JACKSON, Miss.- This is the time of year that tends to bring out our slithery reptilian friends. FACT: The state of Mississippi is home to over 40 different species of snakes. Now when and where you’ll find them all varies on the season.
The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science Collections Manager Scott Pearson says “this time of the year, a lot of our snakes are starting to emerge from hibernation. They’re a lot more active right now. As the temperatures warm up, you’ll see them much more commonly out basking. Some of the snakes may be disbursing right now. There may be species more actively looking for mates right now. And with all the rain, sometimes snakes will disburse, so you may find them in places that you won’t normally find them otherwise…. The further south you go, you can find snakes 12 months out of the year if you’ve got a warm day. As you go north, they become more dormant during the winter. You can find them anytime during the warmer months of the year. The springtime seems to be a very active time for most species of snakes.”
Here’s a list of all snakes found in Mississippi:
Eastern Wormsnake, Midwestern Wormsnake, Northern Scarletsnake, Black-masked Racer, Southern Black Racer, Mississippi Ring-necked Snake, Eastern Indigo Snake, Western Mudsnake, Common Rainbow Snake, Eastern Hog-nosed Snake, Southern Hog-nosed Snake, Prairie Kingsnake, Mole Kingsnake, Speckled Kingsnake, Eastern Black Kingsnake, Scarlet Kingsnake, Red Milksnake, Eastern Coachwhip, Gulf Saltmarsh Snake, Mississippi Green Watersnake, Yellow-bellied Watersnake, Banded Watersnake, Broad-banded Watersnake, Northern Diamond-backed Watersnake, Midland Watersnake, Northern Rough Greensnake, Eastern Cornsnake, Gray Ratsnake, Northern Pinesnake, Black Pinesnake, Pine Woods Littersnake, Graham’s Crayfish Snake, Delta Crayfish Snake, Gulf Crayfish Snake, Queen Snake, Marsh Brownsnake, Midland Brownsnake, Northern Red-bellied Snake, Florida Red-bellied snake, Southeastern Crowned Snake, Orange-striped Ribbonsnake, Gulf Coast Ribbonsnake, Common Ribbonsnake, Eastern Gartersnake, Rough Earthsnake, Eastern Smooth Earthsnake, Western Smooth Earthsnake, Southern Copperhead, Eastern Cottonmouth, Western Cottonmouth, Eastern Diamond-backed Rattlesnake, Canebrake Rattlesnake, Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake, Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake, Western Pygmy Rattlesnake, and Harlequin Coralsnake.
Peyton says the most common you’ll find “around here, you’re going to see a lot of things like Blake Racers, Ribbon snakes, a lot of the water snakes are common, Speckled King Snakes, things like that. As far as venomous snakes go, Copperheads are probably the most common. Cottonmouths are also very common as well.”
Some of the snakes featured at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science:
News Mississippi’s sit-down interview with Scott Peyton, Collections Manager of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.