Snakes of Nassau County, NY

Nassau County snake

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

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

Common Snake Species in Nassau County

Nassau County snake Common garter (Thamnophis sirtalis): The common garter snake is the most common snake in New York. Although coloration between subspecies varies, they generally have a dark green color, with one light stripe on both sides and one in the middle of their backs, which cannot be distinguished easily. The pattern on the side of the snake sometimes seems to take a checkered pattern of light and dark squares. The snake has a length of 16 to 30 inches. The common garter snake is found statewide, in fields, lawns, and woodlands. The snakes feed on worms, mice, frogs, and slugs.

Nassau County snake Water snake (Nerodia sipedon): The water snake is heavy and has a light-colored back, with irregular reddish-brown bands unevenly spread on it. Along the spine are patches rimmed with black or dark brown that are in the succession of the smaller patches along the sides. Older snakes have a dark brown to black coloration. The snake has a length of 18 to 48 inches. It lives in water, or close to water bodies, and feeds majorly on small fishes and frogs.

Nassau County snake Milksnake (Lampropeltis traingulum): Milksnakes are slim, with a greyish-white body, with a seriation of vibrant reddish-brown patches rimmed with black. Surrounding a Y or V-shaped mark on the head is a light-colored patch. They are mainly found in and around barns, abandoned buildings, and houses infested with mice. They have a length of 2 to 3 feet, 4 feet on rare occasions. Milksnakes feed on small rodents, small birds, bird eggs, and other snakes. They kill their prey by coiling around it and squeezing it to death.

Nassau County snake Black rat snake (Pantherophis obsoleta): The black rat snake has black and slightly keeled scales, making it have a smooth and shiny appearance. In some snakes, there are visible whites between the black scales, making it look spotted. The young hatchlings have grey, black, and white patterns but have no V or Y marking on the top of the head and the light shade of red that comes with the patches. They are found in a variety of habitats, including rocky hillsides and flat farmlands. They are also found in abandoned buildings, piles of trash, and close to barns. The black rat snake mainly feeds on mice, other small rodents, lizards, frogs, bird eggs, and birds.

Venomous Snake Species in Nassau County

Nassau County snake Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus): The timber rattlesnake is a threatened species and is indeed venomous. It ranges from yellow with progressive V-shaped cross bands to almost a thick black color. At the end of the tail, the rattlesnake possesses wide, loose rattles that make a buzzing sound when it shakes. They have a heat spot between their eyes that help them for nocturnal hunting activities. They have a length of 30-60 inches and sometimes exceeds five feet. They occur in deciduous forests in rugged terrains, and during the summer, they can be found on rocky slopes, within hardwood forests, and cooler thick woodland forests. They feed on rodents like rats, squirrels, chipmunks, small birds, frogs, other snakes, and they carry out cannibalism too.

Nassau County snake Copperhead snake (Agkistrodon contortrix): The copperhead snake has an eye-catching pattern, with a pinkish-tan displayed on brown to chestnut saddle-like markings that are narrow on the side of the spine and broad at the sides. The snake's belly is the same as the ground color but may appear whitish on some parts. The snake has a copper head top. They are found in thick forests in rugged terrains, and they sunbathe on rocky slopes during the summer, within hardwood forests and cooler thick woodland forests. They have a length of two to three feet. They feed on any living thing, including small rodents, small birds, insects, and frogs.

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 Nassau County 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 Nassau County, it's venomous snakes of Nassau County. Poison is generally something you eat, and venom is injected into you. That said, dangerous snakes are very rare in Nassau County. The few venomous snakes of Nassau County are rarely seen. But they are commonly misidentified, so learn about all the snake species of Nassau County in order to correctly identify them. These snakes are usually also found in the surrounding towns of Hempstead, Garden City, Long Beach, East Meadow, Massapequa, Oceanside, Westbury, Great Neck, Glen Cove, Mineola, Valley Stream, Freeport, Plainview, Levittown, Farmingdale, Port Washington, Syosset, Merrick, Bethpage, Wantagh, New Hyde Park, Rockville Centre, Manhasset, Bellmore, Uniondale, Lynbrook, Floral Park, Woodmere, Baldwin, Franklin, Squaren, Roslynn, Oyster, Bayn, Elmontn, West Hempsteadn, Seafordn, Jericho, and the surrounding areas.

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