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View down the stream at McCormick's Creek, Indiana's oldest state park. The creek was a bi
FIELD GUIDES

Snakes

Did you know?

Indiana is home to 32 native snake species, but only four are venomous. Despite common fears, venomous snakebites are very rare in the state.

Here's a brief overview of these four species:

Copperhead
Found mainly in the southern half of Indiana, copperheads live in rocky areas and forests, rarely extending into central and northern regions except near certain waterways like Sugar Creek. 

Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin)

Considered State Endangered and likely extinct in Indiana, the last few individuals were found in Dubois County in the 1980's. They haven't been seen since, suggesting they may no longer exist in the state.

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Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

A Federally Threatened species found in the northern third of Indiana, particularly in wetlands and grassy areas. Their numbers have declined due to habitat loss, and they are now limited to scattered, declining populations in northern Indiana.

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Timber Rattlesnake

State Endangered and located in south-central Indiana, mainly in the rugged forests of Brown County and adjacent areas. Their range and populations have decreased significantly, with only a few small populations remaining.

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For more information about identifying and treating snake bites, check out these helpful resources:

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Venomous Snake ID Guide

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Treatment of Venomous Snake Bites

Black kingsnake, Lampropeltis nigra, showcased in its natural woodland habitat in Indiana, highlighted by the Hoosier Herp Society to promote awareness of its role in ecosystem balance and its effectiveness in controlling pest populations.
Black King Snake

Lampropeltis getula nigra

36 - 48 inches

Common

Butler's garter snake, Thamnophis butleri, in a grassy field in Indiana, featured by the Hoosier Herp Society to emphasize its distinctive three light stripes and its role in local ecosystems, primarily consuming earthworms and small amphibians.
Butler's Garter snake

Thamnophis butleris

15 - 22 inches

Endangered

Cottonmouth snake, Agkistrodon piscivorus, native to Indiana, shown in a swampy habitat, highlighted by the Hoosier Herp Society for its conservation significance in the state.
Cottonmouth (Water mocassin)

Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma

30 - 42 inches

Endangered

Eastern garter snake, Thamnophis sirtalis, in a natural woodland habitat in Indiana, highlighted by the Hoosier Herp Society to illustrate its adaptability and importance in controlling populations of insects and small amphibians.
Eastern Garter Snake

Thamnophis sirtalis

18 - 36 inches

Common

Eastern ribbon snake, Thamnophis sauritus, in a wetland setting in Indiana, documented by the Hoosier Herp Society to emphasize its slender body and striped pattern, and its ecological role as a predator of small amphibians and insects.
Eastern Ribbon Snake

Thamnophis sauritus

18 - 36 inches

Common

Kirtland's snake, Clonophis kirtlandii, in a moist meadow habitat in Indiana, featured by the Hoosier Herp Society to highlight its conservation status and importance in local wetland ecosystems.
Kirtland's Snake

Clonophis kirtlandii

13 - 18 inches

Endangered

Midwest worm snake, Carphophis amoenus helenae, nestled in loose soil in Indiana, captured by the Hoosier Herp Society to illustrate its secretive nature and importance in the local ecosystem.
Midwest Worm Snake

Carphophis amoenus

9 - 12 inches

Unknown

Plains garter snake, Thamnophis radix, nestled in grassland in Indiana, photographed by the Hoosier Herp Society to demonstrate its adaptation to prairie habitats and its role in controlling pest populations by preying on insects and amphibians.
Plains Garter Snake

Thamnophis radix

less than 20 inches

Uncommon

Red milk snake, Lampropeltis triangulum syspila, coiled in a deciduous forest in Indiana, featured by the Hoosier Herp Society to highlight its mimicry of venomous species and role in the ecosystem.
Red Milk Snake

Lampropeltis triangulum syspila

24 - 36 inches

Uncommon

Rough green snake, Opheodrys aestivus, camouflaged among leaves in Indiana, highlighted by the Hoosier Herp Society to emphasize its role in controlling insect populations and its significance in maintaining ecological balance.
Rough Green Snake

Opheodrys aestivus

20 - 30 inches

Uncommon

Smooth green snake, Opheodrys vernalis, resting in grass in Indiana, documented by the Hoosier Herp Society to showcase its vibrant green coloration and importance in the ecosystem as a predator of insects.
Smooth Green Snake

Opheodrys vernalis

15 - 20 inches

Endangered

Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) - Indiana's native venomous serpent, proudly represented by the Hoosier Herp Society. Known for its distinctive rattling sound and beautiful patterned scales. Conservation status: Endangered in Indiana, making preservation efforts vital for its survival.
Timber Rattlesnake

Crotalus horridus

48 - 72 inches

Endangered

Blue racer, Coluber constrictor foxii, in its natural habitat in Indiana, showcased by the Hoosier Herp Society to highlight its striking blue coloration and vital role in controlling pest populations.
Blue Racer

Coluber constrictor foxii

23 - 50 inches

Common

Copperbelly water snake, Nerodia erythrogaster neglecta, in its natural wetland habitat in Indiana, highlighted by the Hoosier Herp Society to emphasize its status as a threatened species and its importance in maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems.
Copperbelly Water Snake

Nerodia erythrogaster neglecta

40 - 50 inches

Endangered

DeKay's brown snake, Storeria dekayi, in a woodland setting in Indiana, photographed by the Hoosier Herp Society to emphasize its role in urban and forest ecosystems, controlling slug and snail populations.
DeKay's Brown Snake

