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Venomous Snakes Of Ohio


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Venomous Snakes found in Ohio

There are only three venemous snakes that are native to the state of Ohio. They are the Northern Copperhead, Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, and the Eastern Timber Rattlesnake. Of theses three the Eastern Timber Rattlesnake and Eastern Massasauga are considered Endagered species in the state of Ohio. Below you will find some basic information on all three species and maps showing where they can naturally be found within the state. 

Northern Copperhead, (Agkistrodon contortrix)


 The Northern Copperhead has a very distinct color pattern, which  consists of salmon, pink, orange and brown colors, usually with "saddles" or hour glass shapes along its back. The Copperhead has bitten more people in the United States than any other venemous snake, although very few deaths have been attributed to their bite, it is still a very painfull one and these snakes should be give the utmost respect and left alone if encountered in the wild.
 Copperheads are usually found in rocky outcrops and wooded areas. Their diet usually consists of small rodents, insects, lizards and frogs. The Copperhead reaches adult lengths of 24in - 36in. They are active during the day, in Spring and Fall, but become active during night in the Summer months. Below is a map showing where the Copperhead is found within the state of Ohio : 


Eastern Timber Rattlesnake, (Crotalus horridus horridus)


 The Eastern Timber Rattlesnake usually has a yellowish or brown color and gets darker toward the end of its tail. It has very distinct "chevron" shaped crossbands along its body and a very noticable rattle at the end of it's tail. The Eastern Timber Rattlesnake is one of the most venemous snakes, in the northeastern United States, but bites from this snake are not common. This species is normally calm and would rather move away when bothered than to strike, however if provoked it will raise up shaking it's rattle, giving a warning before striking out in defense. Rattlesnakes can strike up to 1/3 to 1/2 their body length !  
 Eastern Timber Rattlesnakes are usualy found in dry, wooded, hilly country. Their diet usually will consist of squirrels, mice, other small rodents and small birds. They reach adult lengths of 36 - 54 inches, and they are active during the day Spring and Fall and become active at night during the Summer months. Eastern Timber Rattlesnakes are on Ohio's Endangered Species list and numbers of these snakes in Ohio are relatively low !  Below is a map showing areas of Ohio these rattlers can still be found :


Eastern Massasauga, (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus)


 The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake mostly inhabits swamps and wetlands, usually in river mouths. The word "massasauga" comes from the Chippewa language meaning "great river mouth". The Massasauga is also known as the "swamp rattler". The Massasauga is dark in color with black stripes with a very small rattler on the end of it's tail, and are usually very stocky. Unless very agitated, this snake very rarely attempts to bite. It has very toxic venom, however a healthy adult human rarely will die from a bite, because it's teeth are too small to inject enough venom to do any damage. But if bitten by this snake, please take appropriate action and seek medical treatment !  
 The massasauga's diet usually consists of small rodents, lizards and small frogs. These Rattlers are very small in size, thay only reach adult lengths of 20 inches - 30 inches. During mild days they are active during the daytime and become active at night during the Summer.  In 1996, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources placed the massasauga rattlesnake on Ohio's endangered species list. Below is a map showing where this snake can still be found in Ohio :   


*** Please, if you encounter one of these venomous snakes, do not attempt to capture or kill it. These snakes will leave you alone, if you leave them alone. Please give them the respect and space they deserve ! *** 

Venomous Snake Bite Facts : 

- Most people are bitten while handling or trying to kill a venomous snake. Just leave them alone ! 

- You are more likely to be bitten by a dog than be bitten by snakes. Eight snake bite deaths occur in the US each year. Scorpions are more deadly.

- Up to 50% of all bites are "dry bites" , where no venom is injected.

- Snakes do not lurk behind every bush and rock waiting to bite innocent people !

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