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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - Common Snakes of Illinois

Common Snakes of Illinois

Illinois has very diverse scenery: there are high mountains and large water areas around Lake Michigan. This makes for high diversity of snake species, but luckily, majority of common Illinois snakes are non venomous.

Venomous Snakes of Illinois

Illinois is home to the following venomous snake species:

Southern Copperhead and Northern Copperhead, Western Copper mouth, Timber Rattlesnake, and Eastern Massasauga.

Non venomous snakes of Illinois

There are several families of non-venomous snakes in Illinois.

Garter Snakes: Common Garter Snake and the Striped Garter Snake live around the state but are often found around the cities and near to them. They feed on toads, frogs and fish and although they will release musty, stinky smell, they are harmless. musky, foul smell, but there won’t be any lasting damage and there is no venom to worry about.

Ring neck Snakes: This family includes three most common species in Illinois: Northern Ring neck, Prairie Ring neck and Mississippi Ring neck. These snake species are small and try to hide away whenever possible which means that there isn't much chance you will see this family. They are named after ring located on the neck that is usually orange, red or yellow.

Hognose Snake: There are three species of Illinois hognose snakes: Plains Hognose, Dusty Hognose and Eastern Hognose. They are named after their uplifted nose that serves them well when they dig for food.

King Snake: This is common snake not just in Illinois but also around entire USA. Common subspecies in Illinois are: Speckled King snake, Prairie King snake and Black King snake.

Water Snake: These snakes are species living by the water, excellent swimmers that eat toads, frogs, snails, etc. In Illinois most common are: Yellow Belly Water, Broad-Banded Water, Copper belly Water, Midland Water, Northern Water and Diamondback Water.

Ribbon Snake: Illinois subspecies of ribbon snake include: Plains Ribbon, Western Ribbon,

Eastern Ribbon and Northern Ribbon. They eat insects, worms, slugs, etc. They can often be found in gardens.

Rat Snake: There are two Illinois rat snakes- the Gray Rat snake, Corn Snake and the Great Plains Rat snake. This is medium to large snake, reaching 10 feet of length (although usually approximately 2-4 feet long).

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