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Florida Poisonous Snakes Florida Venomous Snakes

Florida has 6 native poisonous snake species. Florida poisonous snakes include the Canebrake Rattlesnake or Timber Rattlesnake, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Pygmy Rattlesnake, Copperhead, Cottonmouth and Eastern Coral Snake. 5 out of the 6 venomous snakes in Florida are in the pit viper family. I will use the term poisonous and venomous interchangeably although venomous is the proper term. The Eastern Coral snake is the only non-pit viper that is poisonous in Florida. It is a member of the elapid family. Other Elapids include cobras, kraits, mambas, taipan and tiger snakes.

Florida does have its fair share of poisonous snakes but if proper precautions are taken death is rare. The copperhead is found only in the panhandle and the coral snake tends to be shy and reclusive. The coral snake does have highly toxic venom but bite yields tend to be low and delivery is often blocked by clothing. Cottonmouths are known to be aggressive but bites are rarely fatal when medical attention is promptly sought. The Rattlesnake species in Florida can be dangerous but if proper steps are taken and anti-venom is administered deaths are rare. Dry bites are a possibility but should not be counted on. Some venom can have delayed effects leading victims to believe the bight is not serious. If you believe you have been bitten by a Florida poisonous snake seek immediate medical attention.

*The scientific term would be venomous snake. There is a distinction between organisms that are venomous and those that are poisonous. Venomous, as stated above, refers to animals that inject venom into their prey when hunting or as a self-defense mechanism. Poisonous, on the other hand, describes plants or animals that are harmful when consumed or touched. *

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