Snakes in New York?

Christopher A. Urban, an endangered species coordinator for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, said to give snakes space and you should be fine.

As the summer heats up, its not uncommon to encounter a snake in a grassy area or near a hiking trail. There are 17 species found in New York and three of them timber rattlesnakes, copperhead and the eastern massasauga are venomous.

Timber rattlesnakes have the widest range and are mostly found in southeastern parts of New York. If you approach too quickly, Urban warns that the snake might think you are targeting it as food, similar to a large bird. He said if you dont feel safe about a snake being close to your home, spray it with a garden hose.

We rarely have repeat offenders, he said about snakes that are chased out of an area with cold water from a hose.

What kind of snakes do we have in New York?

Black rat snake..Eastern garter snake (subspecies of ‘common garter snake’).Eastern hognose snake..Eastern massasauga..Eastern milk snake..Eastern worm snake..Northern black racer..Northern brown snake.

Are there any poisonous snakes in New York?

New York is home to 17 species of snakes. Three species have bites poisonous to humans. Snakes play critical roles in the environments where they are found.

What is the deadliest snake in New York State?

head determines whether it is dark or light phase. Photo by William Hoffman. Measuring from 3 to 4 feet or more in length, the timber rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in New York. The record length in New York is 60 inches.

Are there poisonous snakes in upstate NY?

The northern copperhead is one of three venomous snakes native to upstate New York, along with the timber rattlesnake and eastern massasauga. … Copperheads have a venomous bite, which is dangerous to humans and pets.

New York snakes mean different things to different New Yorkers. Apart from the snakes at local zoos and in private hands, there are no snakes in New York city any longer. There are no native snake species living in the wild in Central Park. Many city dwellers get startled when they hear of escaped snakes running through their streets.

Copperheads grow up to three feet in length and their light body is covered with darker crossbands. It is listed as threatened in New York and found on hillsides mostly in the south and extreme eastern borders of the state.

Most if not all species tend to be comparatively thin and very fast movers.Black Racer (Coluber constrictor) is the general name for one of the most widespread of all the snakes native to the United States. They are long, thin snakes with a black body, and as the picture highlights, white chins. Finding Milk Snakes in the east can be as easy as taking a hike and flipping over a few big rocks or logs.

The can grow up to on average about three feet in length and the red to orange to dull rust color of the bands makes them easy to spot. Their body color tends to change depending on age and location, so often its not the best field identification clue. Residents can often see them near barns, because of the local rodent populations, the Rat Snakes preferred diet.

Finding a patch of yellow or white in front of the eyes is a very good field identification clue. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, a small population of the species was discovered along the southwest border with Pennsylvania. The dual color body, dark on the top and a bright shade of orange or yellow on the bottom serve as the best field identification clues.

New York state is home to 17 species of snakes. These animals, whose tubular, limbless bodies are instantly and universally recognized, produce mixed reactions among people, from fear to fascination. Serpents figure prominently in the mythologies of nearly all human cultures, sometimes as a symbol of evil and temptation. It is perhaps for this reason that snakes often are persecuted and killed without any understanding of their true nature.

All snakes form part of the diet of other predators such as hawks and foxes and thereby serve to link higher and lower feeding levels. The milk snake is a boldly patterned serpent (brown or reddish blotches on a light grey to tan body) that vibrates its tail when annoyed.

These characteristics are undoubtedly responsible for its being called “spotted adder” in some regions, an unfortunate name because it brings to mind the truly venomous snakes of Europe and Asia. Other kinds that occur all across New York in appropriate habitat are the green, redbelly, brown, and ringneck snakes; all four of these are small, slender, and completely benign species that feed on insects, spiders, earthworms and slugs.

When you hear the name, New York most likely youre thinking of the city and its urban environment. However, most of this Mid-Atlantic state consists of various ecosystems that make ideal habitats for snakes, 17 to be exact. It may surprise you to learn that the tally also includes three venomous snakes in New York and two state-endangered species.

The most interesting thing about the Eastern Hognose Snake is its behavior to avoid predation. This species feeds on various animals, from birds to fish to frogs.

Image Credit: Peter Paplanus, PxHereSpecies: Pantherophis alleghaniensis Longevity:6 yearsGood to own as a pet? They live all along the east coast and west into the Central Plains. They live in a variety of habitats, particularly dry meadows and forests.

