Here you’ll find a list of indigenous South Carolina venomous and non-venomous snakes. Here, you can use this as a reference guide for snakes you may have seen in your area. If you need to know more about snakes and other nuisance wildlife, you can call The Snake Chaser anytime! For snake removal call The Snake Chaser today, or to keep snakes away from your home, ask about the all-natural product Russ developed to keep snakes away from areas of your choice.
- VENOMOUS SNAKES -
Warning: Venomous snakes should not be approached, as their bite(s) can be harmful and/or potentially deadly! If you think you may be looking at a venomous snake, call The Snake Chaser, your professional reptile and nuisance wildlife removal service!
This snake usually has a coppery red head and hourglass pattern of dark chestnut bands, but colors vary in geographic regions. It’s usually quiet, almost lethargic, and usually more afraid of you than you are of him. When the copperhead perceives a threat, it will usually lie very still, relying on its camouflage, in wait for prey, resulting in bites around the feet or ankles. When it does strike, however, it’s very vigorous and will usually vibrate its tail.
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
This is not the snake you want to meet up close and personal, as it has compact coils, a broad head, and a loud, buzzing rattle. The tell tale dark brown or black diamonds are outlined in yellow, and if approached, will often stand their ground rattling loudly, which is the cue to back away!
The Canebrake rattlesnake also uses its camouflage to remain unseen by its prey. Each time the snake sheds, which may occur several times per year, a new segment to the rattle end of the tail is added, indicating growth of the snake.
Spends most of its time in the water, and is usually olive, brown, or black. Cottonmouths will either stand their ground or crawl slowly away, as opposed to other water snakes which flee quickly or drop with a splash into the water. When aroused, it will throw its head back with its mouth wide open, revealing the white lining that gives it its name.
This is a Southeastern rattler with a skinny tail and a tiny rattle, often mistaken for a buzzing insect. It’s usually gray or brown with dark bars or blotches. Some strike aggressively, while others do not even rattle.
Eastern Coral Snake
This is a shiny snake with red, yellow, and black rings, where the red and yellow rings touch. These bright colors indicate to surrounding predators that it is poisonous and should heed the warning. The Eastern Coral snake lives in pine woods, pond borders, and hardwood brush in the Southeastern states.
- NON-VENOMOUS -
Most adults are solid colored, whereas juveniles might have specs or blotches. This is a very quick and lively snake which will be quick to flee, but will fight if cornered.
A long slender with red or orange coloring with reddish blotches (colored this way particularly in the East). This snake climbs well, but will most likely be found on the ground, even underground in rodent burrows. Corn snakes are often mistaken for the venomous copperhead and killed, however, these snakes are very docile.
These snakes can be intimidating when they flatten their heads, inflate their bodies with air, and hiss loudly. If this doesn’t scare off the assailant, then they will roll on their backs and “play dead” with its mouth open. It usually also has an upturned snout, hence the name. See our gallery for more pictures of Hognose snakes. By the way, Hognose snakes rarely, if ever, bite.
Southern Banded Water Snake
This snake usually has dark cross bands, often outlined in black and has a dark stripe from its eye to its jaw. Bands may be yellow, red, brown, or black, and you’ll find them in fresh water habitats.
Red Belly Water Snake
Look for a plain red belly and pale spots on the neck. Otherwise the body color may be brown, gray, or black. This snake is shy in nature.
Scarlet King Snake
If you see an orange-tipped nose, you can tell it's a non-venomous Scarlet King snake. The venomous coral snake has a black-tipped nose. This snake also mimics the colors of the venomous coral snake. They use their bright color patterns to trick predators into thinking they are poisonous. The Scarlet King Snake will often eat other snakes and lizards. The color bands go all the way around the body.
Eastern Garter Snake
Most common garter snakes have longitudinal stripes in yellow or orange down both sides of their bodies. They vary in color and be red, brown, or even green.
Eastern Ringneck Snake
The Eastern Ringneck snake has smooth scales and are black with a yellow or gold ring around the neck and a yellow belly. They are commonly confused with the Redbelly snake. Usually found in woody areas in ground debris.