Do you know the difference between venomous and poisonous?
Venom is injected like when a snake bites you or a bee stings you. Poison is ingested like when you lick your hand after touching a poison dart frog or drink a poisonous substance. So, there is no such thing as a poisonous snake. Snakes are venomous.
Central Florida's Venomous Snakes
There are only four venomous snakes found in the Central Florida
area: the eastern coral snake, the Florida cottonmouth, also known as the water moccasin, the dusky pygmy rattlesnake, and the eastern diamondback rattlesnake.
Once you learn to identify these four snakes, you don't need to worry
about the other 50+ species of non-venomous snakes we have here in
Florida. (The timber rattlesnake and copperhead are found in north Florida.)
The Eastern Coral Snake
Think of a stop light. The red and yellow are next to each other and a red light tells you to stop! Like this snake, the red and the yellow are next to each other and if you see one you should stop. Their venom is neurotoxic and affects the nervous system causing paralysis of the diaphragm.
The Florida Cottonmouth
Also called the water moccasin, it is a venomous water snake. Their body coloration ranges from patterned to simply a dull black. But you can identify them by the black "eye line" that runs from the side of their eye back down the side of their head. All cottonmouths, including babies, no matter what pattern they are, will still have this "eye line".
Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake
This is a very small rattlesnake averaging 15 to 22 inches long. Their rattle is so small it sounds like an insect buzzing. They are basically gray with colored blotches running down the back. Its bite is painful but not fatal. This snake is responsible for more snake bites in Florida than any other
venomous snake. Children should definitely be educated about this animal.
Because of its small size, a child may believe this to be a "harmless" snake.
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
This is the largest venomous snake in the United States. Average
size is five to six feet long. From a coiled position, like shown in
the picture, it can accurately strike half its body length. The best
defense is to never go near one, even to move it. All bites have been
because someone got too close.