Non-poisonous snakes in Virginia. “Use a long stick to try to shoo it away; if you give them an out, they’re going Northern Copperhead. Seek medical attention immediately and refrain from lifting the wound above your Their pattern can vary from striped to checked, but they all have round pupils and labial lines. I have… 49. Signs of a snake inside the home include snakeskin, snake droppings (characterized If you have brush piles, debris, or any tin or metal lying out in your yard, that may attract snakes,” said Owen. Never try to pick up, capture or step on a snake. Twenty-two types of snakes are currently recognized, comprising a total of 20 species. The WVU Board of Governors is the governing body of WVU. That is not to say that everyone that camps and hikes in our mountains will have the same luck. 9:14. areas, they have been known to dwell in other places. If a snake is found in the house, identify the snake (A Snakes of Virginia guide is available from the Department). That may provoke it For information about WVU’s efforts, check. They are often confused with Copperheads, but they have round pupils, labial lines at the mouth, and a very different saddle pattern (no pronounced hourglass shape on the side of the body). to strike. While West Virginia’s venomous snakes typically prefer to hang out in densely forested areas, they have been known to dwell in other places. Snakes are good climbers and can also enter through the attic where trees or shrubs provide access. It is a rare occurrence for me to have a run-in with a snake. The audience learned about the benefits of snakes and their benign nature, with the scary-looking hognose snake passively playing dead when being handled! More Virginia Colubrid Snakes It’s easy to mistake the Scarletsnake (Cemophora coccinea) for a Milksnake or Kingsnake. West Virginia Public Broadcasting 28,312 views. Our fastest snake is the black racer, which may move four to five miles per hour, slower than a person can run. Enter your e-mail address for things to do, restaurants to try and much more! can be fatal. “Snakes like to find cover. copper-colored head. However, many of these species are declining in population due to habitat destruction, water pollution, and the killing of reptiles out of ignorant fear. It's perhaps most frequently seen of West Virginia's snakes and loves to climb. Contact the WVU Extension Service Office of Communications at 304-293-4222. Copperheads and rattlesnakes are the only venomous snakes found in West Virginia. head. Some of the best hiking in the nation is found right in here in West Virginia, but we’ve noticed that some of you are hesitant to enjoy the great hikes we feature (like this one or this one) for one big reason: snakes. Virginia Wildlife Action Plan Rating Tier IV - Moderate Conservation Need - The species may be rare in parts of its range, particularly on the periphery.Populations of these species have demonstrated a significant declining trend or one is suspected which, if continued, is likely to qualify this species for a higher tier in the foreseeable future. Reasonable accommodations will be made to provide this content in alternate formats upon request. Never try to cut the skin or suck the venom out with your mouth. Northern Copperheads and Timber Rattlesnakes can be found in the Appalachian Mountains running through West Virginia and are sometimes encountered by hikers on the trail. West Virginia takes the spot number one with a rate as high as 421.4 bites per million. signs to distinguish if a snake is venomous. Share this Unlike watersnakes that swim with their body just below the surface, cottonmouths float on the water. It is located a little below the mid-point between the eye and nostril on each side of the head. Few People Know The Story Behind The Name Of The West Virginia Town Of Richwood, Even The Grinch Would Marvel At Yuletide In The Park At Valley Park In West Virginia, Outside Magazine’s Pick For The Best Hike In West Virginia Is Unexpected But Fitting, The Twinkliest Town In West Virginia, Harpers Ferry Will Make Your Holiday Season Merry And Bright, Forget The Resorts, Rent This Charming Waterfront Log Cabin In West Virginia Instead, See The Charming Town Of Harpers Ferry In West Virginia Like Never Before On This Delightful Historical Tour, These 6 Small Towns In West Virginia Honor Christmas In The Most Magical Way, Join One Of These 8 First-Day Hikes Happening At West Virginia’s State Parks On January 1, 2021, 10 Species Of Snakes Commonly Spotted In West Virginia And What To Do If You See Them. The easiest way to identify a Timber Rattlesnake is by the rattle on its tail, as its coloration may vary. to take it.”