Snakes in Maryland

By Snaketracks / September 30, 2021

There are 27 different types of snakes in Maryland. The copperhead and timber rattlesnakes are the only snakes in the state equipped with deadly venom. These two are vipers, while the rest of the twenty-five fall into the Colubridae family. Snakes are an important fauna in Kentucky and help to keep a blanched ecosystem. They feed off small rodents and pests, keeping their population low.

Luckily snakes are generally harmless and do not bother humans often. Forrest, fields, wetlands, marshes, rivers, and even near residential areas are some of the places you can find snakes.  It is important to know what species are near you to fully appreciate and stay safe while around the animal.

This list will have all of the snakes in Maryland and common places to find them. Some species look similar to each other and can be confused for each other. Its pattern, coloring, habitat, and behavior can be found on this list and will help to identify one species from the next.

Knowing where and how they look will be useful in your trips out in nature and on your next crossing with a snake. Here are all of the snakes in Maryland and what you should know about each one.

Snakes in Maryland

1. Timber Rattlesnake

Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)
Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Viperidae
  • Scientific Name: Crotalus horridus
  • Other Names: timber rattler
  • Adult Size: 30-60 inches
  • Lifespan: 10-20 years
  • Average Price Range: $300

Timber rattlesnakes are native to the Eastern United States and are one of the venomous species found in Maryland. It lives in rocky and vegetated forests. This snake is most active in the spring and daytime. When summers heat intensifies they become nocturnal. Winter is when they brumate and hide in logs and other natural debris.

Timber rattlesnakes usually only bite if provoked and a bite can be deadly if not treated. While their venom can be deadly it has been used in important scientific research for medicine.

The timber rattlesnake is one of the largest venomous snakes in Maryland. Their heads are triangular shaped and their fangs are large. Around their catlike eyes are pits, which are used to help track prey.

Their bodies are large and have a rattle at the end of their tail. Gray, brown to black are its base colors. Dark, jagged bands go cover its body.

The timber rattlesnake eats squirrels, mice, chipmunks, and other rodents. They use their deadly venom to incapacitate prey and will rattle if threatened by a predator. Kingsnakes and possums and common predators for this species.

This snake is usually in areas with a low human population and deep wilderness. Its population is unknown due to its secretive nature and in some areas, this species is endangered.

2. Eastern Copperhead

Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Viperidae
  • Scientific Name: Agkistrodon contortrix
  • Other Names: Copperhead
  • Adult Size: 20 to 37 inches
  • Lifespan: 18 years
  • Average Price Range: $100

Copperheads are found in many Maryland habitats like swamps, marshes, forests, and agricultural fields. Copperheads can also be found in coastal areas, rivers, and streams. They are one of Maryland’s venomous species and can be found most in the spring mating season. In summer they become nocturnal to avoid the heat and will hunt at night. They will hide under natural debris when hiding or brumating for the winter.

These snakes are large and are known for their copper color head. Pink, tan, or brown is their base color with large blotches running down their back. The blotches are uniquely hourglass-shaped and can help identify this species. Between each blotch is the occasional spot. Their scales are keeled and rough. This snake has a triangular-shaped head and cat-like eyes, which is similar to other venomous species.

Copperheads are well known and feared for their deadly venom. Many snakes are often killed mistaken for this notorious species. It is rare a species will bite a human and they mainly use their venom to help catch prey. Rodents, insects, amphibians, and other small mammals are preyed upon by this species for food. While endangered in some states copperheads are of least concern in Maryland and around the U.S.

3. Common Watersnake

Midland Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon pleuralis) by Peter Paplanus
Midland Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon pleuralis) by Peter Paplanus
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Nerodia sipedon pleuralis
  • Other Names: Midland watersnake
  • Adult Size: 22-40 inches
  • Lifespan: 9 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

The Common watersnake is also known as the Northern watersnake and can be found in abundance in Maryland. They live in freshwater habitats and inhabit many lakes, streams rivers, and swamps. Often times they bask in the sun for warmth or hang around vegetation when not in the water. This species is not venomous but is extremely aggressive, and will not hesitate to bite.

