For better or worse, Florida is the land of things that slither.
If you suffer from ophidiophobia (the fear of snakes), you’re in good company. It’s one of the most common fears. However, if you’re an ophidiophile (someone who is attracted to snakes), St. Johns River Water Management District public lands provide wonderful opportunities to see them in all their snaky splendor.
Today, we bring you four captivating snakes that District staff have photographed on some of the more than 772,000 acres of land we own or manage within our 18-county jurisdiction. (We buy land in the course of our work to protect and preserve water resources. In addition, these lands protect plant and wildlife habitat and provide areas for public recreation and environmental education.)
Although 50 species of snakes are found in Florida, only six are venomous and a danger to humans, according to the Florida Museum. The remaining 44 species (and subspecies) are harmless and should be protected for the beneficial role they play in natural ecosystems, eating insects, rodents, rabbits, and other small prey.
A word to the wise: Never pick up or attempt to move a snake. If you see a snake, back away slowly; a snake’s striking distance is about half the total length of the snake. Also (and it’s creepy to think about) never place your hands in holes.
Want to learn how to identify snakes? Visit the Florida Museum website to learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about these fascinating creatures.