With the exception of two types of venomous snakes, Pennsylvania snakes consist of nineteen species of colubrid snakes, a family of snakes with familiar names such as ratsnakes, kingsnakes, garter snakes and watersnakes.
Pennsylvania’s colubrid snakes all share the virtue of being relatively benign reptiles that perform more good services such as rodent and insect control than they often get credit for. With most people, the yuck factor associated with snakes takes hold.
Venomous snakes receive the most headlines in Pennsylvania snakes discussions for the same reason they do in other states. Adding an element of medical importance to a snake discussion grabs attention. Pennsylvania hosts two of the three venomous snakes in the Pit Viper category, copperheads and rattlesnakes.
Copperheads grow to an average three feet in length and their light body is covered with darker crossbands. The head shows a characteristic copper color.
Timber Rattlesnakes are the most