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"Which is better: to fear all snakes and keep out of danger, or become educated and fear those only that can be harmful to you?" - Bill Haast on the Discovery Channel

There are about 49 species and sub species of snakes found in South Carolina, only 9 are venomous and a danger to humans.

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There are 9 species of venomous snakes that inhabit South Carolina. Anyone who lives in or visits South Carolina should make themselves aware of these snakes, and learn how to identify them. Children especially, whom snakes often fascinate, should be made aware of these 9 species. A lot of snakebites occur because people are uninformed about the venomous snakes that inhabit South Carolina, and mistakenly think them harmless. The best rule of thumb is - if you don't know what kind of snake it is - leave it alone.

Southern Copperhead
Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix
agkistrodon_c._contortrix-09.jpg (248726 bytes)
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Northern Copperhead
Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen
Agkistrodon_ c._mokasen-01.jpg (216105 bytes)
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Eastern Cottonmouth
Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus
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Florida Cottonmouth
Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti
conanti-02.JPG (281514 bytes)
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Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Crotalus adamanteus
edb_6.jpg (178700 bytes)
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Timber Rattlesnake
Crotalus horridus
horridus-06.JPG (143449 bytes)
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Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake
Sistrurus miliarius miliarius
carolina pygmy rs-03 a.jpg (355693 bytes)
A Guide to the Rattlesnakes of the United States
by Brian Hubbs & Brendan O’Connor
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Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake
Sistrurus miliarius barbouri
pygmy_3.jpg (133601 bytes)
Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia
by Bernard S. Martof, William M. Palmer, Joseph R. Bailey & Julian R. Harrison III
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Eastern Coral Snake
Micrurus fulvius fulvius
E coral snake_02.jpg (173620 bytes)
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A word of caution: If you find a snake, and you do not know whether or not it is venomous, the safest thing to do is leave it alone. Most snakes are not aggressive and, unless they are cornered, most will flee when humans approach. Occasionally, you might encounter one that is reluctant to leave because it is basking in the sun to get warm. Among snakebite victims, an unacceptably high number are bitten on the hands and arms when they are handling the snake. Do not catch a snake and do not handle one unless you are sure it is not venomous. In addition, for a short time after a snake is killed, its reflexes may continue to work. Those reflexes typically cause the body to writhe slowly for a while, but they can cause a convulsive contraction and a bite, so you should not handle a freshly killed venomous snake.
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