Top 10 Deadliest Snakes in the United States

Cute Snake Breeds For Pets

The US is home to a wide variety of snakes, but not all are dangerous.

Some may be venomous and others merely live in the wrong place.

In this post, we will highlight 10 of the deadliest snakes in America. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Each state has its own type of snake population that can either pose a threat or not present any danger at all.

We’ll be highlighting 10 deadly snakes from across the United States so you know what to watch out for as you explore our great country!

Do note that these are just some of the deadly species found within each state – there could be other types lurking nearby too!

Be aware of these creatures when you’re out in the wild!

1. The cottonmouth

The cottonmouth can be identified by its wide triangular head and dark bulky body.

Found throughout much of the eastern half of the United States, it is a predatory snake that feeds primarily on fish and frogs.

However, to catch them, this serpent wades through shallow waters where it lays in wait for its prey to come within striking distance.

When threatened or cornered, they will not only hiss loudly – a sign of imminent danger – but will also open their mouth wide – revealing the cotton-white lining inside!

While certainly intimidating, this display is often enough to scare off any would-be attackers…or victims as well!

The cottonmouth’s bite packs a deadly punch; in fact, it is regarded as one of the most lethal bites of any North American snake!

Equipped with highly toxic venom, it can kill an adult human within just a couple of hours.

It’s a good thing that cottonmouths are relatively shy and prefer to avoid human contact wherever possible.

 2.  The Copperhead 

The Copperhead is virtually indistinguishable from its more lethal relative (the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake) except for the fact that it features significant dark hourglass-shaped markings on its body – which is usually coppery in color – rather than solid black rings.

Found throughout much of the southern part of the United States, these snakes can grow up to 2.5 feet long and are responsible for numerous deaths each year.

Their venomous bite is no laughing matter, and if left untreated, can result in death.

Some people are immune to the venom of these snakes. However, there is a substance in their blood that interferes with the poison’s effects.

3. Tiger rattlesnake.

It is rather fitting that the third-deadliest snake can be found in Arizona.

This species, which is actually a subspecies of the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, earned its nickname for its vivid orange stripes and blotches.

Despite their name, these snakes are not particularly aggressive and do not frequently rattle their tails as a warning to encroaching predators.

The tiger rattlesnake has an unmistakable facial expression – it kind of looks like it’s always scowling, with furrowed brows and a very tight mouth!

These characteristics make this animal look even more intimidating than it already is.

According to ancient Mayan lore, if you see one of these beasts on a trail, you should turn around and go back the way you came because by continuing forward, you will almost certainly meet your end.

While this isn’t a practical solution for those of us living in Arizona – where these snakes are plentiful – it is still good to know that they can supposedly be so dangerous.

A bite from one of these serpents could lead to severe hemorrhaging and immediate death without treatment.

One documented fatality occurred when an animal control officer was bitten while trying to confiscate a pet snake; another occurred when a person accidentally stepped on one of these animals while hiking through the forest.

For emergency assistance, if bitten by one of these rattlesnakes, contact 911 or go directly to the nearest hospital’s emergency room.

4. The eastern coral snake

The eastern coral snake is an extremely dangerous snake in the United States.

It can be found living among water and rocks along the rivers of the southern states of Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, as well as parts of Florida.

The eastern coral snake does not have a lot of poison, but it will kill you if you are bitten by one.

Basically, all snakes bite in self-defense, and they do not want to be messed with that much, so when this type of snake bites a human being, it is because they probably feel cornered or threatened.

Since they only live around places that are close to water, it is very hard for them to get away from victims once they start biting them, so we advise people just to stay away from this type of snake as much as they can.

5. The western coral snake

The western coral snake is another coral snake in the United States that has killed a lot of people.

It lives in parts of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.

This coral snake uses its venom to help it hunt prey like lizards since they are not big snakes.

