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Five Types Of Snakes Exist in North America

All of the thousands of snakes in the world are broken down into eleven different families, or types of snakes. Five of these types of snakes make their home in North America.

Slender Blind Snakes

The first is the family leptotyphlopidae, otherwise known as slender blind snakes. These are the most primitive of all snakes. They have a pelvic girdle and vestigial hind limbs.

Evolutionists believe that at one time, all snakes had limbs because they developed from lizards. They became burrowers, and their bodies adapted to digging underground and there was no need for limbs, eyes, ears, and other body parts.

At some point, snakes came to live above ground again and redeveloped certain body parts, such as eyes, but in a different form without lids and with a covering over them.

Modern snakes have one lung, for instance, instead of two. And although no snakes today have limbs that you can see, these primitive snakes that still exist have hind limbs that can be seen inside their skeletal frames as nodules, and they have pelvic girdles.

These slender blind snakes eat invertebrates like termite larvae and ants. In North America, there are two species of the fifty species of slender blind snakes:

Texas Blind Snake

Western Blind Snake

Boas And Pythons

The second group of North America snakes is made up of types of snakes of the family boidae. These are known to most people as boas and pythons. The world’s five largest snakes are in this group.

There are almost one hundred snakes in this family worldwide, but only two live in North America. Many of them favor warmer and tropical climates. These types of snakes have a combination of both modern and primitive characteristics - they have the flexible jaws of modern snakes, but also have:

Two lungs

A pelvic girdle

Vestigial hind limbs

In North America, the snakes you find in this family are the Rubber Boa and the Rosy Boa.

"Typical Snakes"

The third of the types of snakes are from the family columbaria or colubrid snakes. These are often called “typical” snakes because they are the largest snake family.

There are over two thousand species in the group. They are all so-called “modern” snakes. They have no pelvic girdle, no vestigial hind limbs and they either have no left lung or a much smaller left lung.

Of the colubrid snakes, there are 102 species in North America. They are all medium size, and include:

Rat snakes

Corn snakes

Shovelnose snakes

Hooknose snakes

Water snakes

Garter snakes

Scarlet snakes

and many more.

Venomous Snakes

The types of snakes in the fourth group are all venomous. This is the family elapidae, which consists of cobras and coral snakes. They are somewhat similar in development to the colubrid snakes, but have more advanced systems of delivering venom.

While the colubrids have fangs in the back of their mouths, cobras and corals have them in the front. The fangs are also more sophisticated - tubular with infolded edges.

Elapidae types of snakes include:



Sea snakes

All among the most dangerous in the world.  These snakes can be found around the world, but are the kind most found in Australia. 

In North America, there are three snakes in this group:

Western Coral Snake

Eastern Coral Snake

Yellowbelly Sea Snake

The primary diet of these snakes is other snakes.


The last of the types of snakes are in the family viperidae or Vipers. They are the most advanced snakes of all, with large, tubular hinged fangs which can be folded back when not in use.

They have elliptical pupils and heat-sensing pits between their eyes and nostrils. They are all venomous:




They all live in North America. Rattlesnakes are considered to be the only truly American snake as all but two species are found in the United States and Mexico.



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