North Dakota Snakes: Pictures and Identification Help

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picture of a Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis)

North Dakota snakes rank toward the bottom of the state snake diversity list. The eight species consist of one venomous snake, the Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis). It’s range is limited to the southwest corner of the state.

Welcome to all the North Dakota snake enthusiasts. Share your snake pictures and your snake identification skills.

The snakes button on the left leads to information suited to answering basic snake identification questions.

close-up of a common garter snake
The state’s two Garter snake species, the Plains gartersnake and the common gartersnake are the most common species with a range that extends to all counties.

The Common Garter Snake in the picture is a rather bland looking species.

Black Racer (Coluber constrictor) is the general name for one of the most widespread of all the snakes native to the United States. In fact eleven different subspecies inhabit almost every state in the lower 48 states. Color is a common name applied to many of the species as well as the Black Racer.

Blue Racers or Eastern Yellow-bellied racers are the North Dakota subspecies. Their population is also in the southwest corner of the state.

Still More Colibrid Snakes


picture of a Northern Red-bellied Snake, credit Fyn Kynd Flickr
The eastern half of the United States hosts three Storeria species:
  • Red bellied Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata)
  • Dekay’s Brownsnake (Storeria dekayi)
  • Florida Brownsnake (Storeria victa)
All three grow small, around a foot in length, and they are reasonably habitat adaptable.

Red-bellied snakes live mostly in wooded areas. Brownsnakes even adapt to city life. Whereas most people on the West Coast consider the Garter Snakes as your basic garden snake, many people in the East, especially residential urban areas, think the Brownsnake as a common garden snake.

picture of a Gopher Snake or Bullsnake (Pituophis melanoleucus)
Gopher Snakes or Bullsnakes (Pituophis melanoleucus) are another of the very common snakes of the West with a small population that spills over into the Midwest.

They can grow large and bulky. Because they somewhat resemble rattlesnakes and they tend to do a lot of basking in the sun, they tend to scare people. Approach the snake with caution and look for a rattle. If no rattle, think Bullsnake.

Look for Bullsnakes in the southwest corner of the state.

picture of a Smooth Greensnake, credit Matha Dol Flickr
Smooth Greensnakes (Opheodrys vernalis) vernalis) also go by the name grass snakes. They are very common in most f the state’s counties.

Plains Hog-nosed Snake (Heterodon nasicus) get recognized for the shovel type nose that helps them dig in the loose soils of the state.

Their bodies can take on a variety of colors, covered by blotches.

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