Poisonous Snakes in Maryland?

Snakes are an integral part of Marylands fauna, functioning as important predators. Snakes are limbless reptiles with elongate bodies that are covered with scales. All snakes lack external ear openings and eyelids and have long, forked tongues. Maryland is home to 27species and sub-species of snakes, including two with medically significant venom, the copperhead and the timber rattlesnake. These two species are found in the viper family (Viperidae). The remaining species are in the family Colubridae, which is the largest snake family in the world. For more information on venomous snakes in Maryland, check out our venomous snakes page. Here is our easy .

There are two species of pit vipers found in Maryland, the timber rattlesnake ( Crotalus horridus ) and the eastern copperhead ( Agkistrodon contortrix ). The pit vipers also differ noticeably from the colubrids by having vertical pupils, and undivided subcaudal scales (Conant and Collins 1998).

Maryland colubrids differ from vipers by having round pupils in the eyes, no heat seeking pit between each eye and nostril, a complete set of divided sub-caudal scales, and a series of large plates (scales) on the dorsum of the head. These books are recommended to anyone seeking more comprehensive information on
North American snake ecology and identification.

What's the most poisonous snake in Maryland?

Several of Maryland’s snakes possess venom, but only the copperhead and the timber rattlesnake have medically significant venom known to cause adverse reactions in humans. These two species are pit vipers (Subfamily Crotalinae).

Are there poisonous water snakes in Maryland?

Known to us as the water moccasin, this water snake is well known for being called the “cottonmouth,” so-called because of the white colored cotton lining in its mouth. … As you know, Maryland is only home to two venomous snakes, the timber rattlesnake and copperhead.

Where are Copperheads found in Maryland?

In Maryland, they can be found in coastal areas, marshes, forests, fields, wooded slopes, and ravines from the Eastern Shore west to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Copperheads particularly like terrain with rocky outcroppings.

Is it illegal to kill Copperheads in MD?

The copperhead and the timber rattlesnake. It is illegal to kill snakes in Maryland.

Annual cicadas are one of their favorite meals. And now that the Brood X has emerged en masse after 17 years underground, its a convenient feast for the serpents, which are camouflaged by a tan-and- brown hourglass pattern, to gorge on.

Theyre not species youre typically going to find in your suburban neighborhoods, said Kevin Barrett, who oversees the reptile and amphibian collection at the Maryland Zoo. If your property is cluttered with debris where mice might scurry, theres a chance a copperhead might try its luck there, too, said Scott McDaniel, founder and executive director of the Susquehannock Wildlife Society.

As of last week, the Maryland Poison Center had documented two copperhead snake bites this year, said Executive Director Bruce Anderson. But the snakes most distinguishing feature, McDaniel said, are the darker brown markings we say look like Hersheys kisses wide at the belly and narrower toward the spine.

Summer time means more people are hitting the trails, loading up the RV or driving to one of Marylands many parks and campgrounds. Snakes can be a commonly encountered animal on the trail, identifying species can be difficult for those not used to seeing the variety of native snakes in Maryland.