Common Snakes in Arkansas: Ultimate Guide!

Snakes are the most feared wildlife species in Arkansas.

Arkansas is home to 36 species of snakes, six of which are venomous.

Terrestrial Snakes

  • Racer

A snake of variable color pattern depending on location and has smooth scales.

It’s active in the daytime in fields and forests.

  • Black Rat Snake

It’s a black, shiny snake with scales weakly keeled.

They are mostly in forests and woodlands.

  • Eastern Hognose Snake

It’s tan, black, yellow, red, orange, or gray.

It’s mostly found in sandy or loose soil.

  • Speckled Kingsnake

It has smooth, shiny scales.

It has a black, or dark brown body speckled with yellow or white spots.

It’s mostly found in swamps, marshes, and mixed pine-hardwood forests.

  • Coachwhip

This snake has smooth scales.

It has a large slender body. Sometimes the entire body is black.

It is found in open forests.

  • Western Ribbon Snake

The western ribbon snake is a striped snake with keeled scales.

It prefers to live near the edges of swamps, sloughs, marshes, rivers, and streams.

  • Common Garter Snake

This snake is striped.

It’s found in various wet habitats, marshes, floodplains, lakes, and pond edges.


  • Copperhead Snake

This snake is tan with a darker brown hourglass-shaped band.

It occurs in mixed pine-hardwood forests, rocky or brushy fields, and hillsides.

  • Cottonmouth Snake

The Cottonmouth snake is aquatic with black or dark patterning.

Found in sloughs, wetlands, and swamps.

  • Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake

This snake has mottled brown, tan, and black with large, roughly diamond-shaped spots.

  • Timber RattleSnake

Timber Rattlesnake is grayish or yellowish.

Found usually in hardwood, mixed pinewood, and rocky or brushy fields.

  • Western Pygmy Rattlesnake

This snake is light brown, gray to grayish brown with pit viper, keeled snakes.

  • Texas Coral Snake

Texas snakes have smooth scales.

Prefers moist pine, hardwood, or mixed pine-hardwood forests.

Water Snakes

  • Mississippi Green Water Snake

The body of this snake is drab olive-green or olive-brown.

It inhabits a still or very slow-moving body.

  • Plainbelly Water Snake

It has an olive-gray, dark greenish gray, or brownish body.

This snake can be found in sluggish water habitats.

  • Broad-banded Water Snake

This snake has keeled scales and is irregularly shaped.

It’s a lowland water snake of swamps, sloughs, and sluggish streams.

  • Diamondback Water Snake

The body of this snake can be light brown, yellowish, or olive with keeled snakes.

Found in a variety of wetland habitats.

  • Northern Water Snake

This snake is light brown or gray with dark brown or reddish brown bands on the body.

Most commonly seen are water snakes in reservoirs and fast-flowing streams.

  • Coral Snake Mimics

The scarlet and milk snake resembles the venomous coral snake, but they are completely harmless.

  • Scarlet Snake

This snake is harmless.

It has smooth scales.

It inhabits in pine, hardwood, or mixed pine hardwood.

  • Milk Snake

This is also harmless and has smooth scales and has the same habitat as scarlet snakes.

Woodland Snakes

  • Eastern and Western Worm Snake

This snake has shiny, smooth scales.

Eastern worm snakes have a uniform brown belly and one to two scale rows above are pink.

Western worm snakes have a purplish black or black above, belly and three scale rows above are pink

  • Brown Snake

It has keeled scales and its color may vary from light to dark yellow-brown.

It prefers moist environments.

  • Redbelly Snake

The body of this snake may be gray, brown, or red-brown.

It has keeled scales and is mostly found in moist forests.

  • Rough Earth Snake

The body of this snake is uniform brown, brown-red or gray.

It prefers rocky, wooded hillsides and hardwood forests.

  • Smooth Earth snake

This is a plain-colored snake and is found in moist forests.

It has smooth or weakly keeled scales

Mud Snakes

  • Mud Snake

The body of this snake is blue black to black and has smooth glossy scales and inhabits places like gum swamps.

  • Graham Crayfish Snake

A brown or yellow-brown snake with keeled scales, often seen in early spring rolling on low branches.

  • Queen Snake

The body of this snake is light brown with keeled scales.

Snake Prevention

Here are a few things to keep in mind for snake prevention:

  1. Keep your grass mowed.
  • Be weather aware.
  • Keep your home sealed.

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