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The Top 6 Venomous Snakes In Oklahoma That You May Not Know

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Venomous Snakes In Oklahoma may be one of the topics that you want to know about. In this article, we’ll walk you through the top 6 venomous snakes in Oklahoma so that you can get a deeper insight about their features. Stay informed and learn how to protect from these lesser-known venomous snakes. 

Explore More: Rattlesnake

Overview of Snakes in Oklahoma


Snakes in Oklahoma exhibit a remarkable diversity, showcasing a wide range of species that have adapted to the state’s varied habitats. From grasslands to forests, wetlands to rocky terrains, Oklahoma provides an ideal environment for these fascinating reptiles. With over 40 snake species recorded in the state, residents and visitors alike may encounter a variety of non-venomous and venomous snakes. Fortunately, only seven out of 40 species are dangerous including Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Copperhead, Timber Rattlesnake. 

Top 6 Venomous Snakes In Oklahoma

Water Moccasins


Water Moccasins, also known as Cottonmouths, are the only water venomous snakes found in Oklahoma. These snakes have a stout body, a large triangular-shaped head, and dark coloration with distinctive patterns. They are semi-aquatic by nature, preferring habitats near bodies of water, such as swamps, marshes, and slow-moving streams. 

Water Moccasins are known for their aggressive behavior and defensive nature, often displaying their cotton-white mouth when threatened, which gives them their common name. Their diet consists of small mammals, amphibians, fish, and even other snakes. 


The snake is renowned for its distinctive appearance and venomous bite. These snakes possess comprehensive physical characteristics, including a stout body, a copper-colored head, and a series of hourglass-shaped markings along their bodies. Copperheads are typically found in a wide range of habitats, including forests, rocky areas, and grasslands throughout Oklahoma. They are known to be primarily terrestrial but can occasionally climb trees or swim if necessary. Copperheads are ambush predators, relying on their camouflaged coloration to blend into their surroundings and strike unsuspecting prey, which mainly consists of small mammals, amphibians, and insects. While their venom is potent, Copperhead bites are rarely fatal to humans but it is crucial to exercise caution and seek medical attention if bitten to manage potential symptoms and prevent complications

Timber Rattlesnakes


Timber Rattlesnakes can be found in the forests and rocky areas of Oklahoma. These snakes possess a robust body, a distinct rattling tail, and a pattern of dark brown or black bands along their bodies. They are known for their preference for forested habitats, particularly areas with rocky outcrops and dense vegetation. 

Timber Rattlesnakes are generally docile and tend to avoid confrontation but can become defensive when threatened. Their diet primarily consists of small mammals, such as rodents, and occasionally birds. When encountering humans, they often rely on their rattling sound as a warning before striking. While their venom is potent, Timber Rattlesnake bites are relatively rare, and fatalities are uncommon. However, it is crucial to exercise caution and seek immediate medical attention if bitten, as their venom can cause significant tissue damage and systemic symptoms if left untreated.

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake


The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake distributes in diverse habitats. These snakes possess a robust body, distinctive diamond-shaped patterns along their backs, and a rattle on their tails. They are well-adapted to various environments and can be found in grasslands, deserts, and rocky areas throughout the state. Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes are primarily terrestrial and use their excellent camouflage to blend into their surroundings. 

They are known for their ambush hunting strategy, patiently waiting for prey to approach before delivering a venomous strike. Their diet consists of small mammals, birds, reptiles, and even other snakes. Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes are generally not aggressive toward humans but will defend themselves when threatened. 

Prairie Rattlesnake


The Prairie Rattlesnake is popular in the grasslands and prairies of Oklahoma. Besides a robust body like other snakes, they possess a distinct rattle on their tail, and a pattern of dark blotches or spots along their backs. Prairie Rattlesnakes are primarily terrestrial but can also climb trees or bask on rocks. They are ambush predators, patiently waiting for small mammals, birds, and lizards to come within striking range. Prairie Rattlesnakes are generally not aggressive toward humans and will typically retreat if given the opportunity. However, if threatened, they will defend themselves by rattling their tails and delivering a venomous bite if necessary. 

Western Massasauga Rattlesnake


The Western Massasauga Rattlesnake can be detected in wetlands, grasslands, and marshy areas of Oklahoma. These snakes exhibit a relatively small size, a stout body, and a distinctive rattle at the end of their tails. Western Massasauga Rattlesnakes are primarily terrestrial but can also swim when necessary. They are known for their secretive nature and tend to hide in vegetation or burrows. As ambush predators, their diet primarily consists of small mammals, frogs, and lizards. They possess venom that can cause harm if bitten. Although bites are rare, immediate medical attention is crucial to manage any potential symptoms and ensure proper treatment.

You may also want to know: Copperhead Snake

What Should We Do When Encountering Venomous Snakes In Oklahoma? 

When encountering venomous snakes in Oklahoma, it is essential to prioritize personal safety and take appropriate actions. Firstly, it is crucial to maintain a safe distance and avoid provoking or antagonizing the snake. Do not attempt to handle or capture the snake unless you are a trained professional. Secondly, slowly and calmly retreat from the snake’s vicinity, giving it space to move away. Keep in mind that most venomous snakes will choose to avoid human interaction if given the opportunity.

Thirdly, educate yourself about the venomous snakes in the area, their characteristics, and their habitats. This knowledge will help you identify potential danger zones and take necessary precautions while venturing outdoors. Lastly, if bitten by a venomous snake, seek immediate medical attention without delay. Do not try to suck out the venom, apply tourniquets, or use home remedies, as these can potentially worsen the situation. 

FAQs about Venomous Snakes in Oklahoma

What months are rattlesnakes most active in Oklahoma?

They are mostly detected in spring and early summer when they move around

What is the most deadliest snake in Oklahoma?

The venom of Timber rattlesnakes in Oklahoma is exceptionally potent, ranking among the strongest among all venomous snake species found in the state.


In conclusion, exploring the world of venomous snakes in Oklahoma reveals a captivating array of species that often fly under the radar. From the infamous Western Diamondback Rattlesnake to the elusive Western Massasauga Rattlesnake, these creatures possess unique physical characteristics, preferred habitats, and feeding habits that make them fascinating yet potentially dangerous. 

By shedding light on the top 6 venomous snakes in Oklahoma, we aim to raise awareness and promote a better understanding of these reptiles. Armed with this knowledge, individuals can take necessary precautions to ensure their safety while appreciating the intricate beauty and ecological significance of Oklahoma’s venomous snake population. 

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