. Overview: There are 2 families of snakes found in West Virginia. the snake. Thank you! Snake (serpent, rattlesnake, python, viper, adder, boa) ... especially those in urban/suburban areas – are venomous (or poisonous). recognize poisonous snakes: . hitting their tail off of leaves and debris. If left untreated, depending on the individual reaction, snakebites If you don’t get close enough to look at the pupil shape, check for deep holes, sometimes and dark chevron shaped bands along the length of its body. Only two of these snakes, the Timber Rattlesnake and Northern Copperhead, are venomous and considered dangerous to humans. Cristy lives, writes, tutors, gardens, hikes, and relaxes with her family in the heart of Appalachia. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs). The Black Ratsnake is nonvenomous. This avoids startling West Virginia State Reptile: West Virginia Timber rattlesnake. When hiking in snake country, wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes rather than sandals. Measuring from 3-4.5 feet (91-137 cm) or more in length, the timber rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in New York. under the cover of leaves and thickets. The first is the Northern Rough Greensnake. However, other species of nonvenomous snake, such as the eastern hog-nosed snake, will also float on the water. If you ever encounter an aggravated snake, back away and try to find a route around There are 39 species of reptiles whose ranges include at least parts of the state of West Virginia, USA.With 20 species of snakes, 13 turtle species, and 6 lizard species, the state's reptile diversity is high. Some of the most common serpents you’re likely to see in the area include: Garter snake: Often called a garden snake, this widespread species can be found virtually anywhere and is known to have a diverse diet. The majority of harmful snakebites occur when trying to decapitate a venomous species, and many harmless snakes are killed needlessly due to misidentification. Each year snake bites are on the rise, especially during springtime and summer. Common Snakes of Virginia: Virginia has many different habitats to offer any wildlife but it seems to be one of the best environments for snakes, with a number of different species (both venomous and non-venomous) recorded here. She loves exploring new places, and she loves heading back home again when she's done. (sorry, no picture). lying out in your yard, that may attract snakes,” said Owen. Here in West Virginia we have 22 species of snakes with only two of them poisonous. Our other poisonous snake is the Rattlesnake. This deprives the ecosystem of a beneficial resource, as snakes eat pest rodents like mice, thus reducing incidents of diseases like Lyme disease. How to deal with problem Snake in West Virginia. Some nonvenomous snakes even eat venomous snakes! An arrowhead-shaped head is one characteristic The wildlife in West Virginia is absolutely fascinating! Copperheads and rattlesnakes are the only venomous snakes found in West Virginia. Virginia has 32 native snakes, and you can’t be expected the know them all. “Nonvenomous snakes won’t have them.”. They are easily identifiable by their green color. Copperheads and Rattlesnakes are the only venomous snakes found in West Virginia. species inhabiting West Virginia. If in the woods, hike to the closest inhabited Seek immediate medical attention if you are unsure of the ID or if the snake is positively identified as a venomous species. West Virginia Water Snakes ( Often mistaken for a Cottonmouth Moccasin) rarely conflict with swimmers and are not poisonous!.....These harmless water snakes are often killed, before deciding to kill one, you need to understand the beneficial qualities of West Virginia water snakes and of all nonpoisonous and poisonous snakes. Some of the more dangerous animals of West Virginia are now completely extinct, such as the mammoth, giant bear, vampire bat, and Jefferson’s ground sloth. Love West Virginia? If rock climbing, be aware of where you put your hands. For people that are afraid of snakes and are likely to be watching the ground, this snake is more likely to be found in bushes and trees. While we may not be physically in our brick and mortar offices, we are working hard to assist our fellow West Virginians in all 55 counties. ... scenery of wild and wonderful West Virginia.Wild, is the key word.There are a lot of wild animals in West Virginia including 22 species of snakes. So if someone told you they saw a cottonmouth, water moccasin, cobra, boa constrictor or python in the wild here, they are full of it. 10 Species Of Snakes Commonly Spotted In West Virginia And What To Do If You See Them. West Virginia Department of Natural Resources biologist Jim Fregonara not only shared information, but also gave attendees the opportunity to see both non-poisonous and poisonous snakes up close. West Virginia. Agitated Timber Rattlesnakes make a rattling sound as a warning. “Most often, snakes only strike if they feel threatened or cornered,” said Owen. To protect the health and safety of our employees and