Snakes of New Hampshire – Discover Creatures

Snakes of New Hampshire have a diverse ecological significance. They play an important role in the ecosystem by being a part of the food chain. They prey on many species of birds, mammals, and other reptiles. They also play an important role in controlling rodent populations.

Snakes are also considered indicator species, meaning that the presence or absence of snakes can indicate the health of an ecosystem. For instance, if a particular snake species is in decline, it may indicate that the habitat is being degraded somehow.

10 Snakes of New Hampshire

There are some Snakes in New Hampshire

  • Timber Rattlesnake
  • Ribbon Snake
  • Milk Snakes
  • Northern Water Snake
  • Common Garter Snake
  •  Eastern Hognose Snake
  • Northern Ringneck Snake
  • Smooth Green Snake
  • Northern Black Racer Snake
  • Northern Red-bellied Snake

Timber Rattlesnake

Snakes of New Hampshire
Timber Rattlesnake

The Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) is a venomous snake species native to the eastern United States, including New Hampshire. They are typically found in wooded areas, including deciduous and mixed forests, rocky hills and outcroppings. They are also known to inhabit wetlands, swamps, and marshes.

The Timber Rattlesnake is a large species, with adults reaching lengths up to 4-6 feet. They are typically colored in shades of gray or brown with dark crossbands on the body. The most distinctive feature of this species is the rattle at the end of the tail, which is used to warn potential predators of its venomous bite. They are also known for their large venom gland size, making them one of North America’s most venomous snake species.

Ribbon Snake

Snakes of New Hampshire
Ribbon Snake

The Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus) is a nonvenomous snake native to the eastern United States, including New Hampshire. They are typically found near wetlands and streams and often in or near water. They also inhabit marshes, swamps, and other wetland habitats.

The Ribbon Snake is a slender, aquatic species known for its long, thin body. Adult individuals typically reach lengths of 2-3 feet. They are typically colored in shades of green or brown, with a distinctive yellow or white stripe running the length of the body. This striping pattern helps them to blend in with their aquatic environment, making them difficult to spot.

Milk Snakes

Snakes of New Hampshire
Milk Snakes

The appearance of Milk Snakes can vary depending on the subspecies, but generally, they have a base color of red, black, and white bands, where they get their name, as it resembles the pattern of a cow’s milk. They have a slender body with smooth scales, and their head is slightly wider than their neck. They have vertical pupils, which give them a distinct appearance. The banding pattern may be uniform, irregular, solid, or have different shades. 

Some subspecies may have a different coloration or pattern, such as the Eastern Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum), which has a gray or brown base color with red and black bands. Adult Milk snakes usually reach a length of 2-4 ft. Their coloration may change as they age, and some individuals may become more vibrant or dark.

Northern Water Snake

Snakes of New Hampshire
Northern Water Snake

The Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon) is a nonvenomous snake native to the eastern United States, including New Hampshire. They are typically found near rivers, lakes, and wetlands, often in or near water. They also inhabit marshes, swamps, and other wetland habitats.

The Northern Water Snake is a medium to large-sized species that can grow up to 4 feet long. They are typically colored in shades of brown, gray or black with dark crossbands on the body. They have thick bodies and broad heads with wide necks. They are also known for their rough scales, which help them to move easily through the water.

Common Garter Snake

Snakes of New Hampshire
Common Garter Snake

The Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) is a snake found in North America. It is a small to the medium-sized snake, typically 18 and 54 inches long. They are commonly found in various habitats, including forests, meadows, and near water sources such as streams, rivers, and ponds.

Common garter snakes are active during the day and are usually seen basking in the sun or foraging for food. They are nonvenomous and feed on small animals such as worms, slugs, and frogs. They are also known to be beneficial as they help control pest populations.

 Eastern Hognose Snake

Snakes of New Hampshire
 Eastern Hognose Snake

The Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platirhinos) is a species of snake found in the eastern United States and Canada. It is a small to the medium-sized snake, typically measuring between 18 and 36 inches in length. They are known for their upturned snout, used for burrowing in the ground. Eastern Hognose Snakes can be found in various habitats, including sandy pine forests, open fields, and wetlands, but they are typically found in dry, sandy areas.

