Has your curiosity as a Florida resident driven you to want to learn about black snakes in your state?
Or you’re a tourist trying to learn about black snakes in this southeastern state of the United States of America?
Well, if you say yes to either of these questions, you’re in the right place.
By the end of this article, you’ll not only be able to identify some 13 types of black snakes in Florida but also say pretty much everything about these snakes, including their danger level and where you’re most likely to find them.
Let’s read on.
13 Different Types of Snakes in Florida (With Pictures)
The third largest state in the United States, Florida is a vast state with a diverse ecosystem. That probably explains why the state is home to about 55 species of snakes.
And out of those 55, the following are the types of black snakes you can come across when you’re in the state.
1. Black Racer
Also called the North American racer, the black racer is the most common type of snake you’ll come across in Florida.
The black racer is a long, skinny snake that is entirely black with a white patch on the chin. It has a small head but large eyes.
The snake moves incredibly fast when fleeing predators to earn its racer name. It’s found roaming on the ground, although it can climb trees.
Black racer will, of course strike you (in the name of defending itself) when you cross its path, but there’s nothing to worry about as this fellow is non-venomous.
Where to find black racer: the entire Florida state, including the Keys.
Habitat; suburban areas, forests, scrubs, and prairies.
2. Eastern King Snake
Most Eastern king snakes are solid black with white or yellow crossbands along their bodies, although some species are brown.
Like the black racer, the Eastern king snake is also long, with adults reaching about 90 – 122 centimeters. The body adorns black, shiny scales.
The Eastern king snake gets its name from its reputation for eating other snakes.
Unless by accident, you’ll rarely come across a kingsnake because it prefers staying away from not humans but also pets. But in direct contact, the snake will strike you, but no reason to panic as it’s non-venomous. That said, of all snakes in the world, the Eastern king snake boasts the strongest constriction relative to body size.
Where to find it; it ranges from North Pinellas County to West panhandle to Flagler County
Habitat; barrier Islands and near water bodies
3. Eastern Indigo
Eastern indigo is a stunning, thick-bodied snake that grows to more than one meter to claim the first slot among the largest snakes in North America.
One of the most beautiful snakes, this glossy black fellow has sleek scales, but the chin can be red, blue-hue, purple, or orange-red, depending on the variety.
And although it might scare you with its loud hissing sound when you frighten it, it’s non-venomous and never bites.
Where to find it; throughout the state
Habitat; forests, scrubs, and near water bodies
4. Eastern Hognose
Eastern hognose is a medium-sized snake, growing to an average length of about 71 centimeters, although the maximum length recorded is 116 centimeters, according to the iNaturalist.
Its most distinctive feature is the long pointed snout that’s slightly upturned.
The snakes take on various colorations, including brown and dark grey, but still, you can find some entirely black individuals in Florida.
Hognose is a fascinating snake, not because of its coloration but because of its behavior. When threatened, it raises and flattens its head to look like a cobra. It will then attempt to bite you, but with its mouth closed. If you’re not scared enough to run away, it will roll on its back and fake death.
It’s, however, a non-venomous snake, and its venom is only strong enough to calm toads.
Where to find it; throughout Florida, except the Keys
Habitat; agricultural lands, fields, scrubs, and forests
5. Brahminy Blind Snake
The Brahminy Blind Snake is a small (about 11 centimeters), thick-bodied black snake with a small head, rounded snout, and tiny, invisible eyes, hence its name. It’s due to its appearance that it is often mistaken for an earthworm.
While you can find this snake in Florida, it’s not native to the state and only arrived in the region as an invasive species from Asia.
And like many snakes on our list, the Brahminy Blind Snake is non-venomous and won’t bite you. However, if you come into close contact, it will rub foul-smelling glands against you.
Where to find it; throughout the state
Habitat; urban areas with loose soils and agricultural regions
6. Southern Ringneck
The small (about 11 inches) southern ringneck is a small, black snake with a distinctive colorful ring on the neck.
The ringneck snake is one of the most beautiful snakes in the United States. Although black is the dominant color, its belly adorns bright shades of varying colors, including red, orange, or yellow, which it shows off by lifting its tail when stressed or frightened.
