A WIDE VARIETY OF NON-VENOMOUS SNAKES ARE FOUND IN FRANCIS MARION NATIONAL FOREST. SOME
SPECIES SPEND MOST OF THEIR LIFE UNDERGROUND OR IN HIDING AND, ALTHOUGH SOME ARE VERY
COMMON, THESE ARE NOT LIKELY TO BE SEEN WITHOUT ACTIVELY SEARCHING. OTHER SNAKES HAVE
HABITS THAT MAKE ENCOUNTERS WITH HUMAN VISITORS LIKELY. MOST ARE ENCOUNTERED AS THEY LAY
ON TRAILS OR ROADS TO WARM THEMSELVES IN THE SUN.
PICTURES FROM SOUTH CAROLINA - NON-VENOMOUS SNAKES
METROPOLITAN NATURALIST
The Southern Black Racer is a little smaller and I think also faster moving than the Northern Black Racers I am used to seeing in
Maryland. They are difficult to catch and very aggressive when captured. I had to hold this fellow to keep him still enough to take a
picture.
The Southern Black Racer is pretty common in the Southeastern US. This snake is usually seen as a fast moving black
streak darting across the trail and disappearing quickly into the brush.
This is a Red-Bellied Water Snake (Nerodia erythrogaster) I found crossing the road. This water snake, like the Banded Water
Snake above, is not poisonous.
This juvenile Yellow Rat Snake will become yellow and lose the blotched pattern as he matures.
Harmless Water Snakes like these Banded Water Snakes are often mistaken for the venomous Water Moccasin.
The juvenile Black Racer has brown bands on a lighter background. The patterns will be lost as the snake matures and turns a
solid black with a white chin.
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