Florida Snakes Visual Identification

Different species of snake can often be distinguished by their characteristic color patterns. Some are single uniform colors. Others have dark or light markings organized into stripes, spots, blotches or some other pattern. Here is a quick look at most of Florida's snakes by pattern:

 

Florida Snakes Visual Guide

Crossbands

Florida Snakes Visual Guide

Rings

Florida Snakes Visual Guide

Stripes

 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide

Uniform

Florida Snakes Visual Guide

Blotches

Florida Snakes Visual Guide

Diamonds

 
 

Florida Snakes Visual GuideCrossbands are bands of color extending across the back and down the sides, but do not cross the belly. The belly frequently is a lighter contrasting color.

 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Scarlet Snake
(Cemophora cocinnea)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Timber Rattlesnake
(Crotalus horridus)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Cottonmouth
(Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Copperhead
(Agkistrodon contortrix)
 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Eastern Kingsnake
(Lampropeltis getula getula)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Florida Kingsnake
(Lampropeltis getula floridana)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Southern Water Snake
(Nerodia fasciata)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Midland Water Snake
(Nerodia sipedon pleuralis)
 

Florida Snakes Visual GuideRings are bands of color that extend across the back, down the sides and across the belly to completely encircle the body. Also, because they are similar, we have a simple guide to compare the Eastern Coral Snake, Scarlet Kingsnake, and Scarlet Snake.

 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Scarlet Kingsnake
(Lampropeltis elapsoides)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Eastern Coral Snake
(Micrurus fulvius)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Scarlet Snake
(Cemophora cocinnea)
 

Florida Snakes Visual GuideStripes are narrow lines of color that run lengthwise down the snake's body. They may be only one scale wide or may be several scales wide.

 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Rainbow Snake
(Farancia erytrogramma)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Rat Snake
(Pantherophis alleghaniensis)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Striped Crayfish Snake
(Regina alleni)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Queen Snake
(Regina septemvittata)
 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Salt Marsh Snake
(Nerodia clarkii)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Glossy Crayfish Snake
(Regina rigida)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Eastern Ribbon Snake
(Thamnophis sauritus)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Common Garter Snake
(Thamnophis sirtalis)
 

Florida Snakes Visual GuideUniform colors are solid colors, black, brown, tan, orange, yellow, gray, blue or green, without any markings. On some species the color may be darker on the head and neck and become lighter on the back part of the body. Some may appear uniform in color in some light and at some angles. We've included snakes here that often appear uniform in color initially.

 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Eastern Indigo Snake
(Drymarchon couperi)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Eastern Racer
(Coluber constrictor)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Ringneck Snake
(Diadophis punctatus)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Mud Snake
(Farancia abacura)
 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Black Swamp Snake
(Seminatrix pygeae)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Eastern Smooth Earth Snake
(Virginia valeriae valeriae)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Brahminy Blind Snake
(Ramphotyphlops braminus)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Eastern Coachwhip
(Masticophis flagellum flagellum)
 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Rim Rock Crowned Snake
(Tantilla oolitica)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Southeastern Crowned Snake
(Tantilla coronata)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Florida Crowned Snake
(Tantilla relicta)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Eastern Hognose Snake
(Heterodon platirhinos)
 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Cottonmouth
(Agkistrodon piscivorus)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Southern Water Snake
(Nerodia fasciata)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Midland Water Snake
(Nerodia sipedon pleuralis)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Rough Green Snake
(Opheodrys aestivus)
 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Mississippi Green Water Snake
(Nerodia cyclopion)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Florida Green Water Snake
(Nerodia floridana)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Plainbelly Water Snake
(Nerodia erythrogaster)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Pine Woods Snake
(Rhadinea flavilata)
 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Dekay's Brown Snake
(Storeria dekayi)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Florida Brown Snake
(Storeria victa)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Redbelly Snake
(Storeria occipitomaculata)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Rough Earth Snake
(Virginia striatula)
 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Salt Marsh Snake
(Nerodia clarkii)

Florida Snakes Visual GuideBlotches are large squarish or irregular shaped markings, frequently with dark borders. Large rectangular blotches that cross the back resemble crossbands.

 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Common Garter Snake
(Thamnophis sirtalis)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Eastern Hognose Snake
(Heterodon platirhinos)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Southern Hognose Snake
(Heterodon simus)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Eastern Corn Snake
(Pantherophis guttatus)
 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake
(Sistrurus miliarius)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Pine Snake
(Pituophis melanoleucus)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Short-tailed Kingsnake
Lampropeltis extenuata
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Eastern Racer, juvenile
Coluber constrictor
 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Mole Kingsnake
(Lampropeltis calligaster)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Gray Rat Snake
(Pantherophis spiloides)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Rat Snake
(Pantherophis alleghaniensis)
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Brown Water Snake
(Nerodia taxispilota)
 

Florida Snakes Visual GuideDiamonds are slightly overlapping diamond-shaped blotches running down the middle of the back. They usually have dark borders or dark and light borders.

 
Florida Snakes Visual Guide
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
(Crotalus adamanteus)