Snakes of Suffolk County, NY

Suffolk County snake

Welcome to! I am David, a snake enthusiast living in Suffolk County, NY. Many people don't know that Suffolk County is in fact full of snakes! You just need to know where to find them - they can often be shy and elusive. Some New York snake species are more common outside of the city limits, in different parts of Suffolk County NY, but many types of snakes are indeed common in the more urban parts of Suffolk County. This guide is meant to help educate you about the beautiful snakes of Suffolk County, and to help you identify the most common snakes of Suffolk County, as well as the venomous snakes of Suffolk County that you should learn to recognize and avoid. If you want more detail, click here for my complete list of ALL snake species in Suffolk County. Remember the following:

  • Most snakes of Suffolk County are harmless and don't want to encounter you
  • Venomous snakes exist but are uncommon in Suffolk County, New York
  • Snakes eat rats and mice and are a valuable part of the New York ecosystem
  • Never kill a snake - if you leave a snake alone, it will leave you alone.

Common Snake Species in Suffolk County

Suffolk County snake Smooth Green Snake: Appearance: A smooth green snake is a small, smooth-scaled reptile of an average body length of 12 to 20 inches. An adult green snake’s body color is leaf-green, while the belly is white to yellow. However, the young snakes are grey or olive. Habitat: The green snake camouflages perfectly with grasslands and green shrubs of the mountainous regions. Also, it can occupy lowlands with similar environments. The basic diet consists of spiders and insects. Behavior: This snake is a diurnal species that hunts for its food in its habitat. Its calm, gentleness, and small size makes this snake fit to be a pet for snake lovers.

Suffolk County snake Eastern Milk Snake: Appearance: The milk snake is a slim species with a tan to grey body, patterned with dark-brown or red-brown stripes on the back. Also, it has a white belly. It grows to a maximum of 48 inches. Habitat: Eastern milk snakes prefer living under logs, inside rock crevices, and in old foundations. Also, you may spot them on field edges and by the roadside. They hunt during the night for rodents, amphibians, and birds. Behavior: It's a combative creature that rustles debris when frightened and may fight back with a bite. You should be careful when strolling in the night since this snake is nocturnal.

Suffolk County snake Western Black Rat Snake: Appearance: This species is black with a light belly and white chin. It's a large reptile with a body length ranging from 48-72 inches. Habitat: Black rat snakes live in wooded areas, flat farmlands, and rocky hills. They either swim or climb in suitable habitats. Their primary diet consists of rodents, birds, and eggs. Behavior: Rat snakes hibernate in the same caves with timber rattlesnakes and copperheads. They may also be found coiling with other rat snakes basking on rocks.

Venomous Snake Species in Suffolk County

Suffolk County snake Snake 1: Appearance: The timber rattlesnake is a heavy-built species with a body length ranging from 36 to 60 inches. This reptile is gray to tan with keeled scales. Habitat: Timbers live in forests where they obtain food, south-facing rocky outcrops where they bask in the sun, swampy areas, and prairies. They feed on birds, squirrels, rodents, and rabbits. Behavior: Timber rattlers are lone rangers, especially when hunting in warm months. Also, they hibernate in winter and may bask out on sunny days of the season. They are nocturnal in hot summers and diurnal in fall and spring.

Suffolk County snake Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake: Appearance: The massasauga snake is a short species (12-36 inches long) with a small rattled tail. While some mature snakes are purely black, others are brown-grey with hourglass-shaped scales on the back. Habitat: These species prefer wet prairies, lakes, river edges, and marshes. Also, they live in uplands during the summer. In such areas, their diet comprises of lizards, frogs, small snakes, voles, and small rodents. Behavior: Eastern massasauga snakes are solitary species that hibernate in burrows during winter and resurface in spring. They move around during the day. However, they hunt at night in summer.

Suffolk County snake Copperhead: Appearance: A copperhead snake is medium-sized, relatively short (24-36 inches) with a wide body, broad head, and a thin neck. Its body is coppery, light brown, or tan with dark to brown triangular stripes on the back and body edges. The body coloration enables copperheads to camouflage with forest cover. Habitat: The most preferred homes by copperheads are ledges and rocky areas. However, some copperhead subspecies live in marshy places due to the plenty of food available in those areas—amphibians like frogs. Other food sources include insects and rodents. Behavior: Copperheads are social snakes that hibernate in the same dens as black snakes like the rat species and the timber rattlers. When frightened, they remain motionless. As such, humans step on them unknowingly, resulting in a bite.

If you're unsure, you can email me a photo of the snake at and I will email you back with the snake's species. If you found a snake skin, read my Found a Skin? page, and you can email me a photo of the skin, and I'll identify the snake for you. If you need professional Suffolk County snake removal help, click my Get Help page, or see the below website sponsor I found, who provides that service.

Remember, the term is not poisonous snakes of Suffolk County, it's venomous snakes of Suffolk County. Poison is generally something you eat, and venom is injected into you. That said, dangerous snakes are very rare in Suffolk County. The few venomous snakes of Suffolk County are rarely seen. But they are commonly misidentified, so learn about all the snake species of Suffolk County in order to correctly identify them. These snakes are usually also found in the surrounding towns of Holtsville, Riverhead, Huntington, Stony Brook, Smithtown, Brentwood, Islip, Holbrook, Patchogue, Southampton, Bay Shore, East Hampton, Commack, Port Jefferson,Southold, Ronkonkoma, Hauppauge, Brookhaven, Sayville, Central Islip, West Islip, Selden, Deer Park, Lindenhurst, Northport, West Babylon, Montauk, Coram, Centereach, Medford, Babylon, Hampton Bays, Shirley, Amityville, Rocky Point, Greenport, and the surrounding areas.

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