Venomous Snakes of Florida
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Venomous Snakes of Florida

Like any other state within the union, Florida is the home to many different reptiles. This includes a wide array of snakes that are commonly found within the state. While the vast majority of these are not dangerous to people, there are six that are venomous snakes that can be extremely dangerous should a person be bitten by them.



While there are six species of venomous snakes in the state, these fall into two different categories: pit vipers and Elapidae. Included in the pit vipers are the Diamondback Rattlesnake, Canebrake Rattlesnake, Pygmy Rattlesnake, Cottonmouth, and Copperhead. The poisons in these snakes directly attacks the red blood cells of the victim as well as the walls of the blood vessels that carry the blood cells. These toxins are known as haemotoxic. The other kind of snake is the Coral Snake, which releases a neurotoxin. This means that it attacks the nervous system, causing extreme paralysis in the victim.

There are three different kinds of rattlesnakes: The Eastern diamondback, the canebrake (timber rattlesnake), and the pygmy rattlesnake. The Eastern diamondback has a rather large body and contains a very large amount of venom. This snake has very quick striking speed and is very aggressive in its ability to defend itself. It feeds primarily on such animals as rabbits, squirrels, shrews, and other rodents.

The canebrake is mostly found in the northern portion of Florida. The head is significantly wider than the neck, a trait commonly found in rattlesnakes, and the snake can reach as long as 5 feet in length, although most average about 3 to 4 feet.

The pygmy rattlesnake is found all throughout the state and usually measures about 18 inches in length. While rather small, this is a very dangerous reptile which is incredibly quick it striking and has enough poison in it to kill an adult human being. They feed primarily on frogs, lizards, and rodents.

The cottonmouth, which is also commonly referred to as a water moccasin, is very much like the rattlesnake but without the rattles. It is found in every area of Florida and will draw into a very tight coil for attacking its prey. What makes this predator so very dangerous is that it can strike from both in and out of the water. This gives it the ability to expand its diet to everything from frogs, lizards, and rodents, all the way to such things as fish. The average adult is about 4 feet in length and a bite from this creature can be fatal to human beings.

The copperhead is found mostly around the Orlando area and usually is no more than 3 feet in length.

The last of these is the coral snake whose venom is the most potent of any snake on the continent. While only reaching about 30 inches in length, these are a very dangerous snake to tangle with indeed. Read more: Snake Control, Venomous Snakes of Florida, How to Identify Snakes, How to Kill Snakes.


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