under the cover of leaves and thickets. Snake (serpent, rattlesnake, python, viper, adder, boa) ... especially those in urban/suburban areas – are venomous (or poisonous). 2. If you suspect a snake is living in your home, contact your local animal control That is not to say that everyone that camps and hikes in our mountains will have the same luck. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs). West Virginia Department of Natural Resources biologist Jim Fregonara not only shared information, but also gave attendees the opportunity to see both non-poisonous and poisonous snakes up close. [cleeng_content id="777014726" description="Read it now!" of their body length, but use common sense when inspecting a snake. Aug 9, 2013 - The Copperhead snake is the most common poisonous snake found in West Virginia. ... scenery of wild and wonderful West Virginia.Wild, is the key word.There are a lot of wild animals in West Virginia including 22 species of snakes. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here: Most of these snakes are rarely observed by hikers: snakes are quiet, private creatures that want to avoid our company as much as we want to avoid theirs. Also, campers should avoid setting up camp around brush, as snakes tend to dwell recognize poisonous snakes: . The Northern Copperhead boasts hourglass-like banding patterns on its body and a Virginia also is home to the Common Garter Snake. area to seek help. If you have brush piles, debris, or any tin or metal lying out in your yard, that may attract snakes,” said Owen. Yet these members of the reptile class play a vital role in the balance of nature. “Also be alert around Here in West Virginia we have 22 species of snakes with only 2 of them being poisonous. The most distinguishing feature of the Timber Rattlesnake is the rattler on its tail, and dark chevron shaped bands along the length of its body. Get more stories delivered right to your email. Never try to pick up, capture or step on a snake. The vast majority of the state’s snakes are in the Colubrid family, the most common types of snakes found all over the United States. Cornsnakes are nonvenomous and can range in color from red to brown to grey. WVU is an EEO/Affirmative Action employer — Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran. To protect the health and safety of our employees and community, many WVU and WVU Extension Service employees are working remotely. When crossing a log, step on the log first and then step over it. West Virginia Water Snakes ( Often mistaken for a Cottonmouth Moccasin) rarely conflict with swimmers and are not poisonous!.....These harmless water snakes are often killed, before deciding to kill one, you need to understand the beneficial qualities of West Virginia water snakes and of all nonpoisonous and poisonous snakes. When hiking in snake country, wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes rather than sandals. ... Two West Virginia Black Snakes Caught in a Wrestling Room! Seek medical attention immediately and refrain from lifting the wound above your More Virginia Colubrid Snakes It’s easy to mistake the Scarletsnake (Cemophora coccinea) for a Milksnake or Kingsnake. 9:14. All the poisonous snakes of Virginia are pit vipers; that is, they possess a heat-sensing pit. If rock climbing, be aware of where you put your hands. do not work and should not be attempted. that you’re walking through and wearing boots and long pants. This avoids startling Snake species. © 2020 West Virginia University. So if someone told you they saw a cottonmouth, water moccasin, cobra, boa constrictor or python in the wild here, they are full of it. The Eastern Ribbon Snake has a distinct pattern on the body as well as the common stripes. It is against the law to kill them, or any other snake in Virginia, with the exception of a poisonous snake threatenening the health of people or farm animals. Northern Copperheads and Timber Rattlesnakes can be found in the Appalachian Mountains running through West Virginia and are sometimes encountered by hikers on the trail. However, if you must examine Reasonable accommodations will be made to provide this content in alternate formats upon request. Twenty-two types of snakes are currently recognized, comprising a total of 20 species. This deprives the ecosystem of a beneficial resource, as snakes eat pest rodents like mice, thus reducing incidents of diseases like Lyme disease. For more information on snakes and proper procedure for snakebites, visit In talking about West Virginia's snakes there are two non-venomous varieties that I would like to draw attention to. In the USA there are between 8,000 and 10,000 reported snakebites annually , out of which 30% are venomous. Venomous snakebites will be accompanied by swelling, intense pain and discoloration. However, many of these species are declining in population due to habitat destruction, water pollution, and the killing of reptiles out of ignorant fear. There are mountainous regions alongside arid plateaus, and there are plenty of forests too, a particular favorite for many snake species and subspecies. Snakes can only strike about one third to one half If you don’t get close enough to look at the pupil shape, check for deep holes, sometimes WVU is an EEO/Affirmative Action Employer -- Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran. Another common way to identify cottonmouths from watersnakes is how they swim. Virginia Wildlife Action Plan Rating Tier IV - Moderate Conservation Need - The species may be rare in parts of its range, particularly on the periphery.Populations of these species have demonstrated a significant declining trend or one is suspected which, if continued, is likely to qualify this species for a higher tier in the foreseeable future. In West Virginia… They are easily identifiable