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Snakes are limbless reptiles belonging to the suborder Serpentes, with over 3,000 species found in various habitats around the world. These remarkable animals are known for their elongated bodies, forked tongues, and unique method of locomotion through lateral undulation. Snakes play a vital role in ecosystems as both predators and prey, controlling populations of rodents and other small animals while serving as food for larger predators. Visit these amazing creatures and learn more about them in the Reptile House.

Burmese Python

Burmese pythons are darkly colored, with reddish to brown and dark cream colored rectangles. They have an arrow shaped marking on the top of their head. Males are usually smaller than females.


These snakes prefer tropic and sub tropic areas of south Asia.


Length: Burmese Up to 24.5 feet. Weight: Burmese Up to 310lbs.

  • Burmese pythons can hold their breath for up to 30 minutes!
  • Burmese pythons are an invasive species in Florida and are thriving there, even though they are a vulnerable species in their native habitat.

IUCN lists as vulnerable. The main threat to these snakes is the illegal wildlife trade. Their skins are used for decoration, leather and musical instruments. They are also sold as pets and hunted for meat. They are also affected by habitat degradation such as slashing and burning. In Vietnam it is listed as critically endangered.

Conservation Action:

They are a protected species in Vietnam, China, Thailand, and Indonesia. Listed on CITES Appendix II. Where it is invasive in Florida, measures are being taken to control or eradicate the species.


Copperheads have reddish-brown bodies covered in a crossband pattern consisting of tan, copper, and rich brown colors that extend throughout the body. Their heads are triangular and a solid brown color. Each subspecies of copperhead has variations in color and pattern. Males are typically longer than females and juveniles are grayer with a yellow-tipped tail.


The southern copperhead range extends through Massachusetts, westward to Texas and southeastern Nebraska. They can inhabit a variety of habitats including forests, wet woodlands, edges of swamps, stream beds and gulches. They can also be found in and around man-made environments.


Length: 30-53in.

  • Copperheads are a venomous snake, however, their venom is somewhat milder compared to other venomous snakes and rarely results in death in a healthy human.
  • The yellow-tipped tail on juveniles is thought to help lure small prey. They will move the tail mimicking caterpillar movements, bringing their prey within striking distance.
  • Kingsnakes and opossums are reported to be immune to copperhead venom.

Least Concern. Certain areas of the US are experiencing declines in population and they are considered endangered in Iowa and Massachusetts. Their threats include habitat destruction, invasive plants, insecticide application, and road mortality.

Eyelash Palm Pit Viper

Eyelash vipers can be found in a variety of color morphs. They are most commonly olive green but can also be bright yellow, pink, green, silver, dark grey or brown. Faint markings of various colors can be seen on the body. The tips of the tail are yellow or green and their undersides are pale yellow often with darker spots. Habitat directly affects the coloration of these snakes. They are characterized by a prehensile tail used for climbing, a triangular head, and distinctive keeled scales above the eyes that gives them a “browed” appearance. Their scales are ridged to give them a better grip on vegetation. Females tend to be larger than males and juveniles look the same as adults.


Eyelash vipers range from southern Mexico through northwestern Ecuador and western Venezuela. They prefer moist tropical forests but can also be found in woodlands and shrublands both at lower and higher elevations.


1-2.75 feet.

  • Eyelash viper venom is hemotoxic, meaning it destroys red blood cells. The venom also contains procoagulants and haemorrhagins, and affects both the central nervous system and the cardiovascular system.
  • Scientists aren’t quite sure what the purpose of the “eyelash” scales are on these snakes. It is thought that they aid in camouflage by breaking up the snakes silhouette and may protect their eyes when moving through thick vegetation.

IUCN has not evaluated this animal and the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species has removed them from their list. They are most likely threatened by deforestation due to agriculture, urbanization and the timber industry. No fatalities from eyelash vipers has ever been reported. Due to their sometimes yellow coloration, these snakes have accidentally been shipped in banana boxes all over the world.

Green Tree Python

As their name implies, these snakes are a bright green color. On their back, they have a ridge of scales that are white or yellow that form a broken or continuous line down their backs. Their stomachs are generally yellow. These pythons do have heat sensing pits on their upper lips. Juveniles that are yellow in color are found throughout the range and red juvenile morphs are found in parts of Indonesia and New Guinea. The same clutch can have both red and yellow morphs. The juveniles have white blotches edged in black or brown running down their backs. They also have a white streak edged in black that runs from the nostril, through the eye to the back of the head. When they are young, females are may have longer and wider heads than males of similar size. Some adults may never fully change from their juvenile coloring.


