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Identifying Black Snakes

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Black Pine Snake

Identifying a snake you have seen in your backyard or out hiking can be difficult. This is a guide about identifying black snakes.



Here are questions related to Identifying Black Snakes.

Question: Black Snakes in Trees?

Black snakes are a good thing! It must be Spring as our Black Snake is back. Black snakes will keep your property clean of rodents as well as Starlings (bird) that nest around the roof area of your home. They, at least ours, is not aggressive at all. This year our buddy made his grand entry in our house, that we are remodeling. He/she was hanging by his/her tail over the back door, doing twists and turns like an acrobat. \

Our Jack Russell Terrier discovered it first and started barking. Knowing it was the Black snake back, we just let it do it's thing and be on it's way. Later we saw it crawling around the gutters on our shed. Personally, I know a Black snake when I see one but I can certainly appreciate some people wouldn't have a clue what a Black snake looks like compared to a venomous snake, which brings me to my question.

Is it true that Black snakes are the only type snake that will crawl around house rafters or other high places in your house? I was told that venomous snakes are considered earth snakes that may crawl high on a mountain top but not in a home. If that is true, it may save many Black snakes lives if people knew that.

Please don't kill Black snakes as they are gentle and do a good job keeping unwanted rats, mice and yes those pesty birds called Starlings.

By Suzyspinkmoon from Clinton, TN.


Most Recent Answer

By Nancy I.09/02/2015

We live in eastern North Carolina (zone 7a). This year we had two big black snakes in a hickory tree next to our deck, up about 40 feet. The larger of the two, which I assumed was the male, climbed the hickory to an abandoned squirrel nest. As he went over the rim of the neck, the second snake stuck her head up. He continued into the nest, and then the two of them came back out, twining around each other. The male eventually fell from the squirrel nest, luckily landing across a branch where he lay for almost a minute (catching his breath?) and then proceeded to climb back up to the female. Another day the same snake (more than 5 feet long!) climbed the same tree, checked out the squirrel nest (no one home!) and then crawled out on a branch and waited there for a few hours. I kept checking on him, and after about 4 hours, he'd gone on his way.

It's easy to tell that this is a non-venomous snake, because the venomous ones have vertical pupils and their heads are more wedge-shaped and heavy. A lot of non-venomous snakes have heads that are barely wider than their bodies and not wedge-shaped.

Question: Black Snake With Huge White Eyes

I live in the Tampa, Florida area. Last year my white house cat got outdoors and just froze looking at something. Racing thru the flowerbed was a black snake, 4-5 ft long, with its head up like a periscope. It had the largest eyes I've ever seen, between nickel and quarter. Bright white cornea black iris. I have always had a snake phobia, but now I cannot even work in my flower beds. I hate that this snake controls my life. Please let me in on ID.

By Karen S from Lutz, FL


Most Recent Answer

By Linda L. [33]06/11/2013

One time I had a snake in my yard, I made a few phone calls and described the snake and was told he was a King Snake. I named him Elvis and he was seen in my yard now and then for a couple of years. Once I knew he was a helpful snake and not poisonous, we were able to co-exist easily!

Question: Identifying a Black Snake

I was at a friend's house and we saw a huge 6 foot ling black snake. We thought it was just a big, non-venomous black snake that eats mice and is native to the area, but then it opened it's mouth and had a pure white mouth or throat. By bass player from West Plains, MO

Most Recent Answer

By Loretta [18]06/12/2009

A couple things about "your" black snake, one, was it slender, and did it have a long, slender tail to the tip? Two, could you tell if it had any sign of an underlying pattern, no matter how faint? The cottonmouth, or water moccasin, is rather thick bodied for it's length, has a thick tail that ends kind of abruptly. They are often slightly splotchy in color, not always black, sometimes dull brownish-black, and they have a back that could almost be described as having a ridge. One last thing, a slit eye (up and down slit) is an indication of poisonous snake in the US, and a round eye indicates something like a pine snake, black racer, etc. Hope that helps.

Question: Help Identifying Black Snake With White Head

What kind of Florida snake has a black body and a white head? I have a small one in my flower bed, and although I have seen many black snakes (nonpoisonous) over the years, I have never seen one with a white head. He was a cute little guy who watched my every move. If he is safe, I will leave him there, but if not, he has to go. Sometimes I will see a snake near the A/C drip pipe where they go to get water. I know the little snakes are beneficial to the garden, so I leave them there unless I know they are poisonous - then I would call Animal Control to get it out. Sorry I didn't take his picture to help identify him.

Hardiness Zone: 9a

Nan from Cocoa Beach, FL

Most Recent Answer

By Rose04/16/2011

I am in panama and found such a critter under the front door of my house. I took a picture before I shooed him out. He was small and very cute so I took a picture but the locals tell me he is a 'Vibora Negro' which literally translated in Spanish means 'Black Snake'. They say he is deadly and has fangs but he looks more to me like if he is poisonous to be of the coral family judging by the rounded nose. Anyhow he scuttled off outside but I will post a picture so you can tell if it looks like the one you saw...cheers

RE: Help Identifying Black Snake With White Head

Question: What Kind of Snake is This?

It's black with red fleur de leis markings on its back.

By James from MS

Most Recent Answer

By Linda L. [33]12/23/2013

When I found a snake I couldn't identify in my yard I called a local reptile store and they ID'd it as a king snake-a good guy so I named him Elvis and he hung around for a couple of years.

Question: Identifying a Black Snake With Brown Lines

What type of snake is this? It is black with brown lines.

By Ricky from Houston, TX

Most Recent Answer

By kathleen williams [23]04/17/2010

Go to -snake gallery- you might see it, good luck.

Solutions: Identifying Black Snakes

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