Are Black Snakes poisonous?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by shay20, May 5, 2010.

  1. shay20

    shay20 Shay's Flock of Fun

    Jul 31, 2008
    in the wild, Mass
    Well thats the question, are they?
    i think now We found one of those. [​IMG] well my cat did, i dont think this one is a milk snake, it look sway more like a black racer, and teh tail rattels . i know it i snot a rattles snake, but i was readionmg that black snakes do this too.

    yes i hate snakes, i hate reading about them, but like a freind here told me. i may as well learn becouse we have a farm with land, woods , wet land. [​IMG]
  2. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

    Jan 15, 2009
    My Coop
    All I know is a true Black Snake is not poisonous. A Rattlesnake is. Never heard of a Black Snake rattling his tail. Just be careful. [​IMG]
  3. captainmoose

    captainmoose Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 5, 2009
    SE PA
    Black snakes are not poisonous, in fact they are good to have around they eat mice.
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Go here and learn, so you won't have to wonder about which is which. Best thing I ever did was bookmark the site for South Carolina snakes!

    OOOH! Look up Black Racer- it says they will rattle their tails in the leaves to imitate a rattlesnake! [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  5. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Look for the head shape. A triangle means viper and venom. A lizard shape mean constrictor and no venom. That's the best way to look. As for tails many can make a rattle sound to imitate a rattler. Most do that my hitting grass. A slim knitting needle looking tail is what you are looking for, but it does not distinguish between poison or not. A true rattle however does. Ok this does apply for northern states as I live in Oregon. I've also lived in Maryland and California. I'm not familiar with tropic snakes found is climates without winters. I would suggest to google your state and snakes and familiarize yourself with what is around in your neck of the woods.
  6. Catstar68

    Catstar68 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2009
    Franklinton, NC
    There are no native black colored snakes that are poisonous in North America that I know of other than the Arizona Black Rattlesnake. You are probably seeing a black rat snake that will eat eggs and baby chicks if it has access to them but otherwise is a beneficial animal to the woodland ecosystem.
    They will shake their tail and do a rattlesnake impersonation. Did you hear the actual rattle and did it have a rattlesnake tail? [​IMG]
    I'm thinking that an ABR would not be up in your neck of the woods but people release snakes into the wild all the in Florida with the ball python problem.
  7. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    I've seen immature water snakes rattle their tails before. It is a simple defense mechanism. Snakes are good to have around as has been explained by others. Just have to watch them around chicks.
  8. ErieSpurs

    ErieSpurs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Elyria, OH
    Many snakes rattle their tails when in a defensive posture. It is probably a black rat snake or a racer - both nonvenomous.
  9. The Lisser

    The Lisser Chillin' With My Peeps

    The are not venomous and as the two folks ahead of me said, almost all snakes will imitate venomous snakes when they feel threatened by rattling their tail and flattening their head - so the triangle head shape is not always the way to tell either. Learning what venomous snakes live in your area is the best way to know what you might be dealing with. Your local wildlife commission or nature center should be able to help you.

    MOST but not all venomous snakes are nocturnal and have eyes like a cat, with the up and down slit for a pupil. Black rat snakes and black racers have circle pupils like us. Not that you should be getting close enough to look into their eyes if you can help it. [​IMG]

    Black rat snakes and black racers have gray and white and black patterns when they are young, for the first several years. Unfortunately for the snakes many people think "pattern" means venomous. As they get older the pattern fades and they are black on top and white on the bottom. All snakes carry funky germs so if you get bitten be sure your tetanus is up to date. Non-venomous snakes have anti-coagulators in their saliva so it will make you bleed more too.

    I work at a science center and I've handled many, many snakes. Most will only bite if you really hurt them or they are really afraid.

    Good luck!
    Melissa [​IMG]
  10. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    The Cottonmouth Water Moccasin can be black...

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