The southern state of Florida is full of thousands of animal species, and one of the most common animals you can expect to come across is snakes. The state is home to multiple non-venomous snake species, and many of them can be found in nearly every county. There are twelve non-venomous species that are more common and recognizable than any others, and we’ll be looking at this in this article.
12 Non-venomous snakes in Florida
Florida is home to dozens of different non-venomous snakes and a handful of venomous ones. The following list contains some of the more notable non-venomous ones.
1. North American Racer
- Scientific name: Coluber constrictor
- Coloring: black or bluish-black
- Range: the Florida Keys and most Florida counties
The North American Racer is also known by the more common nickname black racer or just racer. These snakes are known for having large eyes, and being slender. While the North American Racer is not an aggressive species, it will bite to defend itself.
2. Eastern Rat Snake
- Scientific name: Pantherophis alleghaniensis
- Coloring: varies from grey to yellow and orange
- Range: Southern Florida to Key Largo, east of Apalachicola River.
The Eastern Rat Snake can be found all around Florida, and the coloring will vary based on the region. Adults can be anywhere from 42 to 72 inches long, and they will try to avoid people and pets whenever possible. The Eastern Rat Snake has multiple nicknames, such as chicken snake, rat snake, Everglades snake, and yellow rat snake.
3. Red Cornsnake
- Scientific name: Pantherophis guttatus
- Coloring: orangish-brown with brown blotches
- Range: most of Florida, including the Florida Keys
The Red Cornsnake can be easily identified by the pear-shaped pattern that can be found on the back of its neck and head. Juveniles and adults have similar colorings, and they are common throughout the entire state of Florida.
This kind of snake is also just called a corn snake, chicken snake, and red rat snake. Adults will not get longer than 30 to 48 inches in length.
4. Ring-necked Snake
- Scientific name: Diadophis punctatus
- Coloring: blackish grey with a yellowish underbelly
- Range: Most Florida counties
One of the smallest types of non-venomous snakes found in Florida is the ring-necked snake, with adults only reaching between 8 and 14 inches long. They can be quickly identified by a bright yellowish underbelly, with juveniles having roughly the same coloring as adults. Ring-necked snakes, also known as the Key ring-necked snake or southern ring-necked snake, are found in most counties in the state.
5. Southern Water Snake
- Scientific name: Nerodia fasciata
- Coloring: brownish or black with dark crossbands
- Range: all of mainland Florida
A Southern water snake also called the Florida water snake or banded water snake is known for being a broad snake with dark brown colorings. These snakes also have crossbands that are either red, black, or brown.
Snakes become darker as they get older, and some adult snakes may appear to be a solid color. The southern water snake is found across all of Florida but is not in the Florida Keys.
6. Rough Green Snake
- Scientific name: Opheodrys aestivus
- Coloring: bright green
- Range: mainland Florida plus the Florida Keys
The rough green snake is long and slender, reaching between 14 and 33 inches long. They are bright green, with younger snakes being a darker green.
In addition to most of mainland Florida, they are also found in the Florida Keys. Rough green snakes are also called green snakes, northern rough green snakes, and Florida rough green snakes.
7. Common Garter Snake
- Scientific name: Thamnophis
- Coloring: brownish, blackish, or tan with stripes down each side
- Range: all of mainland Florida
The Common garter snakes are another one of the small non-venomous snake species found in Florida. They reach between 18 and 26 inches long and can be recognized by stripes running down each side.
These stripes can be blue, white, brown, yellow, or green. Common garter snakes are also known as garter snakes and blue-striped garter snakes. It is rare that you will see one of these snakes in the Florida Keys.
8. Scarlet Snake
- Scientific name: Cemophora coccinea
- Coloring: white and red blotches bordered by black
- Range: all over Florida
A scarlet snake will only reach between 14 and 20 inches long as an adult and have large red and white blotches, and black stripes. These snakes are also known as northern scarlet snakes and Florida scarlet snakes.
These snakes are also known for having pointed small heads that blend in with their neck. Scarlet snakes can be found everywhere in Florida except for in the Florida Keys.
9. Scarlet King Snake
- Scientific name: Lampropeltis elapsoides
- Coloring: black, yellow, and red rings
- Range: every Florida county
The scarlet king snake also called the scarlet milk snake, is a fairly small snake found in Florida. Adults can be found between 14 and 20 inches long, and have rings of yellow, black, and red.
Juvenile scarlet king snakes may have white rings instead of yellow. They can be found in every Florida county, and have rarely been reported in the Florida Keys.
10. Gray Ratsnake
- Scientific name: Pantherophis spiloides
- Coloring: brownish, light gray, dark gray
- Range: west of Apalachicola River
One of the most common Florida snakes is the brownish-black colored gray rat snake. As juveniles, these snakes appear more sandy-yellow.
Adults can be anywhere from 42 to 72 inches long, and they can be found west of the state’s Apalachicola River. These snakes are also called white oak snakes and oak snakes.
11. Eastern Indigo Snake
- Scientific name: Drymarchon couperi
- Coloring: glossy black, iridescent
- Range: all of Florida
The Eastern Indigo Snake, commonly called racers and Indigo snakes, are found throughout most of Florida. They have very rarely been spotted in the Florida Keys.
Adults will reach lengths of 60 to 82 inches, and have glossy colorings of black, highlighted by blues and purples. While seen in all of Florida, they are hardly ever spotted in the Florida Keys.
12. Pine Woods Litter Snake
- Scientific name: Rhadinaea flavilata
- Coloring: reddish-orange
- Range: southern Florida counties
The Pine Woods Litter Snake is a small Florida snake with reddish-orange and brown colorings. Adults only reach between 10 and 13 inches long. These snakes are mostly found in the southern regions of Florida to Broward and Franklin counties but are not seen in the Florida Keys.
These 12 non-venomous snake species that call Florida home pose no threat to people or their pets. Most of these snakes will not bite unless provoked, and even then their bites cause minimal harm.