Storeria dekayi

10 - 15 inches

Abundant

Eastern hognose snake, Heterodon platirhinos, camouflaged in leaf litter in Indiana, documented by the Hoosier Herp Society to highlight its unique defense behaviors and habitat preferences.
Eastern Hognose Snake

Heterodon platirhinos

22 - 32 inches

Uncommon

Fox snake, Pantherophis vulpinus, coiled in a wooded area in Indiana, captured by the Hoosier Herp Society to emphasize its ecological role as a natural rodent control and its harmless nature to humans.
Fox Snake

Elaphe vulpina vulpina

40 - 50 inches

Uncommon

Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake, Sistrurus catenatus, in natural wetland habitat in Indiana, photographed by Hoosier Herp Society member. This snake is a key species for regional conservation efforts.
Massasauga

Sistrurus catenatus

20 - 25 inches

Endangered

Mud snake, Farancia abacura, in its natural wetland environment in Indiana, showcased by the Hoosier Herp Society to promote awareness and conservation of this elusive species.
Mud Snake

Farancia abacura

40 - 54 inches

Extirpated

Prairie kingsnake, Lampropeltis calligaster, in a grassland setting in Indiana, photographed by the Hoosier Herp Society to emphasize its non-venomous nature and ecological benefits in controlling rodent populations.
Prairie King Snake

Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster

32 - 42 inches

Uncommon

Red-bellied snake, Storeria occipitomaculata, shown in its natural forest floor habitat in Indiana, featured by the Hoosier Herp Society to highlight its distinctive red belly and its ecological role as a predator of slugs and earthworms.
Red-bellied Snake

Storeria occipitomaculata

7 - 10 inches

Uncommon

Scarlet snake, Cemophora coccinea, in its natural habitat in Indiana, captured by the Hoosier Herp Society to showcase its vibrant coloration and importance in local biodiversity conservation.
Scarlet Snake

Cemophora coccinea

14 - 21 inches

Endangered

Southeastern crowned snake, Tantilla coronata, in a natural woodland habitat in Indiana, highlighted by the Hoosier Herp Society to emphasize its adaptability and conservation status in the region
Southeastern Crowned Snake

Tantilla coronata

8 - 10 inches

Endangered

Western ribbon snake, Thamnophis proximus, in a marshy area in Indiana, captured by the Hoosier Herp Society to showcase its slender build and striking coloration, and to highlight its role in controlling amphibian and insect populations in wetland ecosystems.
Western Ribbon Snake

Thamnophis proximus

20 to 30 inches

Uncommon - species of special concern

Bull snake, Pituophis catenifer sayi, in a prairie setting in Indiana, captured by the Hoosier Herp Society to illustrate its importance in local ecosystems as a predator of rodents.
Bull Snake

Pituophis catenifer sayi

50 - 72 inches

Uncommon

Copperhead snake, Agkistrodon contortrix, in a forested habitat in Indiana, featured by the Hoosier Herp Society to emphasize its presence and ecological role in local biodiversity.
Copperhead

Agkistrodon contortrix

24 - 36 inches

Unknown

Diamondback water snake, Nerodia rhombifer, resting on a river rock in Indiana, featured by the Hoosier Herp Society to showcase its distinctive diamond pattern and its ecological role as a predator of fish and amphibians in local waterways.
Diamondback Water Snake

Nerodia rhombifera

40 - 50 inches

Locally abundant

Eastern milk snake, Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum, hidden among fallen leaves in Indiana, documented by the Hoosier Herp Society to promote its role in controlling pest populations and its significance in local biodiversity.
Eastern Milk Snake

Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum

24 - 36 inches

Common

Gray ratsnake, Pantherophis spiloides, climbing a tree in Indiana, photographed by the Hoosier Herp Society to highlight its arboreal habits and role in controlling pest populations in local ecosystems.
Gray Ratsnake

Pantherophis spiloides

42 - 72 inches

Common

Midland banded water snake, Nerodia sipedon pleuralis, coiled near a water body in Indiana, captured by the Hoosier Herp Society to illustrate its aquatic lifestyle and importance in controlling fish and amphibian populations in local water ecosystems.
Midland Banded Water Snake

Nerodia sipedon pleuralis

25 - 40 inches

Common

Northern banded water snake, Nerodia sipedon sipedon, basking on a riverbank in Indiana, documented by the Hoosier Herp Society to highlight its role in aquatic ecosystems through predation on fish and amphibians.
Northern Banded Water Snake

Nerodia sipedon

25 - 40 inches

Common

Queen snake, Regina septemvittata, near a freshwater stream in Indiana, showcased by the Hoosier Herp Society to emphasize its unique diet of freshly molted crayfish and its role in stream ecosystem health.
Queen Snake

Regina septemvittata

20 - 30 inches

Uncommon

Ringneck snake, Diadophis punctatus, displayed in a forest setting in Indiana, represented by the Hoosier Herp Society to showcase its distinctive coloration and role in the state's ecological community.
Ringneck Snake

Diadophis punctatus

12 - 15 inches

Common

Smooth earth snake, Virginia valeriae, nestled in leaf litter in Indiana, captured by the Hoosier Herp Society to demonstrate its elusive nature and role in the ecosystem as a consumer of soft-bodied invertebrates.
Smooth Earth Snake

Virginia valeriae

10 - 12 inches

Uncommon

Southern black racer, Coluber constrictor priapus, moving through underbrush in Indiana, captured by the Hoosier Herp Society to illustrate its swift movements and importance as a predator in local ecosystems.
Southern Black Racer

Coluber constrictor priapus

23 - 50 inches

Common

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