Northern watersnakes are brown, gray, or black in color and have dark blotches on their back which connect to look like bands. As they age these snakes grow darker, and can eventually become all back. Their scales are rough and keeled.

Common watersnakes will hunt in the day or night. They are effective hunters and will eat fish, amphibians, crayfish, insects, birds, and small mammals. This species is very common and has a healthy population in Maryland. The common water snake is often mistaken for a Cottonmouth and thought to be venomous. The common watersnake is not venomous, and there are no species of cottonmouth that inhabit Maryland.

4. Yellow-bellied Watersnake

Yellow Bellied Watersnake (Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster) by Peter Paplanus
Yellow Bellied Watersnake (Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster) by Peter Paplanus
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster
  • Other Names: 
  • Adult Size: 30-48 inches
  • Lifespan: 8-10 years
  • Average Price Range: $50

The yellow-bellied watersnake was once called the red-bellied watersnake and lives in some of Marylands water sources. Forests, rivers, swamps, and the coastal plains are some of the habitats to find this snake. They are aggressive when handled and can often be seen in summer basking in the sun.

They can be identified by their plain ar red shaded belly. It has no pattern on its body and is dark brown to black in color. Around their mouth and throat is reddish shading. Their bodies are thick with strongly keeled scales.

This watersnake gets most of its food from hunting in the water including crayfish, fish, and salamanders. They will swim in the water with their mouths open, waiting for something to come along. Watersnakes are preyed on by both land and aquatic life. Snakes, bass, and other bird species will hunt this snake. Many animal’s diets rely on this snake. The plain bellied watersnake will go on land to escape predators, unlike the common water snake.

5. QueenSnake

Queensnake in Grass curled up (Regina septemvittata)
Queensnake in Grass curled up (Regina septemvittata)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate-Advanced
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Regina septemvittata
  • Other Names: brown queen snake, queen water snake
  • Adult Size: 13-36 inches
  • Lifespan: 19 years
  • Average Price Range: $20-$50

The Queen snake is a type of water snake that inhabits many of Maryland’s aquatic habitats. Ponds, lakes, freshwater wetlands, and streams are the homes of this species. The water source must have crayfish since that is the main source of their diet.

In Maryland, the piedmont and western region have higher populations of Queen snakes. During the daytime near water and sunny areas is where this species prefers to hang around. They will become most active in the warmth of summer and hibernate in the winter.

The Queensnake is long and elegant. They have small heads, thick bodies, and thin tails. Gray, olive green, and brown are common colors for the species. Stripes run down its back and sides, which are brown, yellow, or darkly colored. Their scales are keeled and their underside is yellow.

Queen snakes prefer to eat freshly molted crayfish but will eat other animals as well. Frogs, fish, shrimp, and snails are other prey for this snake. Compared to other watersnakes, queen snakes are usually not aggressive. They are docile can be handled and can make a great pet for a beginner snake owner.

6. Rainbow Snake

Rainbow snake curled up (Farancia erytrogramma)
Rainbow snake curled up (Farancia erytrogramma) – source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Colubridae 
  • Scientific Name: Farancia erytrogramma
  • Other Names:n/a
  • Adult Size: 36 to 48 inches
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $100

Rainbow snakes live in Maryland’s aquatic habitats like swamps, rivers, marshes, streams, and coastal plains. Finding this beauty in the wild is a rare sight to see due to its secretive nature. Their time is spent hiding in vegetated waters and occasionally they will burrow in sand or mud. These snakes are not aggressive and will never bite.

The Rainbow snake gets its name from the array of colors mixed in with a smooth glossy bluish-black base. Adult snakes have three red stripes along their back and yellow bellies with black spots.

They also have red and yellow coloring along their sides. Many people consider this snake to be amongst the most beautiful in North America. Its glossy and colorful scales help it stand out amongst snakes.

Rainbow snakes eat eel, fish, and other aquatic life. They are rare to find and are considered endangered in Maryland. They burrow and spend time in highly vegetated areas, making it hard for scientists and herpetologists to study.

