See Which One Of Washington’s 12 Snake Species Can Kill You
Do you like snakes? No? Are you one who immediately feels terrified or begins to shiver at the very thought of the reptilian creature wrapping itself around your neck and not letting go? If so, sorry for that imagery, but you may be an Ophidiophobic.
If you're letting the fear of a poisonous snake attacking you from enjoying the great outdoors in Washington State, I've got good news. Of the roughly 12 species of snakes common to our neck of the woods, only one is venomous and potentially deadly. This critter is actually a viper.
The Northern Pacific Rattlesnake - a subspecies of Western Rattlesnake.
This is the only snake on the list capable of injecting venom in a bite.
At least these guys will normally give you a heads-up that they're near - rattle rattle! Keep your ears open when out walking or hiking.
You'll not only find these colorful snakes in California as the name implies, they're all over the Western U.S. If you've heard a version of “Red touches black, venom lack. Red touches yellow, kill a fellow”, it's a rhyme distinguishing the harmless kingsnake from the deadly coral snake.
I'll bet nobody would want to find one of these anywhere near their garter. One of the many harmless snakes in Washington, for humans anyway.
Looks good in stripes and intelligent! Great combo. This nonvenomous snake preys on lizards, other snakes, small mammals, and insects.
The Sharptail Snake
Sometimes called Sharp-Tailed. Sometimes called late for dinner. As you can tell, their coloration is fairly drab despite their wicked name.
The Ringnecked Snake
Betcha can't guess how this one got its name. A classy collar gives this snake away as another safe snake to pass by on the trail.
The RACER Snake
As the name implies, they're fast and while they're considered constrictors, they really don't constrict their prey, so much as they wrap a couple of coils around the prey - wearing it out - and gobbling it down - alive.
The Pacific Gopher Snake
I was really hoping to find out that this guy was named after Fred Grandy's character on 'The Love Boat' but, no such luck. The Herpetologist I interviewed just gave me blank stare.
This little guy is among a few different species of Garter Snake found in our area and is perhaps the smallest.
When encountered, at night, this one is often, at first glance, misidentified as a rattlesnake.
Common, perhaps, but not unremarkable. Nice stripes and a good listener.
AKA The Great Basin Gopher Snake.
Check out this video for a squiggly good time and more herpetology than you can shake a stick at. (not that I've tried shaking a stick at a herpetologist).
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