venomous snakes in Arkansas

BEWARE of the 6 Venomous snakes in Arkansas

I was raised to think that the only good snakes are dead snakes. Let’s keep in mind that, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, it is illegal to kill any snake. The only exception to the law is if the snake “poses a reasonable threat or endangerment to persons or property.”

So, if your view is to kill any snake you find, you are breaking the law and you’re choosing to be misinformed.

I’m sad that I was taught that all snakes are bad. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Keep in mind that snakes aren’t hunting for you. Most snake bites occur when people choose to mess with snakes.

There are over 35 common snakes in Arkansas. Six of those are venomous.

6 Types of Venomous Snakes in Arkansas

Five out of six of our venomous snakes are pit vipers. The only venomous snake that isn’t a pit viper is the Texas Coral Snake.

Pit Vipers are distinguished by the presence of a heat-sensing pit organ located between the eye and the nostril on both sides of the head. -source

1. Copperhead

The Copperhead is a venomous snake that is found statewide in Arkansas. It is gray, tan or light brown and easy to recognize hourglass-shaped cross bands.

Some people say that the hourglass-shaped cross bands look like Hershey Kisses.

They can grow up to 36 inches in length.

2. Cottonmouth

Like the Copperhead, the Cottonmouth is also a venomous snake that is found statewide in Arkansas.

Arkansas cottonmouth features

A Cottonmouth is a very thick looking snake with a dark olive-brown color. It has a white upper lip with a black stripe from it’s snout to neck.

3. Texas Coral Snake

You will most likely only run into the Texas Coral Snake in Southern Arkansas. It’s very brightly colored and looks very different from the other snakes of Arkansas.

Texas coral snake features

The Texas Coral Snake has a head and body that are banded in bright red, yellow and black bands.

4. Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake lives in the Western part of Arkansas. Specifically, it can usually be found in the uplands of the Ouachita Mountains and southwestern Ozark highlands.

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - poisonous snake in Arkansas
Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes. Tom Spinker/Creative Commons

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake features

The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake is a light brown, gray to grayish brown with diamond-shaped blotches. These blotches are light-bordered and brownish in color.

The tail of the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake is very distinctive with white and black bands.

5. Western Pigmy Rattlesnake

The Western Pigmy Rattlesnake is a venomous snake that is found statewide in Arkansas.

Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - poisonous snake in Arkansas
Western Pygmy Rattlesnake. Photo used with permission by Kentucky Wild.

Western Pygmy Rattlesnake features

These snakes have a distinctive coloring. They are brownish to bluish-gray with black blotches on the back. Running down the center of the back is an orange or yellowish brown stripe.

6. Timber Rattlesnake

The Timber Rattlesnake is found statewide in Arkansas so stay vigilant while hiking or enjoying all the great things to do in the Ozark National Forest or any other area of Arkansas.

Timber Rattlesnake features

Its head and body can be gray, grayish, yellow or yellowish brown. It has V-shaped black bands running down the body with a reddish stripe down the back.

The tail is solid black.

Learn more about Arkansas’s poisonous rattlesnakes here: Watch out! There are Rattlesnakes in Arkansas

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