Snakes are something that many Middle Tennesseans try to avoid as much as possible. However, a variety of snake species do make their homes here in Middle Tennessee.
According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) snake sightings have been on the increase this summer.
The most commonly seen snake in Middle Tennessee is the Gray Ratsnake. The Gray Ratsnake is not venomous but it is commonly misidentified as a rattlesnake due to its size and the behaviors it exhibits. When people are nearby, the Gray Ratsnake will often whip its tail on nearby leaves to mimic the rattle of a rattlesnake.
There are four venomous snake species in Tennessee and all four can be found in Middle Tennessee. The Copperhead and Timber Rattlesnake are the most common species of venomous snake found in Middle Tennessee. Pygmy Rattlesnakes are rare in our area and are typically found near the Tennessee River. Cottonmouths are limited to Ashland city and west. There has only been one confirmed cottonmouth observation east of Ashland city and this was close to two decades ago.
It’s important to remember that if you see a snake, whether it’s venomous or not, keeping your distance is the best option for both you and the snake. It’s also important to remember that killing snakes is against state law.
SNAKES SPOTTED IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE: