Snakes of Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga snake

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

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

Common Snake Species in Chattanooga

Chattanooga snake Worm snake: Worm snakes are small snakes with shiny bodies. You may be able to identify the snakes by the contrasting colors of their back and belly. The back is colored dark brown, while the belly is colored pink. They are mostly found underground and under covers. The snakes may be found under rocks, debris, and leaf litter. Although they spend most of their time underground, worm snakes are some of the commonest snakes in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They feed on earthworms and different soft-bodied animals.

Chattanooga snake Scarlet snake: The scarlet snake can be easily mistaken for the venomous coral snake and are commonly persecuted for this reason. They have wide red bands as well as smaller yellow and black bands. They have red heads that are pointed. The bellies of the scarlet snake are milk-colored or white.They are commonly found in areas where the soil is good for burrowing. Although they maintain a secretive lifestyle, they are commonly found in Tennessee.

Chattanooga snake Black racer: The black racers are especially known for their speed. They could also come across as aggressive, especially when they are trying to escape threatening situations. The snakes are black in color, with slender bodies. They are commonly encountered in open spaces and can be found when they are basking. They feed on small animals and rodents. Apart from the open fields where they are found, they typically rest under rocks and leaf litter as well as debris. Black racers are non-venomous. However, they can bite intruders and predators when they feel threatened. The average length of this slender snake is between 30 and 60 inches.

Venomous Snake Species in Chattanooga

Chattanooga snake Copperhead: Copperheads are one of the venomous snakes with an established population in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The average length of these snakes is between three and four feet. Copperheads can be identified by their copper-colored head. The body of the snakes can also be copper-colored. They could also have red bodies. Another distinctive feature of these snakes is the hourglass-shaped patterns that are found on their backs. The venomous snakes make their habitats in forested areas. They prefer to stay away from humans but may be encountered in the yards of people that live in wetland areas and on the edge of streams. Although they are shy critters, copperheads will bite and inject their venoms when they are threatened.

Chattanooga snake Timber rattlesnake: They are one of the two rattlesnakes found in Tennessee. They are typically found in high elevations, mountains, and hills. In remote wooded areas, the snakes could be found basking on rocks. They could also be found coiled up close to rocks. Timber rattlesnakes are shy critters and will avoid human interactions as much as possible. However, they will not hesitate to strike and bite when they feel threatened. When they feel threatened, they will initially make their rattling sounds before they proceed to strike and bite. As large snakes with especially toxic venoms, timber rattlesnakes are especially deadly. The bite of a timber rattlesnake can lead to serious consequences, including death. Timber rattlesnakes can be distinguished by their rattling sounds as well as the chevron-shaped crossbands.

Chattanooga snake Cottonmouth: The cottonmouth, which is otherwise known as the water moccasin, is an aquatic venomous snake. The major distinguishing feature of these snakes is the white upper lip, which is visible when they open their mouths. Cottonmouths have thick bodies and lengths that range from three to five feet. They are mostly found in aquatic areas and are described as aggressive critters. It is noteworthy that they may stand their ground when they are threatened, instead of running away. They also have highly potent venoms. Unless they are threatened, they will most likely stay away and avoid interactions with humans.

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 Chattanooga 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 Chattanooga, it's venomous snakes of Chattanooga. Poison is generally something you eat, and venom is injected into you. That said, dangerous snakes are very rare in Chattanooga. The few venomous snakes of Hamilton County are rarely seen. But they are commonly misidentified, so learn about all the snake species of Chattanooga in order to correctly identify them. These snakes are usually also found in the surrounding towns of Soddy-Daisy, Ooltewah, East Ridge, Signal Mountain, Collegedale, Red Bank, Lookout Mountain, Harrison, Sale Creek, Apison, East Brainerd, Lakesite, Walden, Middle Valley, Ridgeside, Falling Water, Mowbray Mountain, Fairmount, Flat Top Mountain, and the surrounding areas.

Read our article about:
How Do You Identify Snake Feces? domain and hosting costs made possible by the generous support of this sponsor: