Amazing Snakes of the Florida Everglades

When most people think of the Florida Everglades, snakes are probably not the first image that comes to mind. With over 250,000 alligators, scores of wading birds, and plentiful fish, the ‘Glades is the place to be for extraordinary wildlife viewing. But among the lush subtropical landscape, there are some pretty incredible snakes lurking about that often go unnoticed unless you go on an Everglades airboat tour.

Currently, there are over 50 species of snakes in the State of Florida, and 23 of them can be found in the Everglades. If you’re planning to visit the area for an Everglades tour or just interested in learning more about the amazing snakes of the Everglades, including which ones to avoid, here’s some information to get you started.

What Kind of Snakes Live in Everglades?

The Florida Everglades is a fascinating hotspot for snake fans, in addition to being a refuge for birdwatchers and alligator fanatics. Diversity is the name of the game when it comes to snakes in the Everglades. The Florida Brown Snake and the Eastern Garter Snake are two non-venomous snakes that are commonly harmless and provide for a fantastic photo opportunity.

On the other hand, venomous species like the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake and coral snake, though less prevalent, also live in this rich setting. Therefore, the Everglades provide a wide variety of serpentine residents that contribute to the distinctive and complicated Everglades environment, whether you’re taking a guided group airboat trip or setting out on a solo airboat tour.


Eastern Indigo Snake

A non-venomous snake recognized by its lustrous black color, the Eastern indigo snake is the longest native snake in the United States. Coming in at a whopping 9 feet on average, this Everglades snake is a sight to see! Preferring drier habitat, many of these creatures take shelter in hollow logs found throughout the area. Although the Indigo snake must endure commercial expansion and habitat degradation, it thrives within the confines of Everglades National Park’s pine and tropical hardwood forests.

Florida Brown Snake

On the opposite side of the scale from the Indigo, the Florida brown snake is one of the smallest snakes in the Everglades. Measuring in at a mere 10 inches as an adult, brown snakes can be seen feeding on small insects, frogs, and spiders. Florida brown snakes depend on the wet swamps and marshes that define the Everglades and, despite dealing with habitat threats, play a critical role in sustaining the health of the ecosystem.

Eastern Garter Snake

With three very long yellow stripes running down the length of its body, the Eastern garter snake is easy to spot. Garter snakes prefer moist, grassy environments, making the Everglades ideal. They also prefer warm, sunny weather and feed happily on worms, fish, and small toads.

Rat Snake

The Rat Snake is easily one of the most beautiful snakes in the world, defined by bright, tropical coloring. Elusive in the Everglades, the Rat snake doesn’t make an appearance often, but when they do, provide spectacular imagery to catch on film.

Burmese Python

Classified as an invasive species, the Burmese python is one of the five largest snakes in the world, averaging 10-18 feet in length. Native to Southeast Asia, pythons have made their way to the Everglades mostly through abandonment and importation (which has since been banned by the U.S. Department of the Interior). They prefer grassland marshes and swamps and feed on a diet of birds and mammals.

Venomous Everglades Snakes in South Florida

There are venomous snakes in the State of Florida, and four currently reside in the Everglades:

  • Florida Cottonmouth
  • Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
  • Coral Snake
  • Pygmy Rattlesnake

Florida Cottonmouth – As North America’s only venomous water snake, the Florida cottonmouth, also called the water moccasin, can be found in shallow marshes sunning itself in the Everglades. Incredibly strong swimmers, the cottonmouth can grow to 6 feet in length and is identified by a thick body and distinctive block-shaped head.

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Another venomous snake found in the Everglades is the notorious diamondback rattlesnake. As the largest rattlesnake in North America, diamondbacks have been known to reach over 8 feet in length. Although a bite from a diamondback can be dangerous, they are typically not aggressive, preferring to warn would-be threats with a characteristic rattle rather than a strike. Diamondbacks often live underground and are skillful swimmers.

Coral Snake

The Coral snake is gorgeous to look at, with bright red, yellow, and black colors forming intricate patterns on the skin. Despite bright colors, coral snakes are tough to spot as they prefer to stay underground and are not likely to make an appearance. A bite from a coral snake is rare, accounting for less than 1 percent of all snake bites each year. Nevertheless, this snake is highly venomous, and one strike could be fatal.