Green tree pythons are found in New Guinea, eastern Indonesia, surrounding islands, and the Cape York Peninsula of Australia. They inhabit tropical rainforest. As juveniles they like to hang out in forest edges or near gaps in the canopy, but as adults they are found in closed-gapped canopy.


Length: 5 feet, Up to 7 feet.

  • Green tree pythons have a prehensile tail to aid them in climbing.
  • Juvenile snakes change color around 6 months to 1 year in age. This does not have to do with sexual maturity. Instead, it has to do with length. Once the snake reaches a certain length, it can change its feeding habits. As a juvenile, it lived in forest gaps (where lighter coloring would provide better camouflage) where smaller prey lives. As an adult, they inhabit closed-gap canopy (where green provides more camouflage) where larger prey is found.

IUCN has not determined their status as of yet. They are one of the most common pet snakes. Some of these snakes are captive bred, but others are wild caught. Indigenous people in New Guinea hunt this species for food. They are most likely affected by habitat degradation as well.

Conservation Action:

Listed CITES Appendix II. In Australia it is illegal to capture wild green tree pythons or import them from New Guinea.


They have orange, black, and white stripes.


Found throughout central East Coast North America, these snakes prefer farmlands, woods, outbuildings, meadows, river bottoms, bogs, rocky hillsides, and rodent runways.


Length: 2-3 feet.

This species has not been evaluated for the IUCN Red List.

Mole Snake

Brown, gray, or black in color with juveniles having mottled markings which fade with time, these snakes love to burrow and have an aggressive self-defense display. They have a round pupil.


This snake prefers grasslands but is present in nearly all habitats and is found in southern Africa.


Length: 4.6 feet.

These are one of the few snake species that give birth to live young.

This species has not been evaluated for the IUCN Red List. Though they are said to be aggressive, they supposedly make good pets.

Pygmy Rattlesnake

This snake is named for its small size. It has a small tail with rarely more than a few rattles on it. Coloration varies greatly depending on location. It can have a background color of gray, brown, black, pink or reddish. A dark line runs vertically through the eye and down the face. Dark, circular markings line the back and a thin, reddish-orange stripes runs down the mid-body line. Juveniles resemble adults except for a yellow tipped tail. Facial pits for detecting heat are located on the face.


The pygmy rattlesnake is found throughout the Southeastern United States. They can be found in wet habitats such as floodplains, rice fields, marshes, swamps and forests.


Length – 1-2 feet.

  • There are three different subspecies of the pygmy rattlesnake: Carolina, Dusky and Western.
  • While waiting for prey to venture by, they will remain coiled, sometimes for as long as 2-3 weeks!

IUCN lists as a species of least concern. Currently, no major threats are known to exist, but habitat loss may be a threat to some populations.

Conservation Action:

Occur in protected areas. They are protected in North Carolina and Tennessee.

White-Lipped Tree Viper

This snake is bright green in color with a lighter, yellowish underside. It is slender with a large triangular head. As its name suggests, it white or yellow colored “lips,” chine and throat. The tail is a contrasting brown color and the eyes are yellow-orange with vertical pupils.


White-lipped pit vipers can be found from Myanmar across southern China, south to Java and Indonesia. This snake can found in a wide variety of habitats such as mountain forests, shrubland, plains, and agricultural areas.


These snakes are often found off the ground in trees or bushes.

This snake is able to be found in abundancy even in habitats that have been greatly altered or degraded.

IUCN lists as a species of least concern. The greatest threat to this snake is persecution by humans. In some areas it is also harvested for food and traditional medicines.

Conservation Action:

Found in some protected areas.

Western Gaboon Viper

Gaboon vipers are very striking snakes. Their body has a base color of brown or grayish-purple. The back is covered in four sided shapes that separated by brown hourglass spaces. The sides of the body have triangular brown or purple markings separated by brown or purple blotches. The underside is light yellow with dark spots. Most of the scales on their body are ridged and keeled. Their head is large and triangular with a dark stripe running down the center and two dark spots above each side of the jaw. Their most distinct characteristic is the horn-like projections on the tip of their nose. Juveniles look the same as the adults.


Gaboon vipers are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. They inhabit rainforests and other moist, tropical habitats.


Length: 4-7 feet. Weight: 15.5-22lbs.

  • Gaboon vipers are the largest of the vipers.
  • Gaboon viper fangs are two inches long (longest fangs of any snake)!

This species has currently not been evaluated by the IUCN. Their population status is unknown but they are not believed to be threatened. They help control rodent populations but can be very harmful to humans.

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