Louisiana is a state located in the southern United States. It is known for its rich cultural heritage, particularly its connections to French and African traditions. The state is also home to a diverse array of plant and animal life, including many species of snakes.
Red snakes, or corn snakes, are a species of nonvenomous snake that are native to parts of the United States, including Louisiana. They get their name from the reddish coloration of their scales, which can range from a pale orange to a deep brick red. Corn snakes are often kept as pets due to their docile nature and relatively small size. They are also popular in the pet trade because they are easy to care for and do not require a lot of space. Corn snakes are not aggressive and will typically try to avoid confrontation with humans, but they can bite if they feel threatened.
We have top 10 listed Red Snakes in Louisiana.
1. Copperhead Snake
Copperhead snakes are venomous snakes that are native to the United States. They are typically found in the eastern and central parts of the country, including in the state of Louisiana. Copperheads are members of the pit viper family, which also includes rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. They get their name from the copper-colored head that they have.
Copperheads are typically between 2 and 3 feet in length, although they can grow up to 5 feet long. They have a triangular-shaped head and elliptical pupils. Their body is usually light brown or reddish in color, with darker bands or blotches running lengthwise down their body. Copperheads also have a distinctive pattern on their skin, which is made up of hourglass-shaped crossbands that are darker in color than the rest of their body.
To identify a copperhead snake, you should look for the following characteristics:
- Triangular-shaped head
- Elliptical pupils
- Light brown or reddish body with darker bands or blotches
- Hourglass-shaped crossbands on their skin
Copperheads are carnivorous and typically eat small mammals, such as mice and rats. They also sometimes eat birds, lizards, and insects. Copperheads are ambush predators, meaning that they lie in wait for their prey to come to them before attacking.
Copperheads are typically active at night or during the early morning and late afternoon. They are usually found in wooded or rocky areas, and they like to hide under leaves, rocks, or logs. Copperheads are generally not aggressive and will only bite if they feel threatened. They are also good climbers and have been known to climb trees in search of prey.
In Louisiana, copperheads are found in the eastern and central parts of the state. They are typically found in wooded or rocky areas, and they are often found near streams or rivers. Copperheads are not endangered in Louisiana, and they are considered a common species in the state.
2. Garter Snake
Garter snakes are one of the most common species of snake found in North America. They are nonvenomous and are generally not aggressive towards humans. They get their name from the garter-like stripes that run the length of their body.
Appearance: Garter snakes can range in size from less than a foot long to over three feet. They are generally slender, with a small head and round pupils. Their coloration can vary widely, but they are usually green, brown, or blue with three distinct, longitudinal stripes running the length of their body.
How to identify: Garter snakes can be distinguished from other species of snake by their distinctive stripes and small size. They also have a forked tongue, which they use to sense their surroundings.
Diet: Garter snakes are carnivorous and feed on a variety of small prey, including insects, worms, and small rodents.
Habitat: Garter snakes can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and gardens. They are most commonly found near water sources.
Range in Louisiana: Garter snakes can be found throughout the state of Louisiana, but they are most commonly found in the southern and central parts of the state.
Overall, garter snakes are nonvenomous and generally not aggressive towards humans. They are an important part of the ecosystem and help to control populations of small rodents and insects.
3. Milk Snake
Milk snakes (Lampropeltis triangulum) are a species of nonvenomous snake found in North and Central America. They are called milk snakes because they were once believed to milk cows. This is a myth, and milk snakes do not have any relationship with cows or milk.
Milk snakes have a distinctive pattern on their skin, which is usually made up of red, black, and yellow or white bands. They are often mistaken for the venomous coral snake, but there is a simple way to tell the difference between the two: coral snakes have red bands touching black bands, while milk snakes have black bands touching yellow or white bands.
Milk snakes are carnivorous and feed on a variety of small animals, including rodents, lizards, and birds. They are nocturnal and spend most of their time hiding in burrows or under rocks and logs.
In Louisiana, milk snakes are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and swamps. They are most common in the eastern and central parts of the state.
4. Pygmy Rattlesnake
The Pygmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius) is a venomous snake found in the eastern United States. It is a small species, with adults typically reaching lengths of 18-30 inches (45-75 cm). They are typically gray or brown in color, with darker bands running across their body.
