10 Black Snakes in Georgia

Written by Kristen Holder
Published: June 18, 2022
© Patrick K. Campbell/Shutterstock.com
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Georgia is a hotbed for snakes because of its warm and humid climate. There are approximately 40 species of snakes in Georgia, and 10 of them are black snakes that are sometimes mistaken for each other. Knowing some behaviors and physical features that differ between these snakes will help you stay safe.

There are 6 venomous snakes in Georgia, but only one makes it onto our list of black snakes. That snake is the cottonmouth. Knowing how to differentiate the cottonmouth from the less dangerous snakes keeps not only you safe, but it keeps harmless snakes from being unnecessarily killed.

What are 10 of the black snakes in Georgia? We’ll take a look at some pictures and go over the details you need to know about each one.

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10 Black Snakes in Georgia

These are 10 of the black snakes in Georgia:

  1. Eastern Cottonmouth
  2. Southern Black Racer
  3. Glossy Crayfish Snake
  4. Brahminy Blind Snake
  5. Plain-Bellied Water Snake
  6. Eastern Rat Snake
  7. Black Swamp Snake
  8. Black King Snake
  9. Eastern Mudsnake
  10. Eastern Indigo Snake

1. Eastern Cottonmouth

The cottonmouth is characterized by a large, spade-shaped head, bright white mouths, and alternating bands of light and dark patterns.
Cottonmouths are black venomous snakes in Georgia.


The cottonmouths are absent from the northeast part of the state but present everywhere else. These snakes are also known as water moccasins, and they’re highly venomous.

Their mouths are almost pure white, reminiscent of the color of cotton, which is how they earned their name. They battle birds of prey, and both usually fatally wound each other.

2. Southern Black Racer

Southern black racer curled up
Black racers are one of the most common snakes in Georgia.

©Psychotic Nature/Shutterstock.com

Black racers are thin black snakes that grow up to 5 feet long. Sometimes they have a white chin. If confronted, they’ll flee if possible, but they also will defend themselves by biting. They’re one of the most common snakes in Georgia.

These snakes have a uniformity to their coloring, which differentiates them from dark coachwhips, black kingsnakes, and hognose snakes. They’re also mistaken for cottonmouths, though when they hunt and what they eat are different.

They thrive in almost any habitat, but they especially like the edges of forests and wetlands. They rely on their eyesight for hunting, and they look for their meals during daylight hours. Black racers usually hang on the ground, although they’re great climbers.

3. Glossy Crayfish Snake

Glossy Crayfish Snake
Glossy crayfish snakes feast primarily on crayfish that they swallow whole.

©Nathan A Shepard/Shutterstock.com

These are smaller snakes coming in at less than 2 feet long. They’re found throughout the coastal plain, and they like bodies of water as they’re primarily aquatic. It is not clearly understood how close they need to live to a water source.

Glossy crayfish snakes prefer the coastal plain in the south. As their name implies, they feed mostly on crayfish, and they’re able to do this because they have special pointy teeth that help them crunch through exoskeletons.

They coil around their crayfish, but they aren’t constrictors. As their name implies, they swallow crayfish whole. They’re hard to spot in the wild, but sometimes, especially on rainy nights, they can be caught in shallow water.

4. Brahminy Blind Snake

Smallest Snakes: Brahminy Blind Snake
Brahminy blind snakes are tiny burrowers that are invasive.

©Patrick K. Campbell/Shutterstock.com

As invasive species, brahminy blind snakes were brought to the United States in the soil of imported plants. They originally hail from Southeast Asia.

They’re tiny snakes that only grow to a max of 6 inches. Their favorite foods are termite and ant eggs, and they thrive on the coastal plain. They like to burrow underground and are completely harmless.

5. Plain-Bellied Water Snake

Plain-Bellied Water Snake - Yellow Belly Water Snake
Plain-bellied water snakes are found throughout Georgia except in the mountains.


The plain-bellied water snake is found throughout the state except in the mountains and some parts of the southeast. They grow to be approximately 3 feet long.

They’re usually near water of some kind like wetlands, lakes, or ponds. The loss of these habitats due to development threatens their presence in Georgia.

6. Eastern Rat Snake

A pair of Eastern Ratsnakes (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) snuggle during the spring season. Raleigh, North Carolina. The base of their body is typically a shiny black.
Eastern rat snakes are also called chicken snakes because they frequently eat chickens.


These snakes are more proliferous in the south of Georgia than in the north. They like to chow down on birds, rodents, and eggs. Chickens are also on the menu, so they’re also called chicken snakes, though rats are their preferred food.

Eastern rat snakes are adaptable snakes and live in various habitats. Their undersides and chin are usually some shade of off-white. They’re long snakes coming in at under 7 feet.

7. Black Swamp Snake

Black swamp snakes like wet habitats.


The southeastern coastal plain is where to find black swamp snakes. They have a solid red underside with a black back. They seek wet habitats with more frogs than fish.

They’re smaller for a snake coming in at about 2 feet in length. They’re often confused with eastern mudsnakes, but the difference is eastern mudsnakes have checkered bellies while the swamp snake’s belly is solid.

8. Black Kingsnake

Snakes in Mississippi - Eastern Black Kingsnake (Lampropeltis nigra)
Black kingsnakes eat venomous snakes.

©Matt Jeppson/Shutterstock.com

The black kingsnakes are found in the northwest of the state. They’re adaptable and are found in almost any kind of habitat. These snakes are mostly black except for flecks of yellow that are distributed evenly across its body.

Their bellies mirror their body; mostly yellow with blotches of black. They’re popular pets, but it’s not recommended that wild snakes be caught, as they’re more aggressive than those bred for captivity.

Kingsnakes are nonvenomous snakes that eat venomous snakes because they’re immune to most types of snake venom. They’re sometimes confused with cottonmouths though their appearances are different. Cottonmouths have diamond patterning, while kingsnakes may have stripes.

9. Eastern Mud Snake

Eastern Mud Snake
Eastern mud snakes have a red checkerboard pattern on their undersides.

©Nathan A Shepard/Shutterstock.com

Mud snakes live in western Piedmont and the coastal plain. They have red checkerboard undersides that contrast brightly against their black bodies. They usually grow to be under 5 feet in length, but one is on record, coming in at over 6 feet.

10. Eastern Indigo Snake

Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) lyin in grass. The Eastern Indigo Snake is the longest snake in America.
Eastern indigo snakes primarily eat gopher tortoises.

©Patrick K. Campbell/Shutterstock.com

These snakes eat a spread of vertebrates, specifically juvenile gopher tortoises. They’re becoming less common due to habitat destruction, which shortens the range of their prey. It’s believed that the shortened gopher tortoise’s range affects the distribution of the eastern indigo snake.

They not only feast on gopher tortoises, but they also use their burrows. They’re one of the longest snakes in the state, coming in at 7 feet. Like most of the snakes on our list of black snakes, it’s nonvenomous.

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Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) lyin in grass. The Eastern Indigo Snake is the longest snake in America.
Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) lyin in grass. The Eastern Indigo Snake is the longest snake in America.
© Patrick K. Campbell/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I'm a fact-driven creative with a love of history and an eye for detail. I graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 2009 with a BA in Art History after a STEM-focused high school career. Telling a complex story with real information in a manner that's easy to digest is my talent. When I'm not writing for A-Z Animals, I'm doting on my 3 cats while I watch documentaries and listen to music in Romance languages.

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