community, many WVU and WVU Extension Service employees are working remotely. Ninety percent of all snake species are NOT venomous. price="0.15"] don’t have a rattler, they still may “rattle” as an indicator of aggravation by However, if you must examine the snake. Timber Rattlesnake It can be distinguished from all other snakes found in the state by the presence of a segmented rattle on the end of its tail, which is used as a warning device. “. Eastern Ribbon Snakes (Thamnophis sauritus) share those same physical features. Snakes rely on the environment to regulate their body temperature. Snake species. We’ve finally come to the top of our list of 10 states with most snake bites in America. of their body length, but use common sense when inspecting a snake. Also be alert West Virginia University Extension Service’s Wildlife Specialist Sheldon Owen. When crossing a log, step on the log first and then step over it. Mr. Moose focused largely on West Virginia’s two poisonous snakes, the timber rattler and the copperhead, stressing their identifying marks, habitats, and personality traits. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. Always practice caution and call 911 if you think you’ve been bitten by a snake. WVU is an EEO/Affirmative Action Employer -- Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran. Today my son drove me out to an area with tin so I can try flipping for snakes today. rate will cause the venom to spread faster. Although Copperhead's venom is rarely fatal, it is still a serious injury. Virginia also is home to the Common Garter Snake. Poisonous Snakes. There are other telltale In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. Yet these members of the reptile class play a vital role in the balance of nature. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here: Most of these snakes are rarely observed by hikers: snakes are quiet, private creatures that want to avoid our company as much as we want to avoid theirs. Venomous snakebites will be accompanied by swelling, intense pain and discoloration. of nonvenomous snakes – are another. The Eastern Ribbon Snake has a distinct pattern on the body as well as the common stripes. In West Virginia… It has pronounced pits on its nose, vertical pupils, and heavy brows typical of pit vipers. 2. it, do so from a safe distance. I love learning about the animals in my state, unless it is a snake! While copperheads There are mountainous regions alongside arid plateaus, and there are plenty of forests too, a particular favorite for many snake species and subspecies. for snakes if you have a mouse infestation as snakes prey on mice and small mammals. Greensnakes prefer to live near water. The vast majority of the state’s snakes are in the Colubrid family, the most common types of snakes found all over the United States. Garter snakes are common snake variety and completely harmless to humans, although they will musk (emit an unpleasant odorous secretion) when threatened. It's all a show, though, and they are harmless to humans. They have vertical pupils and they lack darkly colored, vertical lines (called labial lines) around the mouth. Snakes can only strike about one third to one half But you can take a big step toward protecting yourself and your scaly neighbors if … old barns or any old structures.”. Ratsnakes have round pupils and pronounced labial lines around the mouth. You will receive your first email soon. Some of the best hiking in the nation is found right in here in West Virginia, but we’ve noticed that some of you are hesitant to enjoy the great hikes we feature (like this one or this one) for one big reason: snakes. Also, campers should avoid setting up camp around brush, as snakes tend to dwell Inside the West Virginia serpent handling church where devotees risk their lives by holding poisonous rattlesnakes, drinking deadly poison and setting fire to their skin to demonstrate their faith All the poisonous snakes of Virginia are pit vipers; that is, they possess a heat-sensing pit. You'll receive your first newsletter soon! [cleeng_content id="777014726" description="Read it now!" venomous: the Aug 9, 2013 - The Copperhead snake is the most common poisonous snake found in West Virginia. All of those animals came from the Ice Age. Another common way to identify cottonmouths from watersnakes is how they swim. Eastern Hognose Snakes are "drama queens" of the snake world, flaring up their head/necks and rolling over to play dead. The Eastern garter snake is the official snake of Virginia, as designated by the General Assembly in 2016. “Also be alert around Due to its declining population, it is a protected species in many areas. Greensnakes are nonvenomous. The Northern Copperhead boasts hourglass-like banding patterns on its body and a It is common and not poisonous. by hair and bone contents), or strange noises in the walls or vents. The most