To identify a Pygmy Rattlesnake, look for the following characteristics:
- A small size, as mentioned above
- A triangular-shaped head, which is a common characteristic of venomous snakes
- A rattle on the end of its tail, which it will vibrate when threatened
- A pattern of bands or blotches on its body
In terms of diet, Pygmy Rattlesnakes feed on small mammals such as mice, as well as lizards and frogs. They are active during the day and can often be found in grassy or wooded areas.
The range of the Pygmy Rattlesnake in Louisiana includes most of the state, with the exception of the extreme southeastern corner. They can also be found in other states in the eastern US, including Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
It’s important to note that Pygmy Rattlesnakes, like all venomous snakes, should be treated with caution and respect. If you encounter one in the wild, it is best to give it a wide berth and avoid disturbing it.
5. Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern hognose snakes (Heterodon platirhinos) are a species of nonvenomous snake native to the eastern United States. They are named for their upturned snout, which they use to burrow in the ground in search of food.
Appearance: Eastern hognose snakes are relatively small, typically reaching lengths of 20-40 inches as adults. They are usually brown or gray in color, with darker spots or blotches along their back and sides. They have a distinctive upturned snout and a raised ridge along their back, which gives them a somewhat “hognose” appearance.
How to identify: One of the most distinctive features of eastern hognose snakes is their upturned snout, which is used for digging in the ground. They also have a raised ridge along their back, as well as a distinctive pattern of dark spots or blotches along their sides.
Food or Diet: Eastern hognose snakes are primarily carnivorous, feeding on a variety of small animals such as rodents, frogs, and lizards.
Habits: Eastern hognose snakes are primarily diurnal (active during the day) and are often found basking in the sun. They are not particularly fast moving, and prefer to use their upturned snout to burrow in the ground in search of food rather than chasing prey. When threatened, they will often hiss and puff up their body to appear larger. If these displays do not deter their attacker, they may “play dead,” rolling over on their back and remaining motionless.
Range in Louisiana: Eastern hognose snakes are found throughout the eastern United States, including the state of Louisiana. They can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and wetlands.
6. Corn Snake
Corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) are a type of nonvenomous snake that are native to the southeastern United States. They are named after the corn-like pattern on their skin, which consists of a series of orange or yellowish diagonal stripes on a brown or black background. Corn snakes are typically small to medium in size, reaching an adult length of 3-5 feet. They are slender, with a pointed head and smooth scales.
Corn snakes are active during the day and are mostly terrestrial, meaning they spend most of their time on the ground. However, they are also good climbers and may be found in trees or other high places. They are generally nonaggressive and will only bite as a last resort when they feel threatened.
In terms of diet, corn snakes are carnivorous, feeding mainly on rodents such as mice and rats. They are constrictors, meaning they kill their prey by wrapping their body around it and squeezing until it stops breathing. Corn snakes have strong jaws and sharp teeth, which they use to grasp and hold onto their prey.
Corn snakes are found throughout much of Louisiana, including the eastern and central parts of the state. They are most commonly found in agricultural areas, forests, and wetlands. They are adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, including urban areas.
If you want to identify a corn snake, look for the distinctive corn-like pattern on its skin and its slender, pointed head. You can also look for its smooth scales and nonaggressive behavior. Corn snakes can be found in a range of colors, including shades of brown, black, and orange, so be sure to look for these characteristics in combination rather than individually.
7. Mud Snake
The Western Mud Snake (Farancia abacura) is a species of nonvenomous snake native to the southeastern United States. It is a member of the family Colubridae, which includes a wide variety of harmless and nonvenomous snakes.
Western Mud Snakes are small to medium-sized snakes, reaching an average length of 30-48 inches (76-122 cm). They have a shiny, black or dark brown body with a distinctive red or orange underside. The scales on their belly are smooth and glossy, and the scales on their back are keeled, giving them a rough texture.
How to identify:
Western Mud Snakes can be distinguished from other snakes by their shiny, black or dark brown body and their distinctive red or orange underside. They also have smooth, glossy scales on their belly and keeled scales on their back.
Food or Diet:
Western Mud Snakes are primarily carnivorous, feeding on a variety of small animals including frogs, salamanders, and other small reptiles.
Western Mud Snakes are semi-aquatic, spending most of their time in or near bodies of water. They are most active at night, and during the day they can often be found hiding under logs or other debris near the water’s edge.
