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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - Venomous Snakes of California

Venomous Snakes of California

In California, the most feared snake is the rattlesnake but there are many other species that are completely harmless. There are some 33 species of snakes within northern California and of these, there are 6 venomous species. All the six are actually different varieties of rattlesnakes. It is important to be able to know the snakes since many of them are harmless.

Gopher snakes are sometimes mistaken for rattlesnakes in the area. They range in their color and may be gray to dark brown. They have alternating brown and black spots all over the body length. It is a snake which is diurnal hunting in the day and then sleeping in the night. When this snake feels threatened, it flattens the body and then starts shaking the tail. There isn’t a rattle sound but when it is in the dry grasses, you may hear a rattle and this is why so many people think that it is a rattlesnake. This snake is not venomous.

Learn more: How big do snakes get?

Coach whips are also found in the area. They are thin and long and their eyes are large. They are found in all sorts of patterns and colors. Most of them have got a red coloring on the body. This is a species that is very fast and flees instead of standing up for a confrontation.

Find out: What to do if you find a shed snake skin

There are different kinds of rattlesnakes that you can encounter in California and one of them is the pacific rattlesnake. These snakes can be able to grow as long as 5.5 feet. The color of their skin ranges from dark grey to around black. They come with hexagonal markings. If a rattlesnake feels surprised, it usually coils and then rears the head back and rattles very fiercely. When you encounter a rattle snake and it does this, you should be aware that it might strike at any given time. Some of the rattlesnakes are active only in summer and spring and hibernate from the months of November to February. When it is spring, you need to be careful in the late afternoons and the mornings since these are the times when rattles are up and about hunting. When the weather gets a bit hitter, the snake becomes a nocturnal one and you will rarely see it in the d ay. This is the venomous species that you may find in California.

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Go back to the main Snake Removal page for more information about Venomous Snakes of California. You can also read about Common Snakes of California.

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