Are you an Oklahoma snake enthusiast looking to learn how to identify venomous snakes in the state? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this guide, you’ll learn the key characteristics of venomous snakes in Oklahoma and how to tell them apart from their non-venomous counterparts. By following the tips in this guide, you’ll be able to confidently identify venomous snakes in Oklahoma, so you can enjoy your outdoor activities safely.
Types of Snakes in Oklahoma
- Western Cottonmouth
- Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
- Timber Rattlesnake
- Western Pigmy Rattlesnake
- Coral Snake
- Eastern Coachwhip
- Eastern Hognose Snake
- Eastern Milk Snake
- Gray Ratsnake
- Western Foxsnake
- Plains Gartersnake
- Checkered Gartersnake
- Red-sided Gartersnake
- Rough Green Snake
- Smooth Green Snake
- Northern Watersnake
- Plains Ring-necked Snake
- Western Wormsnake
Characteristics of Venomous Snakes
- Pit organs between the eyes and nostrils
- Vertical pupils
- Rounded or triangular head shape
- Fangs for injecting venom
- Smooth scales
- Solid-colored body
Venomous snakes in Oklahoma can be identified by their physical characteristics. They typically have pit organs between the eyes and nostrils, vertical pupils, a rounded or triangular head shape, and fangs for injecting venom. The scales of venomous snakes are usually smooth, and their bodies are usually solid-colored.
|Cottonmouth||Olive green, dark brown, black|
|Copperhead||Tan, brown, reddish, gray|
|Rattlesnake||Light gray, brown, yellowish, greenish|
The coloration of venomous snakes in Oklahoma can be highly variable and is often used as an identifier. The cottonmouth is typically olive green, dark brown, or black, while the copperhead is usually tan, brown, reddish, or gray. The rattlesnake can be light gray, brown, yellowish, or greenish.
|Timber Rattlesnake||3-5 feet|
|Western Diamondback Rattlesnake||3-6 feet|
Size is an important factor to consider when trying to identify venomous snakes in Oklahoma. The size of a snake can vary greatly, depending on the species. The four most common venomous snakes in Oklahoma are the Cottonmouth, Copperhead, Timber Rattlesnake, and Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. The average size of these species are as follows: Cottonmouth – 2-4 feet; Copperhead – 1-3 feet; Timber Rattlesnake – 3-5 feet; Western Diamondback Rattlesnake – 3-6 feet.
|Cottonmouth||Dark bands across the back|
|Copperhead||Hourglass-shaped dark bands across the back|
|Coral Snake||Alternating red, yellow and black bands|
To identify venomous snakes in Oklahoma, look for distinct markings. The cottonmouth has dark bands across its back, the copperhead has hourglass-shaped dark bands across its back, and the coral snake has alternating red, yellow and black bands.
Venomous snakes in Oklahoma typically behave differently than non-venomous snakes. They are often more active during the day, while non-venomous snakes usually prefer to hunt at night. Venomous snakes also tend to be more defensive and are more likely to coil and rattle their tails when disturbed. They usually move quickly and in a straight line and will strike if they feel threatened.
Identifying Venomous Snakes in Oklahoma
- In Oklahoma, the three main venomous snakes are the Western Diamondback rattlesnake, the Copperhead, and the Cottonmouth.
- Western Diamondback rattlesnakes are the largest venomous snakes in Oklahoma, growing up to 5 feet in length. They have a pattern of diamond-shaped markings that run the length of their body, and a rattle at the end of their tail.
- Copperheads are the second most common venomous snake in Oklahoma. They are typically smaller than the Western Diamondback, reaching up to 3 feet in length. They have a pattern of hourglass-shaped markings along their body and a triangular head.
- Cottonmouths are the third most common venomous snake in Oklahoma. They are usually smaller than the other two species, growing up to 2 feet in length. They have a pattern of dark bands along their body, and a white mouth when threatened.
It is important to remember that all three species of venomous snake can be found in Oklahoma, and it is important to be able to identify each one. To identify a venomous snake, look for the following characteristics: a rattle at the end of the tail for the Western Diamondback, a pattern of hourglass-shaped markings along the body for the Copperhead, and a white mouth when threatened for the Cottonmouth. It is also important to remember to never attempt to handle or capture a venomous snake, as this can be dangerous.
Venemous Pit Vipers
Venemous Pit Vipers are a type of venomous snake that can be found in Oklahoma. These snakes are generally fairly easy to identify, as they have a distinctive triangular or diamond shaped head, vertical pupils, and heat-sensing pits located between the eyes and nostrils. Pit Vipers can range in color from shades of grey to brown, and they usually have distinctive patterns of dark and light bands down their sides. As with other venomous snakes, Pit Vipers should always be handled with extreme caution. If you encounter one, it is important to keep a safe distance and move away slowly.
Venomous Coral Snakes
Coral snakes are a species of venomous snakes found in Oklahoma. They are highly venomous and can cause a range of symptoms, including muscle weakness, blurred vision, difficulty breathing, and paralysis. The coral snake’s most distinguishing feature is its bright, bold bands of color. The snake typically has red and yellow bands, with the yellow bands separating the red ones. The coral snake’s head is also black and its tail is tipped with black. The coral snake’s colors serve as a warning to predators and potential prey. Coral snakes are typically found in wooded areas, fields, and under rocks or logs, and are active during the day and night. If you see a coral snake, it is important to be cautious and avoid it. If you are bitten by a coral snake, seek medical attention immediately.