It has a diverse diet that includes amphibians, rodents , and birds. This species is unique in that it will constrict its prey like a boa to subdue it. Species: Thamnophis sauritus Longevity:Up to 10 yearsGood to own as a pet?

The Eastern Ribbon Snake has a large range that extends north into Canada and west to the Mississippi River. It prefers to live by water with aquatic wildlife its prey. Image Credit: Jeff Holcombe, ShutterstockSpecies: Coluber constrictor Longevity:Up to 10 yearsGood to own as a pet?

The Northern Black Racer is another speedy snake that makes good use of it to eat and avoid being eaten. Image Credit: reptiles4all, ShutterstockSpecies: Lampropeltis triangulum Longevity:Up to 20 yearsGood to own as a pet? This reptile prefers edge habitat, whether its prairies, woodlands, or farm fields.

The Northern Brown Snake is another widespread species that you can find even in southern Canada. Its small size allows it to find hiding places to escape predation. It also affects its behavior, prompting this reptile to adopt a nocturnal lifestyle.

The Northern Ringneck Snake is a weather-tolerant species that you find living in Mexico to Canada. It prefers woodland and wetland habitats that offer plenty of cover. It is an appropriately named animal, referring to its distinctive band around the base of its head.

The Queen Snake prefers watery environments, like the previous species. Image Credit: Kristian Bell, ShutterstockSpecies: Opheodrys vernalis Longevity:Up to 6 yearsGood to own as a pet? The Smooth Green Snake is unique in that its a Nearctic species that lives only in North America.

New York marks the northernmost reach of its range in the United States. Image Credit: PublicDomainImages, PixabaySpecies: Thamnophis sirtalis Longevity:Up to 20 yearsGood to own as a pet? It can find food wherever it ends up living, whether its in a ditch, wetlands, or damp forest.

Like its namesake, it is an abundant reptile that adapts to a variety of habitats, including human dwellings. The Northern Redbelly Snake is another widespread woodland species that fits in well with the ecosystems of New York. Thats due in part to its small size, which makes it vulnerable to predations.

While its usually diurnal, it can change its habits to fit the weather conditions and become nocturnal. While juveniles feed on insects, adults have a broader diet that includes rodents. Image Credit: Paul Staniszewski, ShutterstockSpecies: Crotalus horridus Longevity:Up to 30+ yearsGood to own as a pet?

The Timber Rattlesnake differs from many reptiles because of its parental investment in its young. Image Credit: Peter Paplanus, PxHereSpecies: Sistrurus catenatus Longevity:Up to 20 yearsGood to own as a pet? It is a wetland species that prefers several different types of this habitat, such as swamps and marshes.

New York has an interesting collection of snakes that includes ones youll see east of the Mississippi River and a few unusual ones. Her motto with all of her writing is science-based writing nurtured by education and critical thinking. She specializes in science topics, with a special love for health and environmental topics, and of course, pets of all shapes and sizes. Chris lives happily with her hubby and three cats in the land of 10,000 lakes, writing, wining, and boating as much as she can.

She and her husband, Norm, were awarded the State of Kentucky Colonel Honor for their restoration work at Mammoth Cave National Park. She has her WSET 1 and 2 certifications and is currently pursuing her Certified Wine Specialist Award (CSW).

17 snakes in New York

There are 17 species found in New York and three of them — timber rattlesnakes, copperhead and the eastern massasauga — are venomous.Timber rattlesnakes have the widest range and are mostly found in southeastern parts of New York. But they can be found as far north as the Lake George area and the Southern Tier.Massasaugas are only found in wetlands northeast of Syracuse and west of Rochester.Copperheads are mainly found in the lower Hudson Valley, south of Kingston, and the Catskills.

Is it poisonous?

What should you do if you run into a snake? Venomous snakes are uncommon in New York, so you’ve likely found a nonvenomous one.An easy way to determine if it’s venomous is by the shape of head, Urban said. Venomous snakes that can bite you have a large head and a narrow neck. Nonvenomous snakes have a head that’s similar in size to their neck.