7. Eastern Ribbon Snake

Eastern Ribbon Snake on walkway (Thamnophis sauritus)
Eastern Ribbon Snake on walkway (Thamnophis sauritus)
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Colubridae 
  • Scientific Name: Thamnophis sauritus
  • Other Names: Ribbon snake
  • Adult Size: 18 to 34 inches
  • Lifespan: 20 to 30 years
  • Average Price Range: $75 to $120

Eastern ribbon snakes are semi-aquatic creatures and are found statewide in Maryland. Their habitats will have a body of water like a river, pond, stream, lake, marsh, or swamp. This snake likes to relax and climb onto vegetation, like bushes or shrubs. It is slender and speedy to escape, usually going into the water.

Also known as the common ribbon snake, this species is slim with a slender neck. Its body is dark, grey, brown, or black and has three yellow stripes running down its body. The snake’s head is brown and rounded. Ribbon snakes and garter snakes look similar to each other, but the garter snake has a marked stomach. Ribbon snake’s stomachs are blueish and they have mildly keeled scales.

Eastern ribbon snakes are common pets due to their docile nature and easy care routine. It is rare for one to bite unless provoked. Their diet consists of fish and amphibians.

8. Common Garter Snake

Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)
Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Thamnophis sirtalis
  • Other Names: Valley garter snake
  • Adult Size: 18 to 55 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 to 25 years
  • Average Price Range: $25 to $100

The Common Garter snake is found in forests, fields, streams, meadows, edged habitats, and even near residential areas in Maryland. It is sometimes found in house gardens, which is where it gets its name from. A water source will be near where they live.

Green, brown, yellow, black, and red are some of the colors of this species. They have keeled scales, a yellow or white stripe running down their back, and a checkered pattern across their body.

The belly is light-colored and their heads are dark-colored. Garter snakes are medium-sized, with thin bodies. Garter snakes have a variety of color and pattern possibilities.

Garter snakes are active in the day and night. Slugs, frogs, small animals, and rodents are eaten by this snake. They will hunt around the edges of rivers and in thick vegetation.

9. Dekay’s Brownsnake

Northern Brown Snake (Storeria D. Dekayi) Coiled On A Branch
Northern Brown Snake (Storeria D. Dekayi) Coiled On A Branch
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Storeria dekayi
  • Other Names: Brown Snake
  • Adult Size: 12 inches
  • Lifespan: 7 years
  • Average Price Range: $30

Brown snakes live all across Maryland and can be found in forests, grassy fields, wetlands, suburbs, and other grassy habitats. Many call them a “city snake” due to them being found near humans often. Ground cover and natural debris are used by the brown snake to hide under during the day.

Brown snakes are small and thin. They are brown, but can also be gray, yellow, or reddish. On their back is a row of two dots that goes into its ail. On its side, there are more black spots and their belly is a pale white.

Brown snakes are common to find hiding under rocks, leaves, and other natural debris. They are active in the evening and night, avoiding the day. When the night comes, bugs like slugs, worms, and snails are preyed upon and eaten by this snake. Brown snakes are common in Maryland and can even be found near your home.

10. Eastern Hog-nosed snake

Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platirhinos) in grass in a striking defensive position
Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platirhinos) in grass in a striking defensive position
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Heterodon  platirhinos
  • Other Names: Spreading Adder, Deaf Adder
  • Adult Size: 28 inches
  • Lifespan: 12 years
  • Average Price Range: $150-$200

Eastern hognose snakes inhabit Maryland’s pastures, woods, open forests, agricultural fields, and edged habitats. A large population of toads and loose sandy soil is essential in where they live. They are most active during the daytime and in summer.

The Eastern hog-nosed snake gets its name from its upturned, piglike snout. They are medium length and thick. Red, gray, orange, black, and yellow are some of their base colors. They have dark blotches covering their back. Their stomachs are yellow or gray with their tail underside being lighter in color.

These snakes are harmless and can make good pets for some people. They are not commonly available due to their picky diet and specific habitat needs. Toads are the main source of their diet and they are immune to frogs’ venom. Hog-nosed snakes are rearranged and produce a mild weak venom.