As a non-venomous, the ringneck is not dangerous to humans and is instead secretive hence why it likes burrowing.
Where to find it: throughout Florida
Habitat; meadows, prairies, and pinelands
7. Eastern Coachwhip
Usually between 107-152 centimeters, the Eastern coachwhip is a long and slender snake with distinctive large eyes decorated with yellow irises.
The snake has a black neck and head, but as you move towards the tail, it adorns a light tan color.
The Eastern coachwhip is incredibly quick and can climb trees, meaning you can mistake it for Eastern indigo or black racer.
Afraid of people, the snake first makes a buzzing sound by vibrating its tail against the ground. But if you persist, it will flee immediately.
Where to find eastern coachwhip; entire Florida state apart from Keys
Habitat; Sandhills, scrublands, pine Flatwoods, and beaches
8. Black Swamp Snake
The black swamp snake is a small, beautiful, skinny snake that grows to about 25-38 centimeters. It comes in two subspecies, all with sleek black backs, while the bellies have bright colors, which vary from red to orange.
Interestingly, unlike many snakes who reproduce by laying large clutches of eggs, the female swamp snakes give live births! During the summer, a mature female swamp snake can give birth to as many as 11 young ones.
The beautiful snake is docile and won’t bite even for defense. Instead, when confronted, the little guy flees in seconds.
Where to find Black swamp snake; all parts of mainland Florida.
Habitat; near water bodies, especially swamps, as you can guess.
9. Glossy Crayfish Snake
The Glossy Crayfish is a mid-sized, heavy-bodied snake with a short head and relatively large eyes.
The snakes vary in color, with the majority being brown or olive brown, but still, you can find black individuals in Florida, although they’re pretty much uncommon.
The rare snake rarely bites, but even if it does, there’s no reason to panic as it’s non-venomous.
Where to find Glossy Crayfish Snake; Osceola County in Florida and some parts of panhandle
Habitat; swamps, ponds, marshes, and streams
10. Eastern Mud Snake
Usually more than one meter long, the Eastern mud snake is an enormous, thick-bodied snake adorning smooth, glossy scales and a pointed tail tip.
It is easy to identify this snake thanks to its coloration. The back is black, while the belly is red with black stripes.
And like many Florida snakes, this fellow is incredibly docile and non-venomous. It rarely bites, but scares you by pressing its tail tip at your hand if you hold it.
Where to find Eastern mud snake; everywhere in Florida except the Keys
Habitat; river basins and coastal regions
11. Saltmarsh Snake
The Saltmarsh is a medium-bodied snake, usually around 1-2 feet long.
The coloration of the saltmarsh snakes varies from rusty orange to brown to gray to tan. But still, you can find black saltmarshes in Florida with or without stripes down the side.
The snake is incredibly docile and shys away from people, making it hard to find. But if by chance you find one and confront it, the secretive guy won’t hesitate to bite you! However, it’s non-venomous, so the bite is only meant to scare you to leave it alone.
Where to find Saltmarsh snake; along the coastal perimeter of Florida
Habitat; marshes, coastal waters, and estuaries
12. The Florida Cottonmouth
The Florida cottonmouth is a long, heavily-built snake, usually between 76-122 centimeters.
While young cottonmouths have patterns of light brown and dark brown bands, the coloration becomes darker with age, with adults being entirely black. The eyes, however, retain their facial stripes, which make it look like it has a bandit mask.
To distinguish the cottonmouth from other water snakes, it floats high in water, allowing you to see almost its entire body.
The water snake is not aggressive and will stay away from people and pets. But if you confront it or accidentally step on it, it will bite you, which calls for medical attention as cottonmouth is venomous.
Where to find cottonmouth Florida; All Florida counties
Habitat; wetland areas
13. Rough Earth Snake
The rough earth is a small and slender snake with a distinctive pointed snout and a band on its neck.
The color of these little guys ranges from grey to dark brown to black, although the juveniles are darker than adults.
Although they live in Florida, it’s rare to find this snake, as it prefers to live underground, feeding on earthworms. Like many on our list, rough earth is a non-venomous snake that rarely bites.
Where to find rough earth snakes; Northern peninsula of Florida and western panhandle
Habitat; pine forests