Snakes of Huntsville, AL

Huntsville snake

Welcome to! I am David, a snake enthusiast living in Huntsville, AL. Many people don't know that Huntsville is in fact full of snakes! You just need to know where to find them - they can often be shy and elusive. Some Alabama snake species are more common outside of the city limits, in different parts of Madison County AL, but many types of snakes are indeed common in the more urban parts of Huntsville. This guide is meant to help educate you about the beautiful snakes of Huntsville, and to help you identify the most common snakes of Huntsville, as well as the venomous snakes of Huntsville that you should learn to recognize and avoid. If you want more detail, click here for my complete list of ALL snake species in Huntsville. Remember the following:

  • Most snakes of Huntsville are harmless and don't want to encounter you
  • Venomous snakes exist but are uncommon in Huntsville, Alabama
  • Snakes eat rats and mice and are a valuable part of the Alabama ecosystem
  • Never kill a snake - if you leave a snake alone, it will leave you alone.

Common Snake Species in Huntsville

Huntsville snake Garter Snakes: The eastern garter snake is one of the most common snakes in Alabama, and it is certainly the most common one found in urban areas, such as Huntsville. The eastern garter has a dark background with thin, light-colored stripes running down the length of its body. These snakes are generally between a foot to three feet in length and live in a variety of habitats. They feed primarily on insects and other small creatures. They present no danger to humans, as they are non-venomous, and very rarely bite when startled or handled.

Huntsville snake Hognose Snake: The southern hognose snake is one of the most unique-looking snakes found in northern Alabama. These snakes are easily identified by their upturned noses and their light-colored bodies with orange markings on them. The southern hognose is anywhere from a foot to two feet long, and they feed on insects and small mammals. They can be found in forests, grassy areas, and even in suburban areas. The southern hognose is non-venomous and very rarely bites, as they prefer to stay away from humans.

Huntsville snake Kingsnakes: The black kingsnake is one of Alabama’s larger snakes, as it can be up to five feet in length. They are easy to identify by their solid black bodies with small light-colored spots, along with a white neck. These snakes are very comfortable in a wide variety of habitats, including urban areas. One of their most unique features is their resistance to the venom of Alabama’s venomous snakes, and they actually feed on these poisonous snakes, in addition to rodents, birds, and lizards. The black kingsnake is harmless to humans, though it can leave a painful bite if it is handled.

Venomous Snake Species in Huntsville

Huntsville snake Copperheads: The copperhead is found in most southern states, and Alabama is no exception. The cottonmouth is relatively common in a variety of habitats, including next to urban areas. These venomous snakes can be potentially deadly to humans, however many copperhead bites end up being dry bites, where no venom is released. This snake receives its name from the copper-colored head and body that it has. There are darker-colored bands along with a lighter colored background. Two to three feet is generally the length of these snakes. The copperhead eats a variety of prey, such as amphibians, small rodents, and birds.

Huntsville snake Rattlesnakes: There are two rattlesnake species that inhabit the area around Huntsville, and that is the timber rattler and the eastern diamondback rattler. The timber rattlesnake has a distinctive light-colored background with dark V-shaped bands running around its body. They are anywhere from three to five feet in length and eat a variety of small mammals, birds, and even other reptiles. The eastern diamondback is a very large snake, running anywhere from three to seven feet in length. They are easily identified by their unique dark diamond markings on an olive or tan background. Both of these species feature triangular heads and heat-sensing pits on their faces. Both species also have highly toxic venom that can be deadly if it is not treated quickly.

Huntsville snake Cottonmouths: Also known as the water moccasin, cottonmouths are large snakes commonly found in northern Alabama. These snakes prefer to live in aquatic environments, though they have been known to live in dry land and even urban areas. They are very dark-colored snakes, generally an olive or dark brown color. They can be anywhere from two to six feet in length and eat a variety of creatures, from fish to small mammals. The cottonmouth gets its name from the characteristic all-white mouth that is seen when they are preparing to strike. The cottonmouth has a highly deadly venom and any bites should be treated as soon as possible.

If you're unsure, you can email me a photo of the snake at and I will email you back with the snake's species. If you found a snake skin, read my Found a Skin? page, and you can email me a photo of the skin, and I'll identify the snake for you. If you need professional Huntsville snake removal help, click my Get Help page, or see the below website sponsor I found, who provides that service.

Remember, the term is not poisonous snakes of Huntsville, it's venomous snakes of Huntsville. Poison is generally something you eat, and venom is injected into you. That said, dangerous snakes are very rare in Huntsville. The few venomous snakes of Madison County are rarely seen. But they are commonly misidentified, so learn about all the snake species of Huntsville in order to correctly identify them. These snakes are usually also found in the surrounding towns of Hazel Green, Harvest, Meridianville, New Market, New Hope, Gurley, Owens Cross Roads, Triana, Moores Mill, and the surrounding areas.

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