The western coral snake has a very wide range since their territory can stretch all across the southwestern part of the United States, where it is most common for them to be found in rocky areas with hills or mountainsides and places near water such as forests or swamps where they will hide during the daytime.

This coral snake also likes to live around rocks and trees, so it is very hard for humans to recognize them unless they spot one directly, which could get them killed.

6. The eastern coral snake

The eastern coral snake is great at climbing trees and bushes so that it can find a good place to hide out during the day while they are inactive.

Their favorite places to hang out are in tall trees, but they will also live in the ground, under rocks, or on the side of hills or mountains, among other places, if they do not have any trees nearby that would provide shade from the sun.

These coral snakes like to stay away from humans as much as possible. They prefer to wrap around things like tree branches when they want something to climb on. 

7. Black-necked spitting cobra.

The black-necked spitting cobra is a species of spitting cobra that can mostly be found in eastern Africa and southern parts of Saudi Arabia.

Even though this snake is small compared to other African snakes, it still produces an extremely heavy amount of venom.

The average size for these snakes is about 5 feet long, and the largest one ever recorded was 6 1/2 feet long.

It would not be smart for someone to mess with this little guy because when he gets mad, he will spit out a poisonous liquid right in your face, which will you if your eyes touch it or if it goes into any cuts you may have on your skin.

8. Western hook-nosed snakes.

The western hook-nosed snake is also called the “spectacled cobra” because of the eyespots on its hood.

This snake is usually found near rivers or watercourses.

It likes to hide in logs and bushes and coil up when threatened. Its fangs are small, but its venom is powerful.

It can strike at a distance of three feet, making it one of the most dangerous snakes in Arizona.

The western hook-nosed snake ( Gyalopion canum ) is a species of colubrid endemic to North America and known from the southwestern United States and Mexico.

On the creepiest scale, it ranks near the Great Basin rattlesnake.

The western hook-nosed snake is a pit viper with an unusual upturned nose, hence its common name.

It also has unique facial markings consisting of dark bands that look like spectacles (eyewear).

While most snakes have round pupils, the pupils in this species are vertical slits.

The western hook-nosed snake is light to dark brown, with lighter crossbands on the neck and darker saddle-like blotches on the body.

Some individuals have a yellowish band along each side of the body.

This coloration is more pronounced in younger snakes, fading as they mature. Adults may have dark spots on the top of the head between and behind the eye-like markings.

Like most other snakes, it is an ambush predator, waiting until prey comes within striking distance before it attacks.

It feeds on lizards, birds, and eggs among others.

9. Western diamondback rattlesnake.

The western diamondback rattlesnake or Texas diamondback (Crotalus atrox) is a venomous rattlesnake species found in the southwestern United States and Mexico.

It is likely responsible for the majority of snakebite fatalities in northern Mexico and the greatest number of snakebites in the U.S.

Your first instinct is to run, but if you’ve been bitten by a western diamondback rattlesnake, it may already be too late.

Its potent venom can cause massive tissue damage and extensive internal bleeding within 30 minutes after your encounter with one of these 26-inch poisonous snakes native to Florida.

The symptoms include headaches, vomiting, and loss of muscle control that spreads throughout the body until paralysis sets in.

To make matters worse, antivenin for this species is hard to obtain because its components are made from horses, which often have allergic reactions to horse serum.

Fortunately, there has only been one recorded fatality related to this species in Florida in northern Mexico and the greatest number of snakebites in the U.S.

10. The Black Rat Snake

The Black Rat Snake is a snake native to the United States. They are non-venomous and eat mainly rodents, but also other snakes, lizards, frogs, birds and eggs. It is one of the most common species in North America with about 20 subspecies that vary in coloration.

The color differs between different regions. For example, in the humid climate of Florida, they are usually black with white stripes running down their backs. Though in dryer areas, such as Texas and Arizona these snakes are usually brown with smaller markings.

The Black Rat Snake is often confused with the Northern Copperhead, though it has distinct white or light yellow spots on its belly and no hourglass pattern on its back.