Snakes of Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge snake

Welcome to! I am David, a snake enthusiast living in Baton Rouge, LA. Many people don't know that Baton Rouge is in fact full of snakes! You just need to know where to find them - they can often be shy and elusive. Some Louisiana snake species are more common outside of the city limits, in different parts of East Baton Rouge County LA, but many types of snakes are indeed common in the more urban parts of Baton Rouge. This guide is meant to help educate you about the beautiful snakes of Baton Rouge, and to help you identify the most common snakes of Baton Rouge, as well as the venomous snakes of Baton Rouge that you should learn to recognize and avoid. If you want more detail, click here for my complete list of ALL snake species in Baton Rouge. Remember the following:

  • Most snakes of Baton Rouge are harmless and don't want to encounter you
  • Venomous snakes exist but are uncommon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Snakes eat rats and mice and are a valuable part of the Louisiana ecosystem
  • Never kill a snake - if you leave a snake alone, it will leave you alone.

Common Snake Species in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge snake Speckled Kingsnake: The speckled kingsnake is also referred to as the common kingsnake. It is a fairly large snake species that can grow up to 48 inches in length. Its skin has a black background speckled with irregularly shaped yellow markings. The snake gets its name from the speckles on its skin. It has even earned the snake the “salt and pepper snake”.
Speckled kingsnakes mostly live in areas where there is water such as swamps, rivers, and ponds but they can also survive in forests and grasslands. It feeds mainly on rodents, lizards, birds, and other small mammals, killing them by constriction. The speckled kingsnake is non-venomous but it may bite when threatened. It also shakes its tails which may sound like a rattle and expel feces or musk from its body when threatened. The speckled kingsnake does well in captivity and is often kept as a pet.

Baton Rouge snake Pinewood snakes: Pinewood snakes are small snakes with slender bodies. Adults may not grow beyond 10 to 13 inches in length. Its skin is usually golden to reddish-brown with a darker shade at the head. A dark yellowish stripe passes through the upper lip scales and the eye.
Pinewood snakes live around woodlands and forests but they can also survive in wet areas. They can live under logs, small holes inside the soil, and tree barks. Their diet consists mainly of small lizards and frogs, salamanders, etc. Although not venomous and completely not toxic to humans, the pine snake has poisonous saliva which it uses to immobilize smaller prey before feeding on them.

Venomous Snake Species in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge snake Canebrake Rattlesnake: The canebrake rattlesnake, also known as the timber rattlesnake, is one of 7 venomous snakes in Baton Rouge. It is a colorful snake with a light grey tan although color can vary slightly from snake to snake. A reddish stripe runs down the middle of its back. Located from its eye to mouth is a brown band. Canebrakes can grow up to 70 inches in length. They live mostly in forests, under logs, and wooded environments. They feed predominantly on rodents.
Canebrakes are docile animals that may remain in a spot for several days. They are ambush predators, lying in wait for their prey for a long time before striking to kill them. Canebrakes are venomous and a bite can lead to death if not attended to on time.

Baton Rouge snake Copperhead: The copperhead snake is a colorful snake found in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They can grow between 14 and 45 inches in length. The body of the snake is a dull brown color with orange to dull pink tint. They also have brownish cross bands that run along the back with an hourglass shape. Young copperheads have no pattern and they often have a bright yellow tail.
Copperheads live on hillsides, abandoned woodpiles, and many terrestrial or aquatic places they can find. They feed mostly on rodents and frogs. Camouflage is a weapon they use to blend in with their environment when waiting for prey. They may strike if attacked or accidentally stepped on. Copperheads are venomous, although their bites rarely lead to death as their venom is not the most potent.

Baton Rouge snake Cottonmouth: Cottonmouths are venomous snakes also known as water moccasins. They can grow from 15 to 55 inches in length. They are usually dark brown to black in color with cross bands the same color as their skin. Although their triangular heads are black, they have a white line that runs from the side of their heads to their mouths. Cottonmouths are very common in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and may be sighted close to water sources. Cottonmouths are very defensive and they may coil up and shake their tails in order to ward off intruders. They also open their mouths and bring out a white lining resembling cotton, hence the name cottonmouth.
Cottonmouths feed mainly on aquatic animals such as fish, frogs, and other water snakes. Like other pit vipers, cottonmouths are venomous and a bite from them can kill their prey.

If you're unsure, you can email me a photo of the snake at and I will email you back with the snake's species. If you found a snake skin, read my Found a Skin? page, and you can email me a photo of the skin, and I'll identify the snake for you. If you need professional Baton Rouge snake removal help, click my Get Help page, or see the below website sponsor I found, who provides that service.

Remember, the term is not poisonous snakes of Baton Rouge, it's venomous snakes of Baton Rouge. Poison is generally something you eat, and venom is injected into you. That said, dangerous snakes are very rare in Baton Rouge. The few venomous snakes of East Baton Rouge County are rarely seen. But they are commonly misidentified, so learn about all the snake species of Baton Rouge in order to correctly identify them. These snakes are usually also found in the surrounding towns of Baton Rouge, Zachary, Central, Baker, Merrydale, Brownfields ,Shenandoah, Inniswold, Westminster, Old Jefferson, Monticello, and the surrounding areas.

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