The following are a listing of venomous snakes in Kentucky.
In Kentucky, the black part in the center of the eye (pupil) of harmless snakes is round. Venomous snakes have egg-shaped or cat-like (elliptical) pupils.
Venomous snakes usually have a triangular (wide at the back and attached to a narrow neck) or 'spade-shaped' head. Be aware that many non-venomous snakes, such as watersnakes, flatten their heads when threatened and may be confused with venomous snakes.
Kentucky’s snake species exhibit wide variability in body shape. Some species are thick, stocky and heavy-bodied for their length; these snakes include our pit viper species, eastern hognose snakes, some of the watersnakes and others. Other species are usually slender for their length. Slender species include rough greensnakes, several of the woodland snakes (wormsnakes, ringneck snakes, red-bellied snakes), black racers and ribbonsnakes. While body shapes are often generalizable for a given species, occasionally snake species deviate from their typical shapes. For example, it is not uncommon to find slender or moderately-shaped northern watersnakes. It is best to use body shape in association with other characteristics to identify your snake.
Click the "View Publication" button below to view our Venomous Snakes of Kentucky (FORFS18-02) publication.View Publication