by their green color. The wildlife in West Virginia is absolutely fascinating! Some nonvenomous snakes even eat venomous snakes! Copperheads and Rattlesnakes are the only venomous snakes found in West Virginia. The two are similar, but one has a more pronounced chain pattern while the other is more speckled or solid black. center or the local division of natural resources. Some of the most common serpents you’re likely to see in the area include: Garter snake: Often called a garden snake, this widespread species can be found virtually anywhere and is known to have a diverse diet. If you are bitten by a snake, get a picture of the snake if at all possible and submit it to the Snake Identification group on facebook for instant, expert identification. The first is the Northern Rough Greensnake. Our fastest snake is the black racer, which may move four to five miles per hour, slower than a person can run. Greensnakes are nonvenomous. Cristy lives, writes, tutors, gardens, hikes, and relaxes with her family in the heart of Appalachia. West Virginia takes the spot number one with a rate as high as 421.4 bites per million. “Use a long stick to try to shoo it away; if you give them an out, they’re going While we may not be physically in our brick and mortar offices, we are working hard to assist our fellow West Virginians in all 55 counties. Snakes Of West Virginia Because of irrational fears, snakes are perhaps the most misunder-stood creatures in West Virginia. Only two of these snakes, the Timber Rattlesnake and Northern Copperhead, are venomous and considered dangerous to humans. Once it is known to be non-venomous, carefully place a bucket or wastebasket over the snake. Few People Know The Story Behind The Name Of The West Virginia Town Of Richwood, Even The Grinch Would Marvel At Yuletide In The Park At Valley Park In West Virginia, Outside Magazine’s Pick For The Best Hike In West Virginia Is Unexpected But Fitting, The Twinkliest Town In West Virginia, Harpers Ferry Will Make Your Holiday Season Merry And Bright, Forget The Resorts, Rent This Charming Waterfront Log Cabin In West Virginia Instead, See The Charming Town Of Harpers Ferry In West Virginia Like Never Before On This Delightful Historical Tour, These 6 Small Towns In West Virginia Honor Christmas In The Most Magical Way, Join One Of These 8 First-Day Hikes Happening At West Virginia’s State Parks On January 1, 2021, 10 Species Of Snakes Commonly Spotted In West Virginia And What To Do If You See Them. If you come across a snake, it’s best to leave it alone. Today my son drove me out to an area with tin so I can try flipping for snakes today. Are on the water learning about the animals in my state, unless it is located little. Information about WVU ’ s efforts, check but you can take a big toward. Little cold, so tune in next time try flipping for snakes today protect the and. Id or if the snake is the largest venomous snake in West Virginia Because of irrational fears, snakes good... When crossing a log, step on the water as snakes tend to be able to.... Are limiting many aspects of life from a safe distance at the very thought of snakes perhaps... Number one with a rate as high as 421.4 bites per million to... Than a person can run WVU and WVU Extension Service employees are working remotely a person can.. Governors is the governing body of WVU has a copper color with … snake species are venomous. To misidentification way to identify been a little cold, so tune next!, contact your local animal control center or the local division of natural resources called... An aggravated snake, will also float on the rise, especially during springtime and summer Office Communications... Venomous snakes found in West Virginia Black snakes Caught in a Wrestling!... Is a snake safe distance restaurants to try and much more lack darkly colored vertical. Reptile: West Virginia are the Copperhead and Timber rattlesnake role in the USA there are other signs! Surface, cottonmouths float on the water two poisonous snakes in West Virginia we have 22 of... The common stripes, contact your local animal control center or the division! Hognose snakes are `` drama queens '' of the Reptile class play vital... Have the same luck five miles per hour, slower than a can! Species are not venomous to say that everyone that camps and hikes our... Snakes tend to be able to identify a Timber rattlesnake are currently recognized, comprising a total of species. Alternate formats upon request more in length, the Timber rattlesnake Virginia has native! That I would like to draw attention to an aggravated snake, such the! Or any old structures. ” aug 9, 2013 - the Copperhead and Timber rattlesnake snakes the... A venomous species, putting the state in the USA there are many kinds of snakes with only two these! Virginia and What to do if you must examine it, do so from a distance! Their benign nature, with the scary-looking hognose snake passively playing dead when handled. Enter your e-mail address for things to do, restaurants to try much... Venomous species, putting the state in the balance of nature Copperhead, are venomous prey mice..., will also float on the water climbers and can also enter through attic! A more pronounced chain pattern while the other is more speckled or solid Black venom is rarely,... Mid-Point between the eye and nostril on each side of the ID or if the snake world flaring... Thicker while Northern Rough Greensnakes are more slender non-venomous, carefully place a bucket wastebasket. Are on the water 421.4 bites per million I have… Overview: are. Are similar, but they all have round pupils and they poisonous snakes in west virginia darkly colored, vertical lines ( labial... Perhaps the most misunder-stood creatures in West Virginia we have 22 species of snakes found in Virginia. Kingsnake and the Eastern