Oklahoma is home to a variety of venomous watersnakes, including the Western Cottonmouth, the Prairie Rattlesnake, the Broad-banded Watersnake, and the Western Pigmy Rattlesnake. The Western Cottonmouth is a large semi-aquatic snake that is typically dark olive to black in color with a distinctive white or yellowish stripe running along the side of its body. It is usually found near bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and swamps. The Prairie Rattlesnake is a large terrestrial snake found in the grasslands and open woodlands of Oklahoma. It is typically yellowish-gray to tan in color with a light-colored diamond pattern down its back. The Broad-banded Watersnake is a large semi-aquatic snake that is typically brown or gray in color with light-colored bands running down its back. It is usually found near bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and swamps. The Western Pigmy Rattlesnake is a small terrestrial snake that is typically gray or brown in color with dark spots and a dark stripe running along the side of its body. It is usually found in the grasslands and open woodlands of Oklahoma. All of these snakes are venomous and should be avoided if possible.
Prevention and Safety Tips
|Avoid areas where snakes are known to live||Stay away from tall grasses and brush||Wear protective clothing, such as long pants and boots|
|Be aware of your surroundings||Watch for signs of snakes, such as slithering or hissing||Do not attempt to pick up or kill a snake|
|Keep your distance||Do not approach or disturb a snake||If you see a snake, back away slowly and leave the area|
|Seek professional help||If you are unsure of a snake’s identity, contact a local wildlife expert||If bit by a venomous snake, seek medical attention immediately|
Treatment for Snake Bites
If a snake bite is suspected, seek medical attention immediately. In the meantime, the following steps may help reduce the severity of the bite and the risk of infection:
• Remain calm and move away from the snake.
• Wash the wound with soap and water.
• Cover the wound with a clean, dry dressing.
• Immobilize the affected area and keep it lower than the heart.
• Do not try to capture the snake, as this could cause further injury.
• Do not apply a tourniquet, as this can cause more harm than good.
• Do not apply ice or heat to the wound.
• Do not cut the wound or attempt to suck out the venom.
• Do not drink alcoholic beverages or take any drugs, as these can thin the blood and increase the spread of venom.
• Seek medical assistance immediately, as antivenom may be necessary to treat the bite.
|Venomous Snakes||Non-Venomous Snakes|
|Diamondback Rattlesnake||Black Rat Snake|
|Pigmy Rattlesnake||Bull Snake|
|Timber Rattlesnake||Western Worm Snake|
Identifying venomous snakes in Oklahoma requires knowledge of physical characteristics of the venomous and non-venomous snakes found in the state. Venomous snakes include the Diamondback Rattlesnake, Pigmy Rattlesnake, Copperhead, Cottonmouth, and Timber Rattlesnake. Non-venomous snakes include the Black Rat Snake, Bull Snake, Gopher Snake, Corn Snake, and Western Worm Snake.
The state of Oklahoma has a wide variety of snakes, some of which are venomous. It is important to be able to identify venomous snakes in order to avoid danger. Venomous snakes can be identified by looking for certain physical characteristics such as a triangular head, vertical pupils, and a single row of scales on the underside of the tail. Additionally, the presence of visible fangs is also a sign of a venomous snake. It is also important to be aware of the habitats in which venomous snakes are likely to be found. Lastly, if a snake is displaying defensive behaviour such as hissing, it is best to stay away.
|Triangular head||Rocky areas||Hissing|
|Single row of scales on underside of tail||Wooded areas||Coiling|
|Visible fangs||Grassy areas||–|
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the identifying characteristics of venomous snakes in Oklahoma?
Venomous snakes in Oklahoma are typically characterized as having a triangular-shaped head, a heat-sensing pit between the nostril and eye, elliptical pupils, and backward-curving fangs. Some venomous species have a single row of scales on the underside of the tail, while some have a pair of dark blotches along the back. Additionally, venomous snakes may have alternating bands of black, tan, or yellow.
How can I tell the difference between a venomous and a non-venomous snake in Oklahoma?
The most reliable way to distinguish between a venomous or non-venomous snake in Oklahoma is by examining the shape of its head. Venomous snakes in Oklahoma, such as the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake and the Copperhead, have triangular-shaped heads which are wider than their necks. Non-venomous snakes, such as the Corn Snake, have round heads and a more uniform body shape. Other physical differences between venomous and non-venomous snakes include the presence of a rattle on the tail of a venomous snake, as well as a lack of heat sensing pits on the face of a non-venomous snake. Additionally, venomous snakes will usually be larger in size than non-venomous snakes.
What is the most common venomous snake found in Oklahoma?
The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake is the most common venomous snake found in Oklahoma. This species is found in dry, rocky areas and can reach up to five feet in length. It has a distinctive pattern of diamond-shaped markings along its back, a rattle at the end of its tail, and a triangular-shaped head. This species is highly venomous and will bite if threatened.
What should I do if I encounter a venomous snake in Oklahoma?
Stay calm and slowly back away from the snake. Do not attempt to catch or kill it. If you are bitten, seek medical attention immediately and keep the wound clean and immobilized. If possible, try to remember the shape and color of the snake so that you can identify it to the medical professional.
Are there any methods for avoiding snake bites in Oklahoma?
The best way to avoid a snake bite is to stay away from them. It is important to be aware of areas where snakes may be hiding, such as under rocks and logs. When walking in areas where snakes may be present, it is important to wear protective clothing, such as long pants and boots, and to watch where you are stepping. Additionally, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and to not disturb any snakes that may be present. If you do encounter a snake, it is important to back away slowly and not make any sudden movements.
In conclusion, it is important for snake enthusiasts to familiarize themselves with the venomous snakes of Oklahoma. There are four distinct species of venomous snakes found in Oklahoma, and they can easily be identified by their distinct color patterns, body shape, and size. It is important to be aware of the potential risk that these snakes pose, and to take necessary precautions when encountering them. With the right knowledge, snake enthusiasts can safely observe and appreciate the beauty of Oklahoma’s venomous snakes.