Common Snakes of Orange County, Florida

02.20.2005 - I'm frequently asked about the common snakes of Orange County. The above photo is just one of the common snake species in Central FL. It's a Yellow Rat Snake. I actually found it on the sidewalk in a heavily developed strip mall area here in Orlando. It's one of the snakes that seems to thrive fairly well in developed areas. Because Orange County is so heavily developed, it's these sort of snakes that are more common. I will now list, in order, the six most common snakes that I remove and see here in the greater Orlando area, and my estimate regarding the percentage of all snake sightings that the species encompasses.

1) Black Racer - 40% - the most common snake, it's extremely well-adapted and thrives in urban areas.
2) Corn Snake - 8% - a common snake, and often sighted due to its bright orange color.
3) Ringneck Snake - 8% - a common snake, especially inside homes, due to its small size.
4) Banded Water Snake - 7% - very common in areas with water, often mistaken for the Cottonmouth
5) Garter Snake - 6% - very common nationwide, but not quite as common here.
6) Yellow Rat Snake - 6% - I've caught quite a few inside homes, and see them around from time to time.

The other 25% of sightings are from a variety of different snakes, which I'm not going to bother to list.  Of these, only four are venomous: The Eastern Diamondback (I've only seen a few), the Cottonmouth (possibly the 7th most common snake, in a lot of waterways), the Pygmy Rattler (apparently not too rare, but I never see them), and the Coral Snake (I've only seen three so far).

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