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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - Common Snakes of Pennsylvania

Common Snakes of Pennsylvania

There are 21 snake species that are registered as native Pennsylvania snake species and each of them can be found in an individual type of environment. Of mentioned 21 snake species, 3 are venomous and 18 are non venomous snake species. In order to make the difference between them, one should take into consideration following key differences. Additionally, it is important to mention that these characteristics don't necessarily apply to snake species that can be found in Pennsylvania and that are not native to Pennsylvania as the native ones we are talking about!

Venomous snakes that are native for have:
  • pit on both sides of head, located among nostril and eye
  • elliptical vertical eye pupil that is very similar to one a cat has
  • one row of scales on the tail's underside.
Pennsylvania snakes that are not venomous don't have facial pits; they have round eye pupils like people do and have two rows of scales on the tail's underside. Head shape can be problematic for identification, because some non venomous Pennsylvania snakes also have triangular and flattened shaped heads as copperheads and rattlesnakes. In this sense, it is more advisable to focus on previously mentioned three characteristics that distinct venomous and non venomous Pennsylvania snakes.

Venomous snakes

Northern Copperhead - this is most common venomous snake in Pennsylvania. It lives at far north of the state, in secluded rocky area, in rock walls and foundations of abandoned buildings.
Timber Rattlesnake- this is the biggest Pennsylvania venomous snakes. Its habitat is in the Commonwealth mountains area. There can be lots of them in one specific area but their number is generally low.
Eastern Massasauga-this snake lives in wetlands and is endangered species. This is pygmy rattlesnake.

Non venomous snakes

Most commonly found Pennsylvania non venomous snake species are:

Northern Ring neck
Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
Northern Black Racer
Black Rat Snake
Eastern Ribbon
Eastern Garter
Short-Headed Garter
Eastern Smooth Green
Eastern Milk
Kirtland's snake
Northern Rough Green snake
Northern Water snake

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