5 Most Venomous Snakes in Georgia

Most Venomous Snakes in Georgia
Photo by Karl Ibri

Georgia is endowed with a plethora of animals. Unfortunately, when threatened, some of these creatures may be quite hazardous to humans—snakes, in particular.

There are 46 different snakes in Georgia. However, only a few are considered venomous. Here is a list of the most venomous snakes in Georgia.

1. Cottonmouth (Water Mocassin)

The water moccasin, sometimes known as the “cottonmouth,” is the only venomous water snake in North America.

 Water moccasins Have a blocky, triangular head, hefty body, and lethal bite. These snakes are semi-aquatic, which means they can move on land and water.

 Water moccasins live throughout the southeastern United States, from Virginia to Florida to eastern Texas. Their habitats are marshes, ponds, lakes, and streams. They enjoy basking in the sun on rocks and logs near water bodies.

How Venomous Are Water Moccasins?

The venom of water moccasins contains hemotoxins, which kill blood cells and impede blood coagulation; this can result in bleeding wherever the poison spreads.

The venom of a water moccasin is rarely life-threatening nowadays, thanks to the development of antivenom.

However, it can still cause long-term tissue and muscle damage around the bite site. If a water moccasin has bitten you, seek medical assistance immediately.

2. Eastern Coral Snake

Eastern coral snakes have black, yellow, and red rings that encircle their bodies. They have a kinship with the cobra, Mamba, and sea snake.

They prefer the forested, sandy, and Marshy environments of the southern United States, where they spend most of their life underground or in leaf piles.

The eastern coral snake is similar to the scarlet king snake, which has black, yellow, and red rings. They may appear nearly identical, but there is a fatal difference. The scarlet kingsnake is not dangerous, but the eastern coral snake is.

Yellow circles surround the crimson on the coral snake, while black circles surround the red rings on the scarlet kingsnake. Coral snakes will only bite humans if threatened.

How Venomous is the Eastern Coral Snake?

When a coral snake bites, there is very little pain. Symptoms can appear up to twelve hours later. Suppose the neurotoxin is left untreated.

In that case, it destroys the connections between the brain and the muscles, causing slurred speech, double vision, and paralysis, finally leading to respiratory or cardiac failure, thus making this wildlife one of the most venomous snakes in Georgia.

Fortunately, no deaths from the coral snakes had occurred in the United States since 1967, when antivenom was introduced.

2. Pygmy Rattlesnake

The pygmy rattlesnake, as the name states, is smaller than other rattlesnake species. Pygmy rattlesnakes have grey, brown, or lavender bodies with black spots down the middle.

 They can grow up to 31 inches long but mostly between 16 and 23 inches. These snakes can thrive in wet and dry habitats, such as forests, creeks, swamps, and sandhills. 

They prefer to hide under leaf litter and might be challenging to spot; Their food consists primarily of small mammals and birds, as well as lizards, frogs, and insects like large desert centipedes. They also consume other snakes.

How Venomous Is the Pygmy Rattlesnake?

While not as lethal as its larger cousins, the pygmy rattlesnake’s venom can kill red blood cells, disrupt blood coagulation, and inflict terrible pain.

3. Copperhead

Copperheads are medium-sized snakes that can reach lengths of 2 to 3 feet. They have a characteristic pattern of saddlebag-shaped crossbands in brown to reddish brown. 

Copperheads are responsible for the most snake bites in the United States because they can withstand living in metropolitan settings and built territory, making encounters with humans more common. 

Copperheads are pit vipers, which means they can detect heat. This is useful while they are hunting at night.

How Poisonous Are Copperheads?

Copperhead venom is less potent than the other snakes on the list of most venomous snakes in Georgia, making youngsters and the elderly more vulnerable.

4. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

The eastern diamondback rattlesnake can grow to be 8 feet long and weigh up to 10 pounds. This rattlesnake is North America’s largest venomous snake.

 Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, coastal scrublands, and pine forests. 

They can be identified by the black diamond-like markings on their backs. They eat tiny rodents like mice, rats, squirrels, and occasionally birds.

These snakes, known for their lethal venom, are as terrified of you as you are of them. The rattling allows them to warn you if you approach too closely.

Other snakes on this list are not like this. Most people are bitten by rattlesnakes either ask for it or attempt to catch or kill them.

How Venomous is the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake?

 Keep in mind that these snakes have the ability to strike up to one-third of their body length. Diamondback venom, like cottonmouth and coral snake venom, is a hemotoxin that kills red blood cells and hinders blood coagulation.

The Diamondback Rattlesnake has the most painful bites on the list of Most Venomous Snakes in Georgia and might be fatal if not treated promptly with antivenom.

5. Timber Rattlesnakes 

Lastly on the list of most venomous snakes in Georgia is the Timber rattlesnake found throughout the eastern portion of the United States.

From eastern Kansas, Texas, Iowa, and central Wisconsin to Georgia, the Carolinas, and New England. Like other pit viper members, the timber rattlesnake has a robust, heavy-bodied look.

Adults usually grow to be 2.5-5 feet (.76-1.5 meters) long, but there have been instances of timber rattlesnakes reaching 7 feet (2 meters) in length.

Timber rattlesnakes inhabit many environments, including mountainous or hilly forests, hardwood or pine forests, marshes, river floodplains, lowland cane thickets, and farmlands.

How Venomous is the Timber Rattlesnake?

Because of its long fangs, large size, and high venom yield, this snake has the potential to be one of North America’s most lethal.

The toxicity of the venom varies significantly between geographic and ontogenetic lines, as can be true for many rattlesnake species.

Timber rattlesnake venom is a hemotoxin that destroys tissue to aid in the digestion of its meal. The skin around a timber rattlesnake bite will usually swell, turn black, and peel off as the skin heals.

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