Snakes of Tennessee

Tennessee is home to 34 species of snakes, only 4 of which are venomous.  Please take the time to learn more about these interesting and beneficial residents of our state.  Below is a list of snake species native to Tennessee.

Amphibian and Reptile Checklist for each of the Grand Divisions of Tennessee


West Tennessee

Middle Tennessee

East Tennessee

County Map by


 List of Scientific names             Venomous or Not?           

Snakebite statistics         Avoiding snakes & Preventing Snakebite

Living with Snakes in Tennessee (.pdf)     Is it a Cottonmouth? (.pdf)

reptile review (.pdf)

Tennessee's Non-venomous Snakes

(sometimes called chicken snake)

(also called red ratsnake, cornsnake)

*These snakes are very common statewide and are a good place to start if you are trying to ID a snake.


In Tennessee, it is illegal to harm, kill, remove from the wild, or possess native snakes taken from the wild without the proper permits.

Please help the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to protect our native snakes. Do not remove snakes from the wild or release snakes that have been captive into the wild.

Once-captive snakes often don't survive in the wild and can introduce harmful diseases and parasites into the wild.



Tennessee's Venomous Snakes



Photo by Lisa Powers, Froghaven Farm


Ring-necked Snake

Diadophis punctatus


Tennessee Herpetological Society


Snakes are important to the environment and help to keep nature in balance.



 Recommended Guides:


Free online access:


All three of these are available from Bookstores      


For questions or photo id's, please email: or for a faster response try the Tennessee Snake Identification Facebook page.

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Last update September 2017