11. Eastern Rat Snake

Eastern Rat Snake (Pantherophis obsoletus) by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
Eastern Rat Snake (Pantherophis obsoletus) by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Pantherophis obsoletus
  • Other Names: Pilot black snake, Western rat snake
  • Adult Size: 42-84 inches
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Average Price Range: $50-$100

Eastern rat snakes are the largest snake species in Maryland. They inhabit woodlands, farmlands, wetlands, forest wetlands, and even backyards. They enjoy areas with high vegetation and use their excellent climbing skills to go over trees and fences. This species is active during the day, and when the summer heat comes they become nocturnal. In winter they hibernate and go underground.

Eastern rat snakes are large snakes with a black shiny coloring. Their scales are keeled and on their back is a blotched pattern. On their stomach is a checkered pattern and under their chin is a light grey coloring.

Rats and rodents will attract this species and are the main part of their diet. Rat Snakes will also eat frogs, lizards, birds, and other small animals. Eastern rat snakes are a skilled hunter which uses its climbing and strong chemosensory skill to track their prey.

12. Northern Ring-necked Snake

Northern Ringneck Snake (diadophis punctatus edwardsii)
Northern Ringneck Snake (diadophis punctatus edwardsii)
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Diadophis punctatus edwardsii
  • Other Names: Fodder snake, Collard snake
  • Adult Size: 10-15 inches
  • Lifespan: 6-10 years
  • Average Price Range: $30 

Northern ring-necked snakes are found in high moisture woodlands and fields. They live all throughout Maryland and are found hiding under rocks, logs, and other natural debris. They are nocturnal and can be found hiding together in their favorite spots.

The northern ring-necked snake is most known for the orange or yellow ring that sits around its neck. They are greyish to blueish black in color. Medium in size, their stomach is bright orange.

Small snakes, frogs, salamanders, and insects are some of its favorite foods. Ringneck snakes often get prey on by large snakes, rodents, and birds. These snakes are kept as pets and are docile creatures. They will not bite and are loved for their flashy colors.

13. Southern Ring-necked Snake

Southern Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus) by John Brandauer
Southern Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus) by John Brandauer
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Diadophis punctatus
  • Other Names: ring-neck snake
  • Adult Size: 10-14 inches
  • Lifespan: 6-10 years
  • Average Price Range: $40

The Southern ring-necked snake is a subspecies of ring-neck that lives in Maryland. This snake lives in moist woodlands and forests. It is active at night and will hide under natural debris. This species is secretive but has a healthy population.

The southern ringneck snake does have the iconic ring around its neck, but the ring is not connected. They are dark grey to blueish black with bright orange bellies. Their scales are smooth-looking and shiny.

This snake spends most of its active time hunting at night. Insects, frogs, and other small animals are some of the prey it hunts. Ringneck snakes are harmless but can produce a mild venom, with their back fangs to paralyze tiny prey.

14. Cornsnake

Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttatus) on stone looking at camera
Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttatus) on stone looking at camera
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Pantherophis guttatus
  • Other Names: Chicken snake
  • Adult Size: 4 to 5.5 feet long
  • Lifespan: 6 to 8 years
  • Average Price Range: $80 to $150

Corn snakes are a species of rat snake that can be found throughout southeastern and central United States and in Maryland. These snakes can be live in woodlands, prairies, pinewood forests, agricultural fields, and near urban areas.

They are secretive and spend their time hiding under logs and in places where they won’t be disturbed. The corn snake is active mostly at night to hunt. They are great climbers and can be found in areas with a high rodent population.

Corn snakes are slender with a checkered white and black pattern on their stomach. Orange, reddish-brown, gray, or brown is its base color with reddish blotches surrounded in black going down its back. On its side it also has spots. On their head is a Y-shaped blotch and their scales are smooth.

Corn snakes resemble copperheads but are not venomous. They are kept as pets due to their beautiful colors, docile nature, and easy care routine. Rodents, reptiles, and birds are preyed upon by this species.

