Venomous Snakes in Illinois?

There are four species of venomous snakes found in Illinoiscopperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus), timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) and massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus). In Illinois, the timber rattlesnake is listed as a threatened species and the massasauga is listed as endangered. The cottonmouth is found only in the very southern tip of the state. The copperhead is found in the southern two-thirds of the state.

How many poisonous snakes are there in Illinois?

Venomous Snakes. ​ Four native Illinois snake species are venomous: the copperhead, cottonmouth, timber rattlesnake and the massasauga. Venom is a toxin for subduing prey.

What is the most poisonous snake in Illinois?

Timber Rattlesnakes strike their prey and release them, waiting until the venom has taken effect before eating them. These venomous snakes are potentially the most dangerous species found in Illinois due to their large size, long fangs, and high yield of venom.

Where are poisonous snakes found in Illinois?

In Illinois, massasaugas are primarily found in wet prairies and floodplain areas ; timber rattlesnakes are typically found on the bluffs near the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers; cottonmouths are restricted to the swamps of extreme southern Illinois; and copperheads are found along the western edge of southern Illinois …

Are there poisonous snakes in Chicago?

Anchor said the region has one venomous native snake, the Massasauga rattlesnake, but it’s next to impossible to find and there are no known populations within city limits. …

It did, however, make me wonder if said snake was poisonous or not. Not that it really matters to me. I avoid anything bigger than an earthworm like the plague, but I was wondering if we needed to be worried about being killed by a snakebite anytime soon around here.

They’re going to give you a sign that they’re ticked off, usually by coiling up and widely opening their mouth showing a white color that can be visually striking. If you forgot to back off when this guy shows off his white mouth and he bites you, you have a little bit of a problem.

They are found throughout the lower quarter of the state but will travel up the river and hang out along the Mississippi on the bluffs, kind of like people who visit Galena. Wikipedia is making these guys out to be pretty laid back despite being the third largest venomous snake in the US. Bite symptoms include pain and swelling, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping and diarrhea, and muscular spasms throughout the entire body.

Apparently the word “massasauga” in Ojibwa (Chippewa language) translates to “great river mouth.”

Illinois has 39 snake species within its boundaries, but the majority live in the warmer southern region of the state. Snakes in North Illinois generally contend with colder temperatures than their Southern Illinois counterparts. Some of these Midwestern snakes are threatened due to urban growth (in the Chicago and Rockford areas, for example) and more general habitat loss or alteration.

Of these, only the two rattlesnakes the timber rattler and massasauga may inhabit North Illinois, though they’re extremely rare in this part of the state. The massasauga, which resides along rivers and in marshes and swamps, is listed as endangered in Illinois; the timber rattlesnake is threatened.

Classified as threatened include Kirtlands snake found around the Greater Chicago area in wet prairies and grassy stream and pond edges, and faced with substantial habitat loss and the western hognose snake, primarily found in Northwest Illinois and threatened by the loss of its preferred habitat of sand prairies.

Phillips, C. A., R. A. Brandon, and E. O. Moll. 1999. Field guide to amphibians and reptiles of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey, Urbana, Illinois. Manual 8:1-300.

The skeletal and muscular systems, along with the platelike scutes on the belly, work together to allow a snake to move swiftly, pushing off of surface irregularities in the places it crawls. At this time, the body produces a milky-blue fluid that separates the two layers of skin, which causes the clear scales over the eyes to become milky in appearance and the overall color of the snake to be drab.

Water Snakes

Water snakes spend the majority of their time in or near freshwater lakes, marshes, swamps and rivers, where, because of somewhat similar markings, they’re commonly mistaken for the venomous and analogously water-loving cottonmouth (which only inhabits central and southern Illinois) and – in the case of Illinois’s diamondback water snake – for rattlesnakes. Water snakes, however, lack venom (not to mention rattles). Several varieties of water snake inhabit North Illinois: the widely distributed northern water snake and the more restricted plainbelly and diamondback water snakes of the Mississippi Valley. (The broad-banded and Mississippi green water snakes, meanwhile, call southern Illinois home.)Water snakes aren’t the only aquatic or semiaquatic serpents native to North Illinois, incidentally: For example, two kinds of crayfish snake – the queen snake and Graham’s crayfish snake – inhabit some of the region’s waterways, while garter snakes also readily forage around wetlands and streams.

Venomous Snakes

According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois hosts four venomous snake species: the cottonmouth, copperhead, timber rattlesnake and eastern massasauga. Of these, only the two rattlesnakes – the timber rattler and massasauga – may inhabit North Illinois, though they’re extremely rare in this part of the state. The massasauga, which resides along rivers and in marshes and swamps, is listed as endangered in Illinois; the timber rattlesnake is threatened. All of Illinoisvenomous snake are pit vipers; they received this name due to the physical “pit” between the snakes‘ eyes and nostrils, which serves as a sensory organ. Venomous snakes kill their prey by biting them with their fangs, which contain paralyzing venom.

Threatened Species

Besides the two rattlesnakes, several other North Illinois snakes fall on the state’s threatened and endangered species list. Classified as threatened include Kirtland’s snake – found around the Greater Chicago area in wet prairies and grassy stream and pond edges, and faced with substantial habitat loss – and the western hognose snake, primarily found in Northwest Illinois and threatened by the loss of its preferred habitat of sand prairies. (The eastern hognose snake roams a much larger range in North Illinois.)