Wildlife Informer is reader-supported. When you click and buy we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

6 Types of Black Snakes in Connecticut (Pictures)

For many people, snakes are among the most fascinating wild animals to encounter. In the state of Connecticut, where almost half of the land is forest, several different species of snakes occur in the wild. These species come in a variety of colors, but below are 6 examples of black snakes in Connecticut.

Collage photo black snakes in Connecticut

6 Black snakes in Connecticut

Only 15 different species of snakes can be found in Connecticut. In the below list, we’ll show you some of the snakes in Connecticut with mainly black coloration.

1. Northern black racer

Northern black racer
Northern black racer | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Coluber constrictor constrictor
  • Length: 33–65 inches
  • Venomous: No

The northern black racer is one of the most significant species of black snakes found in Connecticut. They’re not venomous, so humans don’t need to worry about being harmed by them, and combined with the fact that they help keep rodent populations in check, makes them very useful. These black racers are big snakes that can grow up to 65 inches long and are all black on top with a bluish belly.

Additionally, they inhabit open and wooded habitats, such as fields, roadside vegetation, and meadows, and avoid densely forested habitats. Northern black racers consume only small animals like insects, frogs, and rodents, and these reptiles do so by swallowing them whole.

2. Common garter snake

Common garter snake
Common garter snake | image by Greg Schechter via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Thamnophis sirtalis 
  • Length: 18 to 26 inches
  • Venomous: No

The common garter snake is likely the species you encountered if you saw a black snake in Connecticut. It’s a snake species native to North America and can be found all across the continent. Adults can grow to be up to 26 feet long, though some have been found to grow to 42 inches in length. The typical garter snake has a dark brown or blackish body with three yellow stripes.

Additionally, they’re non-venomous and harmless to humans. Mice, frogs, lizards, salamanders, and even small snakes are among the prey items consumed by these active hunters.

3. Timber rattlesnake

Timber rattle snake coiled
Timber rattle snake coiled | image by Peter Paplanus via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Crotalus horridus
  • Length: 36 to 64 inches
  • Venomous: Yes

There are only two venomous snakes in Connecticut, one of which is the timber rattlesnake. In the state, these vipers can grow up to 54 inches long and can be brown, yellow, or gray. They have black tails and bands on their backs, making them easy to spot.

Mice and other small animals are what these rattlesnakes eat. The majority of their habitats in Connecticut are deciduous forests, rock slides, and areas close to water. They also hibernate during the cold winter months, so they’re only active from mid-April to October.

4. Eastern hognose snake

Eastern hognose snake
Eastern hognose snake | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Heterodon platirhinos
  • Length: 21 to 32 inches
  • Venomous: No

The Eastern hognose snake is a species of reptile that can be found in the state of Connecticut. It’s considered to be one of the more unique reptiles that can be found in the state. This species gets its name from the way its snout is shaped, which is slightly curved upwards and pointed.

Some of these snakes are black, while others are yellow or green, and others are gray with dark patterns on their backs.  Eastern hognose snakes prefer sandy, well-drained soil, so you’ll find them in places like open forests and grassy areas. They can deflate toads and specialize in eating amphibians.

You may also like:  12 Examples of Cephalopods (Pictures)

5. Eastern ratsnake

Eastern ratsnake
Eastern ratsnake | image by Judy Gallagher via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Pantherophis alleghaniensis
  • Length: 46 to 68 inches
  • Venomous: No

The Eastern rat snake, which can grow to over five and a half feet long, is the largest snake found in the state of Connecticut. Typical habitats for this type of snake include grassy or forested areas, farmland, and even human settlements.

This particular rat snake is mostly black, with some white spots here and there. When young, juveniles typically have a light gray base with black or dark brown spots.

They prey on rodents and other small animals, but pose no threat to humans, are not venomous, and should be left alone in the wild. Eastern rat snakes are also commonly referred to as “black rat snakes” or “black ratsnakes”.

6. Eastern ribbon snake

Eastern ribbon snake
Eastern ribbon snake | image by John J. Mosesso via Wikimedia Commons
  • Scientific Name: Thamnophis sauritus
  • Length: 20 to 22 inches
  • Venomous: No

Ribbon snakes are thin and brownish-black in color, with three yellow stripes running along their backs and sides. Its color pattern is similar to that of the garter snake, so it could easily be mistaken for one. Ribbon snakes, in contrast to garters, have a slimmer build.

Nonvenomous and feeding mostly on smaller amphibians and fish, these creatures pose no threat to humans unless they threaten them. Although the number of ribbon snakes is decreasing in Connecticut, they may still be found in wetlands anywhere in the state except Fairfield County.