Q:

How many species of snakes are there in Kentucky?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

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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Related Questions

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    Are all snakes venomous?

    A:

    Not all snakes are venomous, but even nonvenomous snakes are subject to strike if they feel frightened or sense danger. An easy way to determine if a snake is poisonous is to look at its pupils; the pupils of poisonous snakes are elliptical, much like the eyes of a cat, while the pupils of a non-venomous snake are round.

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    What do snakes eat?

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    How do snakes protect themselves?

    A:

    Snakes use a variety of techniques and adaptations to defend themselves, including camouflage or fleeing from predators, as well as bluffing, biting and envenoming animals that threaten them. Most snakes seek to remain undetected by threatening animals and flee upon detection. However, snakes that are unable to escape may engage in a variety of defensive displays or deliver possible life-threatening bites.

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