Venomous Snakes of Iowa | Krebs Creek (2022)

There are 28 snakes in Iowa with only 5 being venomous.

Western Massasauga(Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus )

Eastern Massasauga(Sistrurus catenatus catenatus)

Eastern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)

Timber Rattlesnake(Crotalus horridus)

Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis)

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Venomous Snakes of Iowa | Krebs Creek (1)

Western Massasauga

TheWestern Massasaugarattlesnake grows to a length between 14 – 36 inches. Their body is a light gray with dark brown blotches. They are similar to the Desert Massasauga but lighter in color. They also have a dark stripe that goes from the side of their face and across the eye.

It is given the nickname “buzztale” for its high-pitched rattle sound, which is different from other rattlesnakes.

(Video) Iowa's Venomous Snakes

TheWestern Massasaugais very rare in Iowa. Few sightings of this snake are found in the southwestern part of the state in Mills county.

The venom of theWestern Massasaugarattlesnake is cytotoxic venom that destroys tissue. The cytotoxic venom contains digestive enzymes that disrupt blood flow and prevent blood from clotting. A bite to a human is rare. Most bites occur after someone deliberately handles them or accidentally steps on one. In Ontario, Canada, there are two cases of people dying from a not properly treated bite because the specific antivenom is not easily acquired.

Venomous Snakes of Iowa | Krebs Creek (2)

Eastern Massasauga

The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake is a small to medium-sized snake ranging from 18″ to 30″. Their body is gray with brownish-black blotches. Some actually look entirely black in color.

Eastern Massasaugas are rare in Iowa. A few have been spotted in the east to the southeastern part of the state.

The Eastern Massasauga is generally thought to be docile and sluggish animals unless they are provoked. But, caution should be taken when meeting a massasauga because their venom can be lethal to humans.

The venom of the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake is cytotoxic venom that destroys tissue. The cytotoxic venom contains digestive enzymes that disrupt blood flow and prevent blood from clotting. A bite to a human is rare. Most bites occur after someone deliberately handles them or accidentally steps on one. In Ontario, Canada, there are two cases of people dying from a poorly treated bite because the specific antivenom is not easily acquired.

Venomous Snakes of Iowa | Krebs Creek (3)

Eastern Copperhead

The adult Eastern Copperhead can grow anywhere between 20 – 37 inches long. They have a moderately stout body with a broad head that is distinct from the neck. Their head is a copper color, which is why they are given the name “Copperhead.” The Eastern Copperheads’ body is generally dark brown to a reddish-brown, with dark brown, hourglass-shaped crossbands that fade to a lighter brown in the center of the bands.

The Eastern Copperhead is very rare in Iowa. A few have been spotted in the southeastern corner in Davis, Lee, and Van Buren counties.

Like mostpit vipers, the Eastern Copperheads venom is hemotoxic.The Eastern Copperhead has the ability to bite and inject venom from as young as a newly born snake. A bite from this snake should be considered a medical emergency, and the victim should be taken to the hospital immediately. Symptoms from a bite may include severe pain, fluid retention, blood in the urine, shock, renal failure, and localized cell damage.

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Venomous Snakes of Iowa | Krebs Creek (4)

Timber Rattlesnake (Canebrake Rattlesnake)

The average Timber Rattlesnake grows between 36 to 60 inches long. However, there have been reports of them growing up to 7 feet long. They vary in color; some have a gray, with a pinkish hue body. They have a stripe down their back that ranges from pinkish, orange, brown, or black, with dark brown to black chevron, patterned bands on their back and sides. Some of the snakes are very dark and almost completely black.

The Timber Rattlesnake lives in various habitats, including mountainous forests, pine forests, swamps, farm fields, and river floodplains. In the winter, they are found hibernating in crevices in the ground. These snakes are marvelous climbers and have been found in trees at heights of more than 80 feet.Source

In Iowa, these snakes are found along the Mississippi River and the southern third of the state.