Range in Louisiana:
In Louisiana, Western Mud Snakes are found in the southeastern part of the state, particularly in the coastal plain and delta regions. They are often found in swamps, marshes, and other wetland habitats.
8. Coral Snake
Coral snakes are venomous snakes found in parts of the United States, Central America, and South America. They are known for their colorful patterned skin, which consists of red, yellow, and black bands. Coral snakes are often confused with nonvenomous species that have similar color patterns, such as the scarlet kingsnake and the Arizona coral snake.
In terms of appearance, coral snakes are generally small, reaching an adult length of about 2-3 feet. They have a thin, slender body and a narrow, triangular-shaped head. Their skin is smooth and shiny, and as mentioned earlier, is patterned with distinctive red, yellow, and black bands.
To identify a coral snake, it is important to look for the following characteristics:
- Red bands are always next to yellow bands
- The red bands encircle the body, whereas the yellow bands do not
- The head is black and the snout is red
It is also important to be aware of the saying “red touches yellow, kill a fellow; red touches black, venom lack” to differentiate coral snakes from nonvenomous species with similar color patterns.
Coral snakes have a diet that consists primarily of other small snakes, including other coral snakes. They are also known to eat lizards and small rodents.
In terms of habits, coral snakes are generally shy and reclusive, spending most of their time hidden under leaves or other debris. They are nocturnal, and are most active at night. They are also generally slow-moving snakes, preferring to avoid confrontation whenever possible.
Coral snakes are found in a range of habitats, including forests, swamps, and grasslands. In Louisiana, they can be found in the southeastern part of the state, particularly in the Atchafalaya Basin and the Mississippi Delta. They are generally found at elevations below 500 feet.
9. Ring-Necked Snake
The ring-necked snake (Diadophis punctatus) is a small, nonvenomous snake native to much of the United States, including Louisiana. It gets its name from the distinctive ring of color around its neck, which is usually yellow or orange.
In terms of appearance, ring-necked snakes are small, typically reaching only about 15-25 inches in length as adults. They are slender, with smooth scales and a shiny appearance. In addition to the ring around the neck, they may also have other markings on their body, such as stripes or spots.
To identify a ring-necked snake, look for the following characteristics:
- Small size (15-25 inches long)
- Ring of color around the neck (usually yellow or orange)
- Slender body with smooth scales
- Shiny appearance
- May have other markings such as stripes or spots
In terms of diet, ring-necked snakes primarily feed on small invertebrates such as worms, slugs, and insects. They may also occasionally eat small vertebrates such as lizards or frogs.
Ring-necked snakes are generally active during the day and are often found in moist, wooded areas. They are nonvenomous and not aggressive towards humans, so they do not pose a threat if encountered.
In Louisiana, ring-necked snakes can be found throughout the state, but they are more common in the eastern and southern regions. They prefer moist, wooded habitats such as forests, swamps, and wetlands.
10. Scarlet Kingsnake
The Scarlet Kingsnake (Lampropeltis elapsoides) is a small, non-venomous snake native to the eastern United States. It is known for its bright red, orange, and yellow bands, which give it its common name.
The Scarlet Kingsnake is a small snake, typically reaching lengths of only 20-30 inches as an adult. It has a slender, cylindrical body with a smooth, shiny scales. The snake’s most distinctive feature is its bright red, orange, and yellow bands, which run the length of its body. These bands are separated by thin, black stripes.
How to identify:
Scarlet Kingsnakes can be easily distinguished from other snakes by their bright red, orange, and yellow bands. These bands are a good way to differentiate them from other similar-looking species, such as the venomous Copperhead or the non-venomous Scarlet Snake, which both have solid-colored bodies.
Food or Diet:
The diet of the Scarlet Kingsnake consists mainly of small mammals, such as mice, rats, and voles, as well as birds, lizards, and amphibians. They are known to be opportunistic feeders, and will also eat eggs and carrion if it is available.
Scarlet Kingsnakes are primarily nocturnal, although they may be active during the day in cooler weather. They are generally secretive, spending most of their time hiding in burrows, crevices, or under rocks and logs. They are excellent burrowers and are known to use their strong bodies to dig into loose soil in search of food.
Range in Louisiana:
Scarlet Kingsnakes are found throughout much of the eastern United States, including Louisiana. They can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, swamps, and grasslands. They are most commonly found in areas with loose, sandy soil, as they prefer to burrow into the ground.