8 Snake Species Found in Georgia (With Pictures)


There are quite a few different species of snakes in Georgia, but only six of those species are poisonous. There are also a few species of water snakes in Georgia as well, some of them poisonous and some that aren’t.

The last thing you’re going to do, however, when you run across a snake in your yard or out on the water, is get close enough to determine if it’s poisonous or not, because, by that time, you’ll be bitten. So, in this guide, we’ll tell you the different species of snakes in Georgia, poisonous and otherwise.

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8 Snake Species Found in Georgia

1. Eastern Diamondback Rattle Snake (Venomous)

Species: Crotalus adamanteus
Longevity: 20 years
Good to own as a pet?: No
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 5.5 feet
Diet: Carnivorous

While the Eastern Diamondback Rattle Snake has a reputation for being fierce, aggressive, and certainly deadly, they are actually very averse to dealing with humans and will run if they can.

Most bites from this snake species occur because they are cornered, taunted, or at risk of being killed by humans. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s safe to own one as a pet because they are indeed poisonous. This snake is the largest poisonous snake in North America and is strikingly pretty with its yellow-bordered, centered diamonds and iconic tail.

This species lives in the Flatwoods, coastal parts, and woodlands that are sandy throughout Georgia. If you run across one in any of these places, it’s best to just walk away because their bite is extremely painful, though seldom deadly.

Eastern Diamondback Rattle Snakes are carnivores that eat small mammals, birds, and other reptiles. Natural predators include Eagles, hawks, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, and king snakes.


2. Timber Rattle Snake (Venomous)

timber rattle snake
Image Credit: Paul Staniszewski, Shutterstock
Species: Crotalus horridus
Longevity: 30 years
Good to own as a pet?: No
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 60 inches
Diet: Carnivorous

The Timber Rattle Snake is one of Georgia’s most dangerous snakes because it has long fangs and grows up to 60 inches and weighs up to 3.3 pounds, though the biggest one on record weighed in at over nine pounds. Unfortunately, this species also has a high yield of venom.

Like the Eastern Diamondback Rattle Snake previously mentioned, this species will only attack if it feels threatened. However, they do give plenty of warming, and their venom rarely leads to death. This species has four different venom patterns, according to where they’re located. In Georgia, it’s neurotoxic and also hemorrhagic, so if you are bitten, you need to seek medical treatment right away.

Find most often in fallen logs, this species eats mice, rats, and other snakes, making them invaluable on farms. The natural predator of this species includes hawks, bobcats, foxes, skunks, king snakes, and coyotes.


3. Pigmy Rattle Snake (Venomous)

Western Pygmy Rattlesnake
Image Credit: James DeBoer, Shutterstock
Species: Sistrurus miliarius
Longevity: 20 years
Good to own as a pet?: No
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 22 inches
Diet: Carnivorous

This species is found all over Georgia, except at the northmost tip, and lives for 20 years. They prefer to live near the water and can normally be found in marshes, creeks, and swamps. They hide in leaf debris and can be hard to see if you’re not looking for them.

The most significant danger with this species is that though they do warn people with their rattle since they only grow to 22 inches, it can be hard to hear, ending with the snake striking. The snake uses its venom to subdue its food and eats frogs, lizards, mice, and even birds.

The fact that this species in Georgia is usually red or orange with giant black or brown spots on their back can help a bit when it comes to spotting one. Predators of this species include hawks, king snakes, and bobcats.


4. Eastern Coral Snake (Venomous)

eastern coral snake on rock
Image Credit: Patrick K. Campbell, Shutterstock
Species: Micrurus fulvius
Longevity: 7 years
Good to own as a pet?: No
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 4 feet
Diet: Carnivorous

This species of snake is the one venomous snake that it’s easy to quickly identify in Georgia. This snake has a smooth appearance and features bright yellow, black, and red rings, making it much easier to spot than other species. The fact that it can get up to four feet in length and weighs between three and five pounds helps with that as well.

This species is a carnivore that preys on frogs, lizards, other snakes, and more. You’ll run into this snake in the fall and spring of the year, as summer is too hot for them, and the winter is way too cold. They like to hide in leaf piles, and since they don’t have a diamond-shaped head, it’s even more important to be on the lookout for one in your walks.

Natural predators of this species include larger dogs, coyotes, owls, hawks, and snakes that are bigger than they are.


5. Southern Copperhead (Venomous)

southern copperhead snake
Image Credit: Piqsels
Species: Agkistrodon contortrix
Longevity: 30 years
Good to own as a pet?: No
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 40 inches
Diet: Carnivorous

This species of snake is most likely to be found in metro Atlanta than in other parts of Georgia and can reach 40 inches in length and weigh up to four pounds. This species has a copper color with crossbands of a darker hourglass color. Copperheads are responsible for most of the snake bites in urban areas yearly.

This species is aggressive, doesn’t run, and can strike multiple times, making them extremely dangerous to run across. They live in any number of natural habitats in Georgia, so it’s best to run the other way if you see one.

They eat mice, reptiles, and other small prey, and their natural predators include owls, opossums, and king snakes.


6. Cottonmouth (Venomous, Water Snake)

water moccasin snake
Image Credit: Pixabay
Species: Agkistrodon piscivorus
Longevity: 10 years
Good to own as a pet?: No
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 31 inches
Diet: Carnivorous

This species of snake, also known as the Water Moccasin, is the only venomous water snake on our list. These snakes can grow up to 31 inches and reach between three and four pounds. It’s important to note that these snakes are very quick and venomous, so you have to be fast about it if you need to kill one.

On top of that, there are non-venomous water snakes in Georgia as well, and it’s illegal to kill some of them. This species can be found in freshwater areas but can live on land or in the water. They are usually found in cypress swamps and wetlands. The natural predators of this species include dogs, cats, raccoons, and wild pigs.


7. Brown Water Snake (Water Snake)

brown water snake
Image Credit: USFWS, Pixnio
Species: Nerodia floridana
Longevity: 6 years
Good to own as a pet?: No
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 152 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The Brown Water Snake is a common snake in Georgia and the first of our non-venomous water snakes on our list. Its appearance is brown to dusty brown, and it has splotches across its large body. This species is found in the Coastal regions of Georgia, living in swamps, canals, and rivers. They usually eat catfish, small lizards, and crayfish. Unfortunately, this species is often mistaken for the Cottonmouth and killed by humans.


8. Red-Bellied Water Snake (Water Snake)

red bellied water snake
Image Credit: Pixabay
Species: Nerodia taxispilota
Longevity: 21 years
Good to own as a pet?: No
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 48 inches
Diet: Carnivorous

The species is another Georgia water snake that is non-venomous. They are dark to light brown in appearance and tend to live in lakes, creeks, rivers, and ponds. They eat amphibians mostly but will dine on fish on occasion. This species is protected in Georgia, so make sure that you don’t mistake it for being a poison snake and kill it.

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Conclusion

These are just a few of the water snakes and venomous snakes that make up the snake species in Georgia. Though many of them can be found in different locations, it always pays to keep an eye out when you’re out in your yard, at any body of water, or when you’re hiking the many nature trails that Georgia has to offer.

One thing is for certain, there is no lack of snakes in Georgia, venomous or otherwise. However, make sure that you’re careful when killing one that you’ve found, as some are quick, some are poisonous, and others are protected by the state of Georgia as well.


Featured Image Credit: Vladislav T. Jirousek, Shutterstock





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