‘Gentle and respectful’

If you approach too quickly, Urban warns that the snake might think you are targeting it as food, similar to a large bird. “If you are gentle and respectful, they will be same way toward you.”The goal is to give them some berth to allow the snake to move on.Keep in mind the reptile is not there to hurt you.“They’re actually great to have around,” he said about snakes, which can reduce the population of mice, rats, chipmunks and some insects. “It’s an ecological service they provide to us.”One snake can eat dozens of mice in one season, Urban said. A captive rat snake he had ate 13 mice in one sitting.Snakes are looking for small things to eat, not humans. However, if you approach a snake it could feel threatened. When that happens, the snake’s fight-or-flight instincts kick in.If you see a nonvenomous snake, just look at it as a pest control device for your neighborhood.He said if you don’t feel safe about a snake being close to your home, spray it with a garden hose. The snake will move on and not be back to that area. Snakes remember bad experiences.“We rarely have repeat offenders,” he said about snakes that are chased out of an area with cold water from a hose.

Racers and Whipsnakes

Racers and Whipsnakes share both physical and behavioral characteristics. Most if not all species tend to be comparatively thin and very fast movers.Black Racer (Coluber constrictor) is the general name for one of the most widespread of all the snakes native to the United States.In fact eleven different subspecies inhabit almost every state in the lower 48 states. Color is a common name applied to many of the species as well as the Black Racer. Blue Racers, for example are common around the Great Lakes region.The snakes best known as Black racers inhabit most areas of Long Island and areas a bit north of New York City. They are long, thin snakes with a black body, and as the picture highlights, white chins.

Kingsnakes and Milk Snakes

Depending on the source, up to five species of Hognose Snakes live in the United States:Eastern Hognose snakes (Heterodon platirhinos) can assume a variety of colors and are the most wide ranging of species.

Watersnakes

Many of the New York snakes can be found in the water. The formal name watersnake applies to species in the genus Nerodia.The Northern Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon) is probably the species with the widest range, including New York.Their body color tends to change depending on age and location, so often it’s not the best field identification clue. Knowing that it’s the only species in the state is the best clue. They tend to be large and bulky, so it’s difficult to misidentify them with the smaller swimming snakes such as garter snakes.

Rat Snakes

Meet the largest of New York snakes, the Black Rat Snake.They grow up to six feet in length and are a fairly common species in New York’s woods and agriculture areas. Residents can often see them near barns, because of the local rodent populations, the Rat Snake’s preferred diet.There are no Black Rat Snakes on Long Island, so there’s no misidentifying them with the Black Racers.One final thought on them. First and foremost, these large snakes are as afraid of people as people are afraid of them. In residential areas, they are basically only passing through. There is never a sufficient amount of rodents or other food sources for them. Therefore there is often little need to panic when one enters the neighborhood.

Garter Snakes

Most New Yorkers are familiar with Garter Snakes. The states three species are common in residential areas, none so common as the Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). In fact they are the most common of all New York snakes, everywhere throughout the state.Eastern Ribbon Snakes (Thamnophis sauritus) might not be the most familiar of snakes because it does not contain the common name Garter. These are snakes in the same genera that tend to be a bit thinner than traditional Garter Snakes. Finding a patch of yellow or white in front of the eyes is a very good field identification clue. They range across the state. However, their populations are limited in most areas.According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, a small population of the species was discovered along the southwest border with Pennsylvania.

1. Eastern Hognose Snake

The most interesting thing about the Eastern Hognose Snake is its behavior to avoid predation. It will puff out the sides of its head to resemble a cobra. If that doesn’t work, it’ll play dead. This species feeds on various animals, from birds to fish to frogs. It’s also unique because it is immune to the toxins that toads secrete. This snake is mildly venomous to humans.

2. Eastern Rat Snake

The Eastern Rat Snake is the state’s longest snake. They live all along the east coast and west into the Central Plains. They live in a variety of habitats, particularly dry meadows and forests. It has a diverse diet that includes amphibians, rodents, and birds. This species is unique in that it will constrict its prey like a boa to subdue it.

3. Eastern Ribbon Snake

The Eastern Ribbon Snake has a large range that extends north into Canada and west to the Mississippi River. It prefers to live by water with aquatic wildlife its prey. It is a quick-moving animal that uses this trait to its advantage to hunt for food. It also helps the snake avoid predators, such as raccoons and hawks.

4. Northern Black Racer

The Northern Black Racer is another speedy snake that makes good use of it to eat and avoid being eaten. They occupy a wide range of habitats, from wetlands to meadows. While it is non-venomous, its bite can cause serious injuries. They are shy animals that will generally avoid humans. Although its scientific name refers to constrictors, it is a misnomer.

