Q:

How many species of snakes are there in Kentucky?

A:

There are at least 33 known species of snakes found in the state of Kentucky. This includes four venomous species and 29 that are nonvenomous.

The four venomous snakes include the copperhead, western cottonmouth, timber rattlesnake and western pygmy rattlesnake. All belong to the subfamily Crotalinae, known as the "pit vipers," and are distinguishable by visible sensory pits on the side of their heads that detect the heat of prey.

While the bites of these snakes are quite painful, they are rarely fatal to humans and only occur when the reptiles are threatened. Some of the common nonvenomous species native to the Bluegrass State include the brown, eastern garter, milk, rat, redbelly and ringneck snakes.

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