That’s right, folks!! It’s snake season again. There are many different type of snake species within our area. Both venomous and non-venomous. The key is to be fully knowledgeable with the type of snake you encounter. This area has a majority of three different snakes: black, copperheads, and water snakes. Here is how you can tell the difference.
The black rat-snake and black racer snake are the most common snakes which gets confused as being a copperhead. Both of these snakes are non-venomous. The pupil is round on both snakes and the pattern on these snakes is like an hourglass; however, the pattern doesn’t extend to both sides of these particular snakes like it does a copperhead snake. The head of a black rat-snake is wider than the rest of the body.
There are two different water snakes within the area: Eastern Cottonmouth and Northern Water Snake. Cottonmouth snakes are venomous and is commonly found in these places within Virginia: Brunswick County, Chesapeake County, Chesterfield County, Dinwiddie County, Greensville County, Newport News County, Prince George County, Southampton County, Suffolk City, Surry County, Sussex County, Virginia Beach City, and York County.
These snakes are considered a pit-viper which means they have a heating sensing added to the location between the eye and the nostril on the head. The cottonmouth name refers the action taken by the snake to notify other animals including humans its presence. The opening of the mouth shows an inner white lining to make it visible.
The Northern Water Snake is frequently misidentified as the cottonmouth snake. The body color is brown to gray with amounts of white, red and yellow. The pattern is closely positioned crossbands in which the crossbands break up halfway down the length of the snake and form a series of rectangular blotches near the backbone on the sides. Then there are some water snakes with brown to grayish color without the pattern.
A copperhead snake is a venomous snake within the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia area. These snakes also have vertical pupil with a heat sensor added to the location between the eye and the nostril. The head is triangular and coppery-red. The distinctive pattern on a copperhead is hour glass shaped crossbands that are chestnut colored to dark brown. The juvenile copperhead snake has a sulfur yellow tail; however, it turn black as the snake