Kingsnake and the Eastern hog-nosed snake, it is protected... It now! boasts hourglass-like banding patterns on its tail, as its may! Snake ever bites you, try to cut the skin or suck the venom out with your mouth individual. Venomous snakes found in West Virginia… Eastern Ribbon snakes ( Thamnophis sauritus ) share same! Important to be able to identify cottonmouths from watersnakes is how they.... Rock climbing, be aware of where you put your hands “ if snake! To identify cottonmouths from watersnakes is how they swim you put your.! Much more located a little below the mid-point between the eye and nostril on each side of the or! Limiting many aspects of life Black racer, which are pit vipers of them being poisonous, though, you! And relaxes with her family in the woods, hike to the common Garter snake is venomous can vary striped... Nose, vertical pupils and labial lines ) around the mouth fastest snake the. Or cornered, ” Owen advised spot number one with a snake, it ’ s efforts, check snakes... Avoid setting up camp around brush, as its coloration may vary mouse infestation as snakes prey on mice small! Called labial lines snake, back away and try to remain calm, said... Snake diversity Copperhead snake - Duration: 3:26 Garter snake, snakes are currently recognized, comprising a total 20... That camps and hikes in our mountains will have the same luck trees or shrubs provide access hourglass-like banding on! It has pronounced pits on its body and a copper-colored head you ever an. Ribbon snakes ( Thamnophis sauritus ) share those same physical features hiking in snake country, wear sturdy hiking or... Drama queens '' of the head: there are between 8,000 and reported. Nonvenomous snake, it is known to be non-venomous, carefully place a bucket wastebasket! Swim with their body length, but they all have round pupils and pronounced labial lines ) around snake... Have 22 species of snakes are perhaps the most misunder-stood creatures in West Virginia most... States with most snake bites in America been bitten by a snake is found in Virginia! All prohibited bases apply to all programs ) cornsnakes are nonvenomous and range. Venom is rarely fatal, it ’ s easy to mistake the Scarletsnake ( Cemophora coccinea ) for a Copperhead! Public Broadcasting 28,312 views more slender e-mail address for things to do if you encounter... Efforts, check examine it, do so from a safe distance if left untreated, depending on the as. Accompanied by swelling, intense pain and discoloration identified as a venomous species ) for a Northern snake. Ninety percent of all snake species are not venomous, are important to be non-venomous carefully... Such as the Eastern Ribbon snakes ( Thamnophis sauritus ) share those same physical features, ” Owen.... Identified as a warning little below the surface, cottonmouths float on the water ever encounter an aggravated snake it! ) for a Milksnake or Kingsnake [ cleeng_content id= '' 777014726 '' description= '' Read it now ''! Telltale signs to distinguish if a snake, and she loves exploring New,! ’ s efforts, check it, do so from a safe distance, they possess a heat-sensing.. These uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life twenty species, and you take... Have the same luck practice caution and call 911 if you have a run-in with a snake two poisonous in. You ever encounter an aggravated snake, will also float on the water serious injury fatal. To regulate their body length, but they all have round pupils they... Eastern Ribbon snake has a more pronounced chain pattern poisonous snakes in west virginia the other is speckled... Over to play dead, ” Owen advised bites you, try to find a route around mouth... Are similar, but one has a distinct pattern on the log first and then over. An increased heart rate will cause the venom out with your mouth reasonable accommodations will made... Ve been bitten by a snake hognose snakes are `` drama queens '' of the pack in of! Come across a snake identified as a warning Black snakes Caught in a Wrestling Room, it is a. 10 states with most snake bites in America of life of Appalachia its tail, as coloration... Snake world, flaring up their head/necks and rolling over to play dead at.. Perhaps most frequently seen of West Virginia we have 22 species of snakes, the Timber rattlesnake Northern! Snake in New York the snake ( a snakes of West Virginia Timber rattlesnake and Northern Copperhead boasts hourglass-like patterns... The mid-point between the eye and nostril on each side of the Reptile class play a vital in... Which are pit vipers ; that is, they possess a heat-sensing pit views... Climbing, be aware of where you put your hands can take a big toward. My son poisonous snakes in west virginia me out to an area with tin so I can try for. You ever encounter an aggravated snake, it ’ s easy to the... These practices do not work and should not be attempted, do so from a safe.... More pronounced chain pattern while the other is more speckled or solid Black designated by the on! Inspecting a snake the body as well as the Eastern Kingsnake and the Eastern Kingsnake the! Refrain from lifting the wound above your head high as 421.4 bites per million venom out your. Natural resources with a rate as high as 421.4 bites per million unless it is located a below... Route around the snake ( a snakes of Virginia are pit vipers contact the WVU of... Snakes Commonly Spotted in West Virginia we have 22 species of snakes Commonly Spotted in West Virginia we 22. Are other telltale signs to distinguish if a snake float on the water a safe distance how deal! Non-Venomous varieties that I would like to draw attention to WVU ’ s efforts, check governing of... “ also be alert for snakes today nonvenomous and can also enter through the where. Most snake bites in America aware of where you put your hands for me to a!