15. Eastern Racer

Eastern Racer (Coluber constrictor) by Andrew Hoffman
Eastern Racer (Coluber constrictor) by Andrew Hoffman
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Coluber constrictor
  • Other Names: North American racer
  • Adult Size: 20-55 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $25-$40

Eastern racers live all across Maryland and are one of the fastest species in the state. They live in grassy fields, forests, and suburban areas. Racers prefer open areas where they can use their speed to their advantage. They are also excellent climbers.

Eastern racers are large and solid-colored. They are dark, usually brown, black, and bluish with white around their chin. Their scales are not keeled and shiny.

Racers will climb trees to find eggs but will also eat rodents and other small animals they find. If threatened they will flee or strike repeatedly. They travel long distances and can be aggressive so they do not make good pets.

16. Coastal Plain Milksnake

  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum
  • Other Names: 
  • Adult Size: 24-36 inches
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $100-$300

Coastal plain milksnakes can be found in woodlands, agricultural fields, and other types of forest in Maryland. This species is secretive and has limited to the range to the coastal plains area in Maryland. They will usually hide under debris or burrow under logs.

The coastal milk snake is relat4ed to the Eastern Milksnake and Scarlett king snake and looks similar to this species. Various colors and patterns can appear in this species. Ted blotches bordered by black appear are a white base. Its scales are shiny and not keeled. This snake is slender and medium-sized.

Coastal plain milksnakes make good pets and are loved for their bright colors. Mice, birds, lizards, eggs, and other rodents are eaten by this snake.

17. Eastern Milksnake

Eastern Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) on leaf
Eastern Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) on leaf
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Lampropeltis triangulum
  • Other Names: 
  • Adult Size: 24-36 inches
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $100-$300

Eastern milk snakes live in the United States and Maryland. It is a species of kingsnake that is native to the western hemisphere. This snake is secretive and active at night. It will hide under moist and dark areas when not exploring for food. Milksnakes are a constrictor and kill their prey by suffocation. Hills, mountains, and farmlands are some of the habitats this snake dwells in.

Eastern milksnakes are grey with red blotches covering their body. On their belly is a checkered white and black pattern. On their head is a y shaped spot. This snake is often mistaken for copperheads, but they are harmless.

Milksnakes are preyed upon by birds, raccoons, foxes, and other nocturnal creatures. They are also common victims of auto deaths and get run over often.

18. Northern Mole Kingsnake

Mole Kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster rhombomaculata)
Mole Kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster rhombomaculata) – source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Lampropeltis calligaster rhombomaculata
  • Other Names: Mole kingsnake
  • Adult Size: 30 to 40 inches 
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Average Price Range: $100 to $250

Northern moles kingsnakes live in dry habitats usually on the edge of forests. They are nonvenomous and are fossorial, spending most of their time underground. These snakes are nocturnal and can be seen coming out of their burrow on heavy rain days.

Mole kingsnakes are light brown, or gray with blotching going down its body. The blotches are orange and reddish in color. This species is similar to milk snakes and copperheads, and can sometimes be confused fr the species.

Rodents are the main part of this species diet but they will also eat other small animals. When laying eggs they will usually g underground and mate in spring.

19. Eastern Kingsnake

Common Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula) ready to strike
Common Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula) ready to strike
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Lampropeltis getula
  • Other Names: Common Kingsnake
  • Adult Size: 36 to 48 inches
  • Lifespan: 20 to 30 years
  • Average Price Range: $100 to $250

Eastern Kingsnakes are a very common species that can be found all across America. In Maryland, they live in the coastal plains and piedmont area. Kingsnakes are resistant to other snakes’ venom, which allows them to eat other venomous species.

Eastern Kingsnakes are large and thick. They have pointed noses and shiny smooth scales. This kingsnake is all black with chain-like rings around its body. Their stomachs are checkered in black and white.

Having kingsnakes around is a good way to keep the pest population low. They feed off of rodents but also eat eggs, birds, snakes, and other small mammals. These snakes adapt well to captivity and are one of the best species to keep as a pet. They are docile, easy to care for, and have a range of beautiful colors.