Due to its long fangs, impressive size, and highvenomyield, the Timber Rattlesnake is one of North America’s most dangerous snakes. Some of the complications from a Timber Rattlesnake bite may include severe shock, seizures, coma, severe internal bleeding, and deep tissue damage, leading to gangrene.Source

Venomous Snakes of Iowa | Krebs Creek (5)

Prairie Rattlesnake

ThePrairie Rattlesnakegrows anywhere from 3ft to 5ft long. They are tan-colored with varying colors of brown blotches covering their bodies. They have a distinguishing triangle-shaped head with pit sensory organs on either side. A light stripe runs diagonally from the back of its eye to its jaw and another strip runs diagonally from below its eye to the corner of its mouth. Prairie Rattlesnakes are mostly ground snakes, but they occasionally climb into shrubs, bushes, or trees. Their venom is both hemotoxic and neurotoxic.

Prairie Rattlesnakesare another very rare snake, The only known sighting is in the Loess Hills in western Plymouth County.

APrairie Rattlesnakebite’s signs and symptoms include extreme pain, blistering, swelling, nausea, and vomiting. The venom can impair blood coagulation and break down the red blood cells, leading to tissue necrosis, shock, and rarely multiple organ damage.Source

Symptoms of Venomous Snake Bites

Some of the symptoms you may experience when a venomous snake bites you include:

  • Discoloration in the area of the bite.
  • Swelling in the area of the bite.
  • Loss of your muscle coordination.
  • Tingling sensation in the area of the bite.
  • Feeling nauseous.
  • Having a faster heartbeat or rapid pulse.

What Should You Do If You Are Bitten?

If you think you or someone you know or encounter has been bitten by a rattlesnake, time is precious because of the effects that the venom causes on the human body. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect that a rattlesnake or other venomous snake bit you. Take these first aid steps in the case that a rattlesnake or other venomous snake has bitten you or someone around you:

(Video) Common Iowa Snakes

  • Remain calm and limit your movements. Do not run. If you must hike back to a vehicle, do it in a calm, deliberate manner. Put as little stress on your heart as possible.
  • Keep the area of the snake bite below the heart level and never above heart level. Keeping the bite below the heart level will reduce the venom’s flow, while holding the bite above your heart level will increase the venom’s flow.
  • Since the snake bite will swell, it is advised to remove all constricting items such as bracelets, watches, or rings because the area will most likely begin swelling.
  • You can wash the bite area like you would any other wound with soap and water.
  • You may cover the bite area with a moist dressing to reduce the swelling and some of the discomfort you or the person that has been bitten may be feeling.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible. If you or someone has a phone, call the hospital or ambulance to tell them a venomous snake may have bitten you so they can have the anti-venom ready to give you as soon as you arrive.

A person who a venomous snake has bitten may go into shock. If this happens, you should lay them flat and cover them with a blanket.

After a poisonous snake has bitten someone, they will attempt to kill it to take it in to be identified. This is rarely a good idea. It’s potentially a good way to get bit again. Remember, a dead snake can still bite you. Also consider, that severed snakeheads can still bite and envenomate and often do. If you have a phone, take a picture of the offending reptile. Otherwise, get started on your way to the doctor.

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But please don’t live in fear, thinking that you are going to be bitten.. DO NOT RELY ON THIS ARTICLE to correctly identify a snake that has recently bitten you.. Heavy-bodied with characteristic rattle on the tail.. These venomous snakes are potentially the most dangerous species found in Iowa due to their large size, long fangs, and high yield of venom.. These venomous snakes can be found in northwestern Iowa in open prairies, grasslands, semi-desert shrublands, and forested environments.. Prairie Rattlesnake Range Map The Prairie Rattlesnake hibernates during the winter, often in communal dens.. Individual snakes will return to the same den each winter and migrate up to seven miles to their hunting grounds in the spring.. When they feel threatened, these snakes will freeze, trying to use their camouflage to avoid detection.. If approached, they may coil and rattle their tail as a warning before striking.. Coloration is gray to light brown with dark brown blotches on the back.

There are 25 different snakes in Ohio, of these, there are 3 venomous snakes.. The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake is a small to medium-sized snake ranging from 18″ to 30″.. The venom of the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake is cytotoxic venom that destroys tissue.. Timber Rattlesnake The average Timber Rattlesnake grows between 36 to 60 inches long.. They have a stripe down their back that ranges from pinkish, orange, brown, or black, with dark brown to black chevron, patterned bands on their back and sides.. Discoloration in the area of the bite.. Swelling in the area of the bite.. If you think you or someone you know or encounter has been bitten by a rattlesnake, time is precious because of the effects that the venom causes on the human body.. Take these first aid steps in the case that a rattlesnake or other venomous snake has bitten you or someone around you:. You may cover the bite area with a moist dressing to reduce the swelling and some of the discomfort you or the person that has been bitten may be feeling.. A person who a venomous snake has bitten may go into shock.

Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Western Pygmy Rattlesnake Timber Rattlesnake Florida Cottonmouth Eastern Cottonmouth Western Cottonmouth Northern Copperhead Southern Copperhead Eastern Coral Snake. New Mexican Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake Arizona Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake Hopi Rattlesnake Prairie Rattlesnake Sonoran Coral Snake Banded Rock Rattlesnake Colorado Desert Sidewinder Sonoran Desert Sidewinder Mojave Rattlesnake Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake Tiger Rattlesnake Western Twin-Spotted Rattlesnake Western Diamondback Rattlesnake Grand Canyon Rattlesnake Desert Massasauga Rattlesnake Great Basin Rattlesnake Arizona Black Rattlesnake Mojave Desert Sidewinder. Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake Eastern Coral Snake Eastern Cottonmouth Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Northern Copperhead Southern Copperhead Western Cottonmouth Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake Timber Rattlesnake Eastern Coral Snake. New Mexican Ridge-nose Rattlesnake Arizona Black Rattlesnake Sonoran Coral Snake Banded Rock Rattlesnake Desert Massasauga Mojave Rattlesnake Mottled Rock Rattlesnake Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake Prairie Rattlesnake Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. Banded Rock Rattlesnake Broad-banded Copperhead Desert Massasauga Mojave Rattlesnake Mottled Rock Rattlesnake Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake Prairie Rattlesnake Southern Copperhead Texas Coral Snake Timber Rattlesnake Trans-Pecos Copperhead Western Cottonmouth Western Diamondback Rattlesnake Western Massasauga Western Pygmy Rattlesnake

You need to know the laws in your state regarding pet snakes.. While most pet snake owners have non-venomous varieties, there are some owners who prefer venomous snakes.. Make sure you are getting liability insurance , not pet health insurance.. But what happens if your snake does bite?. Venomous snake bites look no different initially than non-venomous bites.. That is why owners of venomous snakes must carry liability insurance.

Most victims. are less than 20 years of age and most. bites occur on the hands, feet, arms, or. legs.. Even in Kansas, there are. some non-poisonous snakes which exhibit. either the tail or eye characteristics given. for poisonous snakes, but none have the. pit.. The. best way to be able to identify a poisonous. snake is to know all of the venomous. snakes of your region by sight.. POISONOUS 1.. (b) tail pattern same as rest of body— PRAIRIE RATTLER ( page 11 ).. Common where. it occurs, the copperhead is probably the. most abundant poisonous snake in eastern. Kansas.. Young copperheads have a sulfur-yellow. tail.. The many general. reports of water moccasins in Kansas. refer to the mistaken identification of. the harmless water snakes that are common. throughout most of the state (see page 12 ).. Like the copperhead, the young. have a yellow tail tip.. These young are. generally about twelve inches in length.. Place tourniquet between bite and. body.. The color plates of non-poisonous. and poisonous snakes were. painted in water colors, using live and preserved. snakes as models.

While most snakes that possess toxins are venomous, the garter snake is actually poisonous in addition to being mildly venomous .. This means that you should not eat a garter snake, as they carry toxins in their body which would transfer to you.. It uses its venom to take down prey, but also uses the absorbed toxins from other animals as a means of deterring predators.. Since they are found pretty much everywhere in the United States, you might be concerned about whether they’re poisonous or venomous, and what those terms really mean.. No need to worry, though, as this venom is only dangerous to small prey like mice, other rodents, and amphibians, and cannot seriously injure humans.. How does the garter snake get its name?. Garter snakes are diurnal, meaning they are generally active during the day — particularly in the early morning and late afternoon.. Garter snakes are very opportunistic eaters — they’ll eat prey such as earthworms, slugs, minnows, mice and other small rodents, eggs, frogs, newts, salamanders, and other amphibians.. Garter snakes will bite and drag their prey in order to eat it.

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