Florida Snakes together with the many turtles, lizards, alligators and other reptiles are part of a complex wildlife that plays an incredible role in Florida’s ecosystem maintenance. Florida snakes are surely many: there are actually forty four species living in incredibly varied habitats, from salt marshes to fresh water mars and dry uplands or coastal mangroves and residential areas. Only six Florida snakes are poisonous, and they are coexisting with the non-poisonous, venturing in urban settings too. The best way to stay out of trouble is to care enough to learn about their morphology and thus become able to distinguish among these Florida snakes. A relaxed attitude of avoidance is the wisest thing a human being could show in relation to snakes.
The coral snake and pit vipers are the most dangerous Florida snakes, they can be identified by a wide range of characteristics. Pit vipers include the rattlesnake, the cottonmouth and the copperhead, they all have vertical eye pupils, a v-shaped head and some facial pits one between eyes and nostrils and the others on each side of the head. These Florida snakes are haemotoxic as their venom attacks the red blood cells, destroying the wall of the blood vessel and causing uncontrolled hemorrhage. Coral snakes on the other hand are neurotoxic, with the toxins in the venom acting on the body nerves and inducing paralysis.
Most of the snakebites reported in the United States every year are caused by Florida snakes, by rattlesnakes to be more precise. As their venom is very rapidly spreading in the body system, without immediate antivenin administration, the victim will die within less than half an hour. A major difference in the group of Florida snakes is made by copperheads, the venom of which will hardly require antidotes. Their toxins are the least potent and they are therefore considered the most gentle poisonous Florida snakes.
Even if poisonous snakes are the first to attract attention by the threat they pose, the most widespread of Florida snakes is the black racer, a non-toxic species that relies on very sharp fangs to hunt its prey. Although the main tendency of home owners is to remove snakes from their properties, specialists stress out the fact that without them, rodents would breed out of control pestering us even more. Therefore, unless there are any alarm bells ringing about snakes nesting in large numbers in people’s gardens, there is no reason to interfere with the life of these creatures.