Pygmy Rattlesnake

Pygmy rattlesnakes spend most of their time hidden and, as a result, are extremely difficult to spot. Identified by nine large scales on the top of the head, pygmy rattlesnakes are slightly smaller than traditional rattlers, measuring in at an average of 14-22 inches in length. While they can be found in a variety of habitats, they prefer marshes and swamps.

How Did So Many Snakes Get in the Everglades?

There are concerns over how such a diversified population of snakes came to be since the Florida Everglades have developed into a complicated mixture of native and invasive species. The exotic pet trade, where Burmese pythons were initially purchased as pets and eventually released into the Everglades ecosystem, is one important contributing element. The marshes became the ideal breeding site for these invasive pythons, which caused a surge in their population. The presence of invasive species has upset the balance of local wildlife, which includes native species like the Florida Brown Snake and Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake.

What is the Largest Snake Found in the Everglades?

The Burmese python, an invasive species that has grown to be a significant threat for the local ecosystem, holds the title of largest snake discovered in the Florida Everglades. Originally from Southeast Asia, these enormous constrictors can reach lengths of up to 23 feet, yet the longest Burmese Python ever found in the Everglades was only approximately 18 feet long. Due to their extensive appetite for native animals, including wading birds and small mammals, they have a significant negative impact on the Everglades ecology. The management of this rapidly expanding python population is a top priority for Everglades National Park officials.


Snakes are an important part of the Everglades ecosystem, helping to maintain balance and equilibrium in the wetlands. Many snakes feed on smaller insects and bugs that damage the area, while others actually eat other venomous snakes! By helping to control the rodent population in the ‘glades and providing food for many other reptiles like alligators and birds, we welcome snakes as part of the extraordinary collection of spectacular wildlife that inhabit our lands.

Ready to explore the Everglades by airboat tour? If you’re searching for an exciting adventure for the entire family, be sure to visit for more details on how you can book an invigorating tour through the magical Florida Everglades today!

Faqs Regarding Snakes in the Everglades

  • How have Burmese pythons affected the native wildlife in the Florida Everglades?
  • Burmese pythons have seriously complicated matters for the natural animals of the Everglades. These predators have been chowing down on anything from wading birds to marsh bunnies. The outcome is a significant decrease in the number of birds and small animals around. They disrupt the entire Everglades ecology, which is terrible news for all the organisms that live there, not just specific ones.
  • Why are Burmese pythons considered an invasive species in the Everglades?
  • Because they are not native to the Florida Everglades, Burmese pythons are classified as invasive species. They originated in Southeast Asia, and it’s possible that the exotic pet trade brought them to Europe. Tens of thousands of these invasive pythons have taken over the Everglades as a result of their quick reproductive rate, disrupting the ecosystem there.
  • What measures are being taken to control the Burmese Python population in the Everglades?
  • Various strategies are being employed to control the Burmese python population in the Everglades. These include python removal programs and public education about the risks associated with the exotic pet trade. In some instances, snake hunters are employed to capture these large constrictor snakes. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida and Everglades National Park are among the organizations actively involved in these efforts.
  • How many non-venomous snakes are found in the Everglades?
  • Both venomous and non-venomous snake species can be found in the Everglades. The Eastern garter snake and Florida brown snake are two examples of non-venomous snakes that are typically found close to water or in cypress swamps. It is obvious that non-venomous snakes make up a sizable fraction of the snake population in the Everglades, notwithstanding the difficulty in obtaining exact figures.
  • Which parts of South Florida are most populated by the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake?
  • You’ll often spot Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes in the lower part of Florida, especially in South Florida areas like the Florida Everglades and even West Palm Beach. They’re fans of places like pine forests and being near water, but don’t be surprised if you find them in urban areas too.
  • Are coral snakes and garter snakes commonly found in the Everglades?
  • Absolutely, both coral snakes and garter snakes are local residents of the Everglades. Just a heads-up: Coral snakes are definitely not to be messed with—they’re highly venomous. On the flip side, garter snakes are harmless and non-venomous. Both types add to the amazing diversity of reptile life in the Everglades.

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