- There are 44 species of snakes native to Florida, and 6 of those are colored almost entirely black and yellow.
- The black and yellow snakes in Florida are the Eastern Rat Snake, Ring-Necked Snake, Common Garter Snake, Eastern Ribbon Snake, Rainbow Snake, and Florida Kingsnake.
- These snakes can be found throughout the state in habitats including the sandy coasts bordering the Atlantic Ocean, the Everglades, and forested regions inland.
About Snakes in Florida
When you think about Florida, chances are, you think about the many reptiles that live here. There are 44 different species of snakes native to Florida. From the sandy coasts bordering the Atlantic Ocean to the Everglades to the forested regions inland, snakes can thrive without a shortage of habitats. Not only do they thrive in these ecosystems, however, but they also play a significant role.
Snakes are an important player in the ecosystems of the world, including in Florida. They help control the rodent population. Some species will even eat ticks! Non-venomous species of snake will also eat venomous species, which helps ensure that even the snake population monitors itself.
Of the 44 species of snake that call Florida home, only the following six are venomous:
- Eastern coral snake
- Southern copperhead
- Eastern diamondback rattlesnake
- Timber rattlesnake
- Dusky pygmy rattlesnake
6 Black and Yellow Snakes in Florida
Not only are there six venomous snakes here, but there are six different species of snakes in Florida that are almost entirely black and yellow. While some, like the rainbow snake, may sport one or two other colors, there’s no doubt that, at first glance, you’ll be able to tell that these are the most common black and yellow snakes in Florida.
Keep reading below to meet them!
1. Eastern Rat Snake
In many states, the eastern rat snake is one of the most common types of snakes around. They’re a large, stout species of snake that can be identified by their black dorsal side and pale greyish-yellow belly. Some individuals may have black stripes along their sides. While they aren’t the largest snake in Florida, they are one of the largest black and yellow snakes in Florida. They can grow to be up to 7 feet long.
The eastern rat snake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) shouldn’t be confused with another similar species, the western rat snake (Pantherophis obsoletus). These species are related but aren’t the same. The eastern rat snake is one of the black and yellow snakes in Florida, while their western cousin is not.
2. Ring-Necked Snake
When you think of snakes, your first thought may not be cute. However, cute is exactly what the ring-necked snake is! They’re harmless and small, only growing to around 10 to 15 inches at the most.
There are actually several different subspecies of ring-necked snake, with many coming in different colors. The southern ringneck snake (Diadophis p. punctatus), for instance, has an almost completely yellow side with black and red markings. However, the Key ring-necked snake (Diadophis punctatus acricus) is found only in Florida.
Although their tell-tale yellow ring can be difficult to see in this species, the Key ring-necked snake has a bright yellow-orange belly that can be hard to miss. This makes them one of the more well-known black and yellow snakes in Florida.
3. Common Garter Snake
There are 13 subspecies of the common garter snake distributed across North America. Several species can even be found in the American southeast, including Florida. However, when it comes to black and yellow snakes in Florida, the most common subspecies is the eastern garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis).
They can have black scales, as well as greenish or grey scales. They are also known for pale yellow stripes running along their sides.
4. Eastern Ribbon Snake
The eastern ribbon snake (Thamnophis sauritus) is actually a species of garter snake. They can grow to be up to 16 to 35 inches long. They have a dark brown to black coloration, and, like other garter snakes, they have pale yellow ventral stripes.
5. Rainbow Snake
You may not get to see a glimpse of the rainbow snake often, even if you live in Florida. They are highly aquatic snakes found only in the coastal planes of the southeastern United States. There are two subspecies, but one is extinct. Not only this, but they’re highly secretive and prefer their space, making it difficult to spot them.
If you happen to see one, however, you’ll notice that they’re one of the black and yellow snakes of Florida. However, they’re not just black and yellow. Typically, rainbow snakes are black with yellow stripes. They also have red stripes as well. Both sets are ventral, meaning it runs down the length of their body rather than forming a ringed pattern.
6. Florida Kingsnake
As their name suggests, the Florida kingsnake is one of many species of kingsnake. However, this species, in particular, is native to southern Florida. They’re also a common pet, with this species being considered an easy-to-care-for snake thanks to their lack of venom and easy handling.
Florida kingsnakes are black with pale yellow rings.
Summary of 6 Black and Yellow Snakes in Florida
|1||Eastern rat snake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis)||Black dorsal sides and a pale greyish-yellow belly||7 feet|
|2||Key ring-necked snake (Diadophis punctatus acricus)||A bright yellow-orange belly||10 – 15 inches|
|3||Eastern garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis)||Black, greenish, or gray scales with pale yellow stripes running along their sides||18 –26 inches|
|4||Eastern ribbon snake (Thamnophis sauritus)||Dark brown or black scales and pale yellow ventral stripes||16 – 35 inches|
|5||Rainbow snake (Farancia erytrogramma)||Black with yellow and red stripes||36 – 48 inches|
|6||Florida kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula floridana)||Black with pale yellow rings.||3.5 – 5 feet|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © K Quinn Ferris/Shutterstock.com
Discover the "Monster" Snake 5X Bigger than an Anaconda
Every day A-Z Animals sends out some of the most incredible facts in the world from our free newsletter. Want to discover the 10 most beautiful snakes in the world, a "snake island" where you're never more than 3 feet from danger, or a "monster" snake 5X larger than an anaconda? Then sign up right now and you'll start receiving our daily newsletter absolutely free.
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.