty proud (I was all of 6/7 the first time). Lovely lens

anonymous on March 25, 2012:

snakes don't bother me, I've black racers and garter in my yard. One was sleeping in my laundry room once. I took his picture and left him alone. Nice lens and thank you!

LampsPest on February 27, 2012:

Even though I am no fan of snakes I did enjoy your lens and all the pictures I do have admit they can be rather cute

Bob Zau on February 07, 2012:

I remember as a youngster, hunting down Garter snakes, playing with them for a bit and then letting them go. Another well done lens.

Bob Zau on February 07, 2012:

I remember as a youngster, hunting down Garter snakes, playing with them for a bit and then letting them go. Another well done lens.

nephthys lm on January 09, 2012:

I don't have a pet snake, but I have a dried slow-worm head. Which is technically dead, and not a snake (legless lizard thing). I found it on the fell, - thought it was a bracken shoot at first. love the lens!

jadehorseshoe on December 23, 2011:

VERY Nice Lens!

TopToysForKids on December 14, 2011:

I have an unhealthy obsession with snakes, which I guess started because my mom was extremely afraid of them. She would scream if she saw a boy's gotta have some fun! :)

anonymous on November 25, 2011:

enjoyed my reading here, as many readers I'm not a fan of snakes but enjoyed your writing to show points of how good it is to have them around in certain places. earned a squidlike from this reader indeed tonight.

Ben Reed from Redcar on October 15, 2011:

A great lense. Not too many snakes are native to England - although I was once nearly bitten by an Adder as a child. A wonderful read.

rockenroller on September 30, 2011:

Awesome lens, keep up the great work

StudioElysee on September 11, 2011:

What a great lens. Do not see too many snakes where I live in Louisiana, but it is not impossible! Great info to help recognize which ones are dangerous and which are not. The info about dogs not reacting the same way as we do to venom is fascinating as well- - I did not know that!

whiteskyline lm on September 05, 2011:

I love snakes. i grew up always looking at my Northern American reptile book. When I was younger, I visited Australia and had a blast. My dream was to find a Goanna.

I'm amazed how many snakes there are in Louisiana.

anaamhussain on August 16, 2011:

Oh what a totally wonderful lens! I love snakes.No one in my family understands my fascination with them and choose to call it madness. I don't get it. Look at how beautiful they are! How can someone not like these beauties. I enjoyed every word every picture in your lens :)

Tarra99 on August 16, 2011:

Thorough lens! WOW! Tons of info here...I had a snake once...when I wasn't afraid of them, that's now changed with age :o)

seradis on July 15, 2011:

Very good informative lens! I never knew what a copperhead snake looked like

ellagis on July 10, 2011:

You´re right, most of the times if you leave the snake alone, it will leave you alone. Except if you meet a very stubborn viper, like I did some years ago. I didn´t want to hurt it, but I needed to take a sample (I don´t tell you of what) that was near it. I tried to make some noise with my stick, just to let it know that I was there.... but it went on looking at me and staying in the same place. It won: I went away :D

Tiggered on June 03, 2011:

Great lens :) you've got quite a selection there

promotional-coupons-codes on April 20, 2011:

Thanks for info. I love snakes but never got the chance to have one as my parent don't like them. It was nice to see so many items on snake specially the skateboard.

caffimages on April 19, 2011:

Thanks for putting together this lens. We only have two snakes in the UK and never see them! My only chance to see any is at the zoo...or on your lens.

Philippians468 on March 30, 2011:

i guess i understand they are beneficial intellectually, but i still can't intellectualise my fears away! cheers

nestboxes on March 11, 2011:

awesome lens. So much information. I love snakes. I like the fact you let them live in harmony with you

anonymous on February 09, 2011:

I like snakes, but I can't help but get startled when I first see. Its just an automatic reaction to them. After that I'm just fine, and I like to handle them and let them go. This is a very good lens on snakes, I'm impressed with all the knowledge. Blessed!

Francis Luxford from United Kingdom on January 24, 2011:

Fantastic lens! I love snakes.

Francis Luxford from United Kingdom on January 24, 2011:

Fantastic lens! I love snakes.

photofk3 on January 19, 2011:

I like snakes because they are beautiful. I like all reptiles, for that matter. Snakes are useful because they eat pests such as rats and mice, and their venom can be used to make medicines. Great lens, keep it up.

ChrisDay LM on January 13, 2011:

You certainly know your stuff! Coming from a country with few snakes, this was fascinating ot me and how many snakes you have. Brilliant.

Mary Beth Granger from O