Juvenile Ratsnakes (Pantherophis)

One of the most common snakes seen in and around houses are the ratsnakes (Pantherophis species). Unfortunately, the juvenile ratsnakes are often mistaken for copperheads and/or rattlesnakes. When approached they may put on a defensive display of gaping, coiling up, and shaking their tail. This behavior can startle people unfamiliar with them. Of course, thisRead More

Introduction to the Cottonmouth

The Cottonmouth (also known as the Water Moccasin) is a venomous pit viper (family Viperidae) native to the U.S. where it inhabits swamps, creeks, slow-moving streams, bogs, ditches, canals, and the shore of ponds and lakes. However, it may be found far from water as it travels between water sources in search of food andRead More

Introduction to New World Coralsnakes

New World Coralsnakes are native to North and South America. Three genera are represented (Micrurus, Leptomicrurus, and Micruroides). These venomous snakes are within the family Elapidae. Coralsnake venom is mainly neurotoxic, although many of them also possess several other types of toxins, including cardiotoxins and cytotoxins. Bites are somewhat uncommon (especially in the U.S.) butRead More