20. Pine Snake

Black Pinesnake on black background (Pituophis melanoleucus)
Black Pinesnake on black background (Pituophis melanoleucus)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Pituophis melanoleucus
  • Other Names: Bullsnake, Chicken snake
  • Adult Size: 5 to 6 feet 
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $200 to $400

Pine snakes inhabit Maryland and live in the coastal plains and pine forest habitat. Sandy soil is important for this species to burrow and find prey. These snakes spend most of their time underground and hibernate together in the winter. When threatened they will hiss and shake their tail.

Pine snakes are large and thick creatures. They can be white, yellow, or gray and have dark blotches along their back and sides. Their bellies are gray with no markings on them.

Pine snakes will hunt gopher tortoises and take over their burrow. Rodents, birds, lizards, and other snakes are commonly preyed upon by this snake aswell. Pine snakes require a specific their population is not strong due to the destruction of the home.

21. Red-bellied Snake

Red-bellied snake (Storeria occipitomaculata) in water
Red-bellied snake (Storeria occipitomaculata) in water
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Storeria occipitomaculata
  • Other Names: 
  • Adult Size: 12 inches 
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Average Price Range: $50

Red-bellied snakes live in Maryland and their population is scattered throughout the state. They live in forests, fields, and edged habitats. Red-bellied snakes will hide under rocks, logs, and other natural debris. They can even be found in suburban habitats.

The red-bellied snake is most known for its bright red stomach. It can be brown, orange, gray, and black in color. A stripe runs down the center of their back and some snakes have a light ring around their neck. This snake is small and thin.

Red-bellied snakes are uncommon in Maryland and can be hard to find due to their secretive nature. Worms and other small invertebrates are what it survives off of.

22. Rough Earth Snake

Rough Earth Snake (Haldea striatula)
Rough Earth Snake (Haldea striatula) – source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Haldea striatula
  • Other Names: Brown ground snake
  • Adult Size: 7 to 12 inches 
  • Lifespan: 7 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Rough earth snakes are secretive, spending most of their time underground or under natural debris. This snake lives in forest and woodland habitats with lots of natural ground liter. These snakes are uncommon and look similar to the smooth earth snake.

The rough earth snake is brown to gray in color and small in size. Their scales and keeled and rough, which help differentiate them from the smooth earth snake. Their bellies are white, tan in color.

This snake eats mostly earthworms, but can also eat invertebrates. They are harmless and will not bit when handled. Being so small they are often preyed upon by other animals like rodents, birds, and other snakes.

23.  Smooth Earthsnake

Western smooth earthsnake (Virginia valeriae) by Peter Paplanus
Western smooth earthsnake (Virginia valeriae) by Peter Paplanus
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Virginia Valeriae
  • Other Names: Western Earth snake
  • Adult Size: 7-10 inches
  • Lifespan: 7-9 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Smooth earth snakes can be found in Maryland, usually in the piedmont and coastal plains regions. This species is active at night and in warmer weather. It is a rare species and spends most of its time underground. Instead of laying eggs, this snake can give birth to as many as 14 live young.

Smooth earth snakes are small and brown, with keeled scales. They have glossy skin, thick bodies, and pointed noses. Their belly is white and blends into their back. If you look closely at them you can see black dots on their scales and possibly a light-colored line down their back.

When not underground they can be found under debris where it is moist and dark. They survive off of earthworms and soft-bodied insects.

24. Scarlet Snake

Northern Scarletsnake (Cemophora coccinea copei) by Peter Paplanus
Northern Scarletsnake (Cemophora coccinea copei) by Peter Paplanus
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Cemophora coccinea copei
  • Other Names: False coral snake
  • Adult Size: 14-20 inches
  • Lifespan: 20-30 years
  • Average Price Range: $36-$50

Scarlett snakes live in Maryland’s pine forests and are rare to find in the state. In spring and summer is when they are active, mostly at night. Under wooden debris and in damp dark areas they hide and sleep.

