Natchez Nature Trails
Venomous Snakes of Adams County
Venomous Snakes of Adams County Watch where you walk! Adams County is home to five species of venomous snakes: the Copperhead, Eastern Cottonmouth, Eastern Coral Snake, and the Canebrake and Pygmy Rattlesnakes. Copperheads are responsible for most of the venomous snake bites in the South, but only one documented death from them has ever occurred in this state. With the exception of the Coral Snake, all of Mississippi's venomous snakes are pit vipers. They can be recognized by their triangular-shaped heads, vertical ("cat eye") pupils, and heat-sensing pits between their eyes and nostrils. All snakes, even the dangerous ones, serve a purpose in nature's web of life, and SHOULD BE LEFT ALONE.Eastern Hognose Snake
When threatened, the Eastern Hognose Snake may flatten its head, rear up and hiss to scare off an enemy. If that doesn't work, the Hognose will turn onto its back and go limp, playing dead. When turned right-side up, the snake will immediately turn back over!Garter Snakes
These harmless snakes are common in our backyards. They have yellow stripes running the length of their bodies. Like skunks, they will emit a nasty-smelling musky fluid if they are threatened. Instead of laying eggs, like most snakes, they give birth to live young.Eastern
Cottonmouth vs Yellowbelly Water Snake
Eastern Cottonmouth and Water Moccasin are different names for the same snake. Cottonmouths and Water Snakes (which are non-venomous) live in the same swampy areas, and can have the same size and coloring - look closely for that triangle shaped head! Cottonmouths prefer to be left alone. To encourage this, they will open their mouths wide to show off the cotton-white inside, in order to startle other animals (or people).Coral or King?Red touches yellow, kill a fellow. Red touches black, friend of Jack.
This rhyme helps to tell the difference between the venomous Coral Snake and harmless Scarlet King Snake. On the Coral Snake, the YELLOW bands touch the larger RED areas. On the Scarlet King Snake, the BLACK bands touch the larger RED areas. Unlike a pit viper, a Coral Snake has tiny teeth, but the ability to open its mouth very wide means that it can puncture skin to inject its venom.Rattlesnakes
Each time a Rattlesnake sheds its skin (up to 3 times a year), a new section of rattle is formed. Since rattles can accidentally break off, counting rattles on a tail does not necessarily tell the age of the snake. Watch out when climbing on rocks - these snakes love to sun themselves and don't always give a "warning rattle" before striking.