They are nonvenomous and primarily feed on toads and frogs. They are known for their defensive behavior; when threatened, they will hiss, flatten their head, and even feign death to deter predators.

Northern Ringneck Snake

Snakes of New Hampshire
Northern Ringneck Snake

The Northern Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus edwardsii) is a subspecies of the Ringneck Snake found in North America. It is a small snake, typically measuring between 10 and 15 inches in length. They are known for their bright yellow or orange ring around their neck, which gives them their name. They are typically found in wooded areas, rocky outcrops and talus slopes, but they can also be found in gardens and around homes. Northern Ringneck Snakes are nonvenomous and feed on worms, slugs, and salamanders. They are generally shy and secretive snakes and tend to be active at night or during the day when it’s overcast. They are considered beneficial as they help control invertebrate populations.

Smooth Green Snake

Snakes of New Hampshire
Smooth Green Snake

The Smooth Green Snake (Opheodrys vernalis) is a species of snake found in North America, specifically in Eastern and Central regions of the United States and Canada. They are small and slender, typically measuring between 18 and 24 inches in length. They are known for their bright green color and smooth scales. They are typically found in wooded areas, fields, and gardens. They are active during the day and arboreal, climbing bushes and trees to hunt prey. Smooth Green Snakes are nonvenomous and feed on insects, spiders, and caterpillars. They are generally shy and docile snakes and tend to be active during the day, and they are considered beneficial as they help control insect populations.

Northern Black Racer Snake

Snakes of New Hampshire
Northern Black Racer Snake

The Northern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor) is a subspecies of the Black Racer, a species of snake found in North America. They are large snakes, typically measuring between 3 and 6 feet long, with smooth glossy black bodies. They are known for their speed and agility. They are active during the day and commonly found in various habitats, including forests, fields, and wetlands. They are nonvenomous and feed on small mammals, lizards, and frogs. They are known to be curious and will often investigate their surroundings. They are not aggressive and will usually flee when threatened. They are considered beneficial as they help control rodent and reptile populations.

Northern Red-bellied Snake

Snakes of New Hampshire
Northern Red-bellied Snake

The Northern Red-bellied Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata) is a species of snake found in North America, specifically in the eastern United States and Canada. They are small snakes, typically measuring between 10 and 16 inches in length. They have a red or orange belly, giving them their name. They are typically found in wooded areas, gardens and around homes, and they are also active during the day and they are also active during night. They are nonvenomous and primarily feed on earthworms, slugs, and snails. They are generally shy and secretive snakes and tend to be active at night or during the day when it’s overcast. They are considered beneficial as they help control invertebrate populations.

FAQs

Does New Hampshire have poisonous snakes?

New Hampshire has one venomous snake, the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). It is a rare species with limited population, and it’s known to inhabit rocky outcrops, ledges and wooded hillsides. 

Are there poisonous water snakes in New Hampshire?

No, there are no venomous water snakes in New Hampshire. The only venomous snake in the state is the timber rattlesnake, which is not typically found near water. 

What is the largest snake in New Hampshire?

The largest snake found in New Hampshire is the Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). It can reach up to 54 inches but typically measures between 18 and 36 inches.

Are there water snakes in New Hampshire?

Water snakes in New Hampshire, such as the Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon), commonly found near freshwater sources such as rivers, streams, and ponds.

Does New Hampshire have grizzly bears?

No, New Hampshire does not have grizzly bears. Ursus arctos horribilis, also known as the North American brown bear or grizzly bear, is not found in New Hampshire. It’s native to western North America, including parts of Alaska, Canada, and the continental United States.

Let’s End the Article

In summary, New Hampshire has a variety of snake species that can be found in different habitats throughout the state. Some of the common species include the Eastern Garter Snake, Northern Water Snake, Northern Ringneck Snake, DeKay’s Brown Snake, Northern Black Racer, and the Northern Red-bellied Snake. However, the only venomous snake found in the state is the Timber Rattlesnake which is rare and limited in population. It’s important to be cautious and avoid handling snakes, as some of them can be aggressive when threatened.

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