Arkansas is home to 6 main categories of snakes: Venomous, Coral Snake Mimics, Terrestrial Snakes, Water Snakes, Woodland Snakes, and Crayfish/Mud Snakes.
Don’t worry, Arkansas isn’t “crawling with snakes.” There aren’t nests of them under every rock but they are out there.
Common Arkansas Snakes
Let’s start with the venomous snakes…
In the Venomous snake category, you will find the Copperhead, Cottonmouth, Texas Coral Snake, Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Western Pigmy Rattlesnake, and Timber Rattlesnake.
I have lived in Arkansas all of my life and I have only ever encountered Copperhead and Cottonmouths. This is good news for me but that doesn’t mean the other types aren’t out there.
On our 5 acres of woods in Central Arkansas, we see a lot of terrestrial snakes. Here in Arkansas, we have 10 types of terrestrial snakes. Yes, 10!
They are the Racer, Rough Green Snake, Great Plains Rat Snake, Coachwhip, Black Rat Snake, Speckled Kingsnake, Eastern Hognose Snake, Prairie Kingsnake, Western Ribbon Snake, and Common Garter Snake.
Just yesterday we had a 4-foot Racer snake in one of our cedar trees. It was beautiful to watch. He relaxed for a while, looked around, then went off on his way.
A fishing trip I will never forget happened when I was younger. It was a night fishing trip here in Central Arkansas on Picthorne Lake. I was shining the flashlight in the water so we could get our barrings and there it was… a water snake coming right toward my light.
A sight like that will make you almost lose your mind!
It all happened so quickly and I don’t know what kind of water snake it was but it was one of Arkansas’s several varieties of water snakes.
Here in Arkansas, you will find the Mississippi Green Water Snake, Northern Water Snake, Plainbelly Water Snake, Broad-banded Water Snake, and the Diamondback Water Snake.
Coral Snake Mimics
Coral snakes are a large group of venomous snakes in the Elapidae family. Other members in the same family are sea snakes, copperheads, mambas, king cobras, and more. They are well known for their bright colored bands of red, black, and yellow scales. -source
In Arkansas, you will find Coral Snake Mimics.
The Scarlet Snake and the Milk Snake looks very similiar to the venomous Coral Snake but they are actually harmless.
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Each of the Woodland Snakes has it’s own favorite area of Arkansas to live in. Some of them love the Ouachita Mountains, others enjoy the River Valley, while some live in the Mississippi Delta.
You will find several of these Woodland Snakes statewide.
Arkansas is home to 8 Woodland Snakes. They are the Eastern & Western Worm Snake, Ringneck Snake, Ground Snake, Brown Snake, Redbelly Snake, Flathead Snake, Rough Earth Snake, and Smooth Earth Snake.
Here in our woods of Central Arkansas, we often find the Ringneck Snake.
The last category of common snakes in Arkansas are the Crayfish/Mud Snakes. There are 4 snakes in this category and they are the Mud Snake, Graham’s Crayfish Snake, Glossy Crayfish Snake, and Queen Snake.
The longest of the group is the Mud Snake. It can grow up to 54 inches long whereas the others lonely grow up to 2ft long.
So, what snakes are common in Arkansas?
With over 35 kinds of snakes, they don’t call us “The Natural State” for nothing!