Beware: Lethal Snake Species Found in the United States

Even though there are only a few dangerous snake species found in the United States, people who like to go outside still have a natural fear of these slithering monsters. People often have good reason to be afraid of poisonous snakes because a tiny bite from any of the following snakes could kill you or, at the very least, make your day awful.

Moreso, phobia of snakes frequently manifests as irrational hostility against nonvenomous snake species. In light of this, let's pay attention to the snakes capable of causing harm as we examine the most lethal species of snakes indigenous to the United States.

1. Cottonmouth

The Cottonmouth, also called a Water Moccasin, is a native of the southeastern and south-central parts of the United States. These thick-bodied, large-headed snakes, as a rule, have white scales on the inside of their mouths. Their color ranges from light gray to dark gray and has dark crossbands bordered by more lightweight scales.

Cottonmouths are capable of killing large animals like cattle and horses. Adult snakes can reach over six feet in length and feed on frogs, rats, mice, fish, and other snakes. Yet, cottonmouths won't attack unless cornered.

2. Copperhead

Copperheads get their name from the coppery skin color on their heads and have yellow-tipped brown tails. These poisonous snakes are native to the region of the United States, including New England and the Mid-Atlantic  United States. They have a very dark tint and feature crossbands shaped like an hourglass and are also dark in color.

Copperheads are very aggressive when they feel threatened and will attack without hesitation. The good news is that if unprovoked, they rarely bite. 

3. Rattlesnake

Rattlesnakes are a common species of poisonous snake in the United States. They are found in various environments, including vast deserts, swamps, rocky places, and woods, to name a few. Their bodies range from 18 to 40 inches, and their heads and bodies are triangular.

Rattlesnakes can come in a wide variety of species, two of which are shown below:

a. Red Diamond Rattlesnake

The red diamond rattlesnake is found in the Western United States. They can grow to be nearly 4 1/2 feet tall, although most only reach 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 feet. They have a huge head that is about twice as wide as their body and ages to a reddish tint. 

They detect their prey by collecting odors on their tongue and transmitting them to the top of their mouth and their smelling organ.

b. Mojave Rattlesnake

Mojave rattlesnakes are highly venomous and one of the most dangerous snakes in North America. Their venom is regarded to be among the most lethal to humans. The Mojave Rattlesnake is a pit viper with two poisonous glands between its eye and nostril at the back of its skull. It is a huge animal with a body length ranging from two to four feet.

4. Eastern Coral Snake

They are the only species in the United States with red, black, and yellow rings on their bodies. Although Coral Snakes are somewhat reclusive, they will attack if provoked. Coral snakes are responsible for approximately five fatalities every year on average.


The United States has relatively few poisonous snake species for reptilian creatures. Still, despite their small number, there are distinct species that warrant respect. Knowing how to identify potentially lethal snakes in your neighborhood will help you avoid situations that could risk your life. Taking all of the necessary precautions to keep snakes out of your home is the smartest thing to do.

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