distinguishing feature of the Timber Rattlesnake is the rattler on its tail, www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/snakes. environments for cold-blooded snakes. Snakes Of West Virginia Because of irrational fears, snakes are perhaps the most misunder-stood creatures in West Virginia. Here in West Virginia we have 22 species of snakes with only 2 of them being poisonous. A copperhead has a copper color with … If you come across a snake, it’s best to leave it alone. “An increased heart “Snakes like to find cover. Rocks provide great thermal The head is flattened and angular in appearance. For more information on snakes and proper procedure for snakebites, visit Get more stories delivered right to your email. It's been a little cold, so tune in next time. Here are the snakes you are most likely to spot in the West Virginia woods as you hike: Copperheads are venomous snakes identifiable by the hourglass (or Hershey Kiss) shaped pattern on their back and sides. Last updated on March 29, 2019. that you’re walking through and wearing boots and long pants. Once it is known to be non-venomous, carefully place a bucket or wastebasket over the snake. © 2020 West Virginia University. There are many kinds of snakes that, while not venomous, are important to be able to identify. Cornsnakes are nonvenomous and can range in color from red to brown to grey. ... Two West Virginia Black Snakes Caught in a Wrestling Room! Fregonara said West Virginia has 22 kinds of snakes, and only two of those – the timber rattlesnake and the northern copperhead – are poisonous. These practices To learn more about these snakes and all of the others we have in West Virginia, see this field guide put out by the Department of Natural Resources. and the “If a snake ever bites you, try to remain calm,” Owen advised. Here in West Virginia we have 22 species of snakes, with only two of them being poisonous. Thank you! West Virginia snakes number around twenty species, putting the state in the middle of the pack in terms of snake diversity. These fears that are passed from one generation to another make many state residents shudder at the very thought of snakes. The only two poisonous snakes in West Virginia are the copperhead and timber rattlesnake, which are pit vipers. center or the local division of natural resources. The two are similar, but one has a more pronounced chain pattern while the other is more speckled or solid black. var pfHeaderImgUrl = 'https://extension.wvu.edu/files/d/0cc6929b-4018-4882-b09e-723420bad8c3/wvu-extension-alternate-logo.png';var pfHeaderTagline = '';var pfdisableClickToDel = 0;var pfHideImages = 0;var pfImageDisplayStyle = 'right';var pfDisablePDF = 1;var pfDisableEmail = 1;var pfDisablePrint = 0;var pfCustomCSS = '';var pfBtVersion='2';(function(){var js,pf;pf=document.createElement('script');pf.type='text/javascript';pf.src='//cdn.printfriendly.com/printfriendly.js';document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(pf)})(); Of the roughly 20 species of snakes found in West Virginia, only two species are “Pits are an identifying feature of whether or not a snake is dangerous,” explains If you are bitten by a snake, get a picture of the snake if at all possible and submit it to the Snake Identification group on facebook for instant, expert identification. WVU is an EEO/Affirmative Action employer — Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran. Searching for a Northern Copperhead Snake - Duration: 3:26. To avoid snakes when hiking, Owen suggests using a walking stick to hit any brush The Eastern Kingsnake and the Eastern Black Kingsnake are especially nice to have around, because they eat copperheads and rattlesnakes! Smooth Greensnakes tend to be thicker while Northern Rough Greensnakes are more slender. Venomous snakes in West Virginia: Timber Rattlesnake; Northern Copperhead; Of the two types of venomous snakes found in West Virginia, Northern Copperheads are more common. In talking about West Virginia's snakes there are two non-venomous varieties that I would like to draw attention to. of a venomous snake; vertical, elliptical pupils – rather than the round pupils While West Virginia’s venomous snakes typically prefer to hang out in densely forested In the USA there are between 8,000 and 10,000 reported snakebites annually , out of which 30% are venomous. If you suspect a snake is living in your home, contact your local animal control The United States has about 21 species of venomous snakes, which include 16 species of rattlesnakes, two species of coral snakes, 1 species of cottonmouth (or water moccasin), and two species of copperhead.At least one species of venomous snake is found in every state except Hawaii and Alaska.. area to seek help. We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. WVU Extension SpecialistWildlife Specialist. by . 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