Venture into Keystone Heights, Fleming Island, Middleburg, in all of Clay County, Florida, and you’ll encounter a diversity of wildlife in your neighborhood. Snakes, often misunderstood, are part of this vibrant ecosystem. Here’s a look at the most common snakes you may stumble upon, either walking around a park or at home.
Eastern Garter Snake
Another common sight is the Eastern Garter Snake. Easily recognizable, it sports three yellow stripes running longitudinally. This non-venomous snake thrives in various environments, from forests to grasslands.
The Black Racer, as the name implies, is fast-moving and all-black. This non-venomous snake prefers open, sunny spaces. Its diet includes rodents, birds, and frogs.
Eastern Rat Snake
One of the largest species is the Eastern Rat Snake. Black with a white belly, it’s non-venomous. It’s an excellent climber, often found in trees hunting for prey, primarily rodents and birds.
The Southern Copperhead is a venomous snake, sporting a distinctive copper-red head. This species favors forested areas with leaf litter. Its diet is diverse, including rodents, birds, and amphibians.
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is another venomous species. This large, heavy-bodied snake is known for the distinctive rattle at its tail end. It’s found in dry, sandy areas and feeds on small mammals.
Eastern Coral Snake
The brightly colored Eastern Coral Snake is venomous. With its distinctive red, yellow, and black bands, it’s hard to miss. This elusive species prefers leafy ground cover and eats other snakes.
The Florida Cottonmouth, also venomous, has a robust body with dark crossbands. Found near water, it’s named for the white inside of its mouth, visible when threatened. It feeds on fish, amphibians, and reptiles.
These are just some snakes you may encounter in Clay County, Florida. Remember, while some are venomous, most are harmless and crucial for maintaining a balanced ecosystem. Practice caution and respect when you come across these fascinating creatures.