5. Milk Snake

The Milk Snake may look like a Coral Snake, but this species is harmless to humans. You may see it called the Scarlet Snake in reference to this likeness. This reptile prefers edge habitat, whether it’s prairies, woodlands, or farm fields. It’s a secretive animal that you are unlikely to see during the day. They have a larger geographic range than you’d expect for a snake.

6. Northern Brown Snake

The Northern Brown Snake is another widespread species that you can find even in southern Canada. Its small size allows it to find hiding places to escape predation. It also affects its behavior, prompting this reptile to adopt a nocturnal lifestyle. While it eats a lot of different foods, it is especially adept at eating snails.

7. Northern Ringneck Snake

The Northern Ringneck Snake is a weather-tolerant species that you find living in Mexico to Canada. It prefers woodland and wetland habitats that offer plenty of cover. It is an appropriately named animal, referring to its distinctive band around the base of its head. It is an egglayer that makes no investment in its offspring. They are a popular snake among reptile enthusiasts.

8. Northern Water Snake

The Northern Water Snake is one of the true water snakes of New York. It is an aggressive species that won’t hesitate to bite if disturbed. While they may hang out together, these snakes are solitary for the most part. While they feed on aquatic wildlife, they will also take the occasional rodent or bird. While nonvenomous, you can get a nasty infection if bit by this reptile.

9. Queen Snake

The Queen Snake prefers watery environments, like the previous species. It is a diurnal animal that you’re likely to see in areas where it is abundant throughout the year. Crayfish are its primary prey, although it will also other aquatic organisms. As you may expect, this diet preference leaves it vulnerable. It is a state-endangered species in New York.

10. Smooth Green Snake

The Smooth Green Snake is unique in that it’s a Nearctic species that lives only in North America. It prefers the habitats that its name suggests. That’s a good thing since it provides excellent camouflage. They feed on insects with the occasional amphibian. While the species is widespread, it is vulnerable to negative environmental pressures.

11. Eastern Worm Snake

The Eastern Worm Snake is a creature of the forest. New York marks the northernmost reach of its range in the United States. It is a docile animal but will defend itself when necessary. Its name speaks to its primary prey, earthworms. Thus, it’s a secretive species that you’re not likely to see often. It is a vulnerable snake in the state.

12. Common Garter Snake

The Common Garter Snake is another Nearctic species. You’ll find this snake throughout the eastern part of the continent. The reptile is quite adaptable, which has influenced its evolutionary success. It is also a generalist when it comes to feeding. It can find food wherever it ends up living, whether it’s in a ditch, wetlands, or damp forest.

13. Eastern Garter Snake

The Eastern Garter Snake is a subspecies of the common variety. Like its namesake, it is an abundant reptile that adapts to a variety of habitats, including human dwellings. Their diet is more specialized, feeding primarily on amphibians and earthworms. However, it will take what it can find, which is another factor in its favor.

14. Northern Redbelly Snake

The Northern Redbelly Snake is another widespread woodland species that fits in well with the ecosystems of New York. It prefers to hide instead of basking out in the open. That’s due in part to its small size, which makes it vulnerable to predations. While it’s usually diurnal, it can change its habits to fit the weather conditions and become nocturnal.

15. Eastern Copperhead

The Eastern Copperhead is the first of three venomous species in New York. Fortunately, it is uncommon. While juveniles feed on insects, adults have a broader diet that includes rodents. You’ll find this snake—hopefully, not—along streams and in forests. Its name refers to its bands, which offer excellent camouflage. It is not an aggressive animal but will defend itself when necessary.

16. Timber Rattlesnake

The Timber Rattlesnake differs from many reptiles because of its parental investment in its young. It’s likely a function of its long lifespan. They are nomadic and will travel to summer hunting areas. They detect their warm-blooded prey with their pit organs. Populations of this species are stable throughout its range. However, it is vulnerable to habitat encroachment.

17. Eastern Massasauga

The Eastern Massasauga is yet again another Nearctic species. It is relatively short compared to other related snakes. It is a wetland species that prefers several different types of this habitat, such as swamps and marshes. It is another pit viper that is adapted to feeding on warm-blooded animals. It can also harm humans with its venom. Fortunately, it isn’t an aggressive snake.