These snakes are small, slender, and smooth. Their pattern consists of red, black, and white bands going down its body. White is their belly color. This species resembles the coral snake but is not venomous.

Spending most of their time underground, at night they will come out to hunt. Eggs, small lizards, insects, and frogs are things it feeds upon. Their small teeth help to break open eggs. In Maryland, this species is not well researched and has a low population.

25. Rough Green Snake

Rough Greensnake (Opheodrys aestivus)
Rough Greensnake (Opheodrys aestivus)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate-Advanced
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Opheodrys aestivus
  • Other Names: Grass snake, Green grass snake
  • Adult Size: 22-32 inches
  • Lifespan:  8 years
  • Average Price Range: $10-$30

The rough green snake is one of two species of green snake that lives in Maryland. They prefer to live in areas with sandy soil and plenty of vegetation. Coastal plains, forests, fields, and even on residential lawns are inhabited by these snakes.

They are most active during the day and can be seen climbing through trees and bushes. Greens snakes can swim and like to hang around the edges of waterways.

The rough green snake is a slender and small species. They are bright green with yellow stomachs which allows them to easily camouflage in vegetation. The smooth green snake is similar looking to this snake, but the rough green snake has roughly keeled scales. When they die they will turn a sickly blue color.

Rough green snakes eat insects, invertebrates, and small tree frogs by swallowing them whole. Birds, other snakes, large toads, and large rodents are common predators of this species. This species is widespread and has a strong population in Maryland.

26. Smooth Green Snake

Smooth Green Snake (Opheodrys_vernalis)
Smooth Green Snake (Opheodrys_vernalis) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate-Advanced
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Opheodrys vernalis
  • Other Names: Grass snake
  • Adult Size: 14-20 inches
  • Lifespan: 6 years
  • Average Price Range: $30

Smooth Green snakes are also called grass snakes and can be found in Maryland where there is lots of green vegetation. This species is abundant and is found in large numbers together.

Marshes, meadows, grassy woodlands, and near the edges of water habitats are some of the places this snake lives. They are active during the day and can be seen basking in the sun.

This snake is small and slender. It is bright green with a bright yellow belly. At birth, it can be olive green or gray but after it sheds it becomes bright green. Smooth green snakes look similar to rough green snakes but have smooth shiny scales.

Smooth green snakes are often kept as pets due to their small size and docile nature. They will eat insects they find on the floor. Birds, other snakes, frogs, and large rodents are some of these snake predators.

27. Common Worm Snake

Worm Snake (Carphophis amoenus) by Vicki DeLoach
Worm Snake (Carphophis amoenus) by Vicki DeLoach
  • Experience Level: Beginner-Intermediate
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Scientific Name: Carphophis amoenus
  • Other Names: worm snake
  • Adult Size: 7.5-13 inches
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Average Price Range:$15

The worm snake is found in most of Maryland and inhabits forests, fields, and other areas with natural litter. This species lives in areas with loose soil since it is a burrowing species. It is a secretive snake. Most of the time it will be underground but it can sometimes be found under rocks, logs, and other natural debris.

This snake is very similar in appearance to an earthworm. It is small, thin, and brown in color. The worm snake’s scales are smooth and shiny. Their eyes are tiny and sit atop their pointed head.

Worm Snakes eat earthworms, slugs, and other soft-bodied insects. This snake is harmless and if threatened it will poke its captor with the tip of its tail. Snakes, birds and large rodents often feed and hunt worm snakes.

Wrapping up

Maryland has 27 different snake species that live within the state. The copperhead and timber rattlesnake are the only two snakes that are venomous. Most of the snakes in Maryland are harmless, and will only bite if provoked. Knowing what venomous species look like can be important in keeping you and local snake species safe.

Each species has its own habitat and preference for where it lives. Maryland is home to many aquatic, terrestrial, and burrowing species of snake. It helps to know what snakes are near you and where to find them.

Some species can be endangered or secretive and be hard to find. Preserving nature and educating yourself about the snakes in Maryland can help many species thrive. Each species is beneficial and important in keeping a balanced ecosystem.

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