Hilly terrain and valleys, which contrast much with the other parts of the state, characterize the southern part of Indiana. That is also the region of Indiana where you might encounter the most poisonous snakes.

The climatic conditions of this region are humid continental. These are characterized by hot and wet summers and cold winters as well. The temperatures vary immensely from the winter period to the summer. This climatic condition has contributed immensely to the kind of creatures that you are going to find in the region.

Indiana is part of the Great Lakes region and it is a unique location for outdoor activities because of the diverse ecosystems. Here, you can encounter a wide array of fauna and flora. Since Indiana is home to so many animals, it makes a perfect location for an adventure. 

There are different snakes that call the state of Indiana home. These usually come in different sizes. The snakes are also in different patterns and colors. During your trip to Indiana, there is a high chance that you will encounter poisonous snakes as well.

Let’s learn more about them!

Types of Poisonous Snakes in Indiana

The snakes found in Indiana are both venomous and nonvenomous. Here are some of the legendary poisonous snakes that you should stay far away from during your visit to Indiana.

Cottonmouth Snake

The cottonmouth is one of the legendary poisonous snakes that you can encounter in the state of Indiana. These snakes are mostly dangerous because of the amount of venom that they usually release. Whenever they bite, it could lead to the amputation of the leg.

However, when the venom administered is of a higher dosage, then it is likely to cause fatalities. The venom that they release is cytotoxic and neurotoxic, which means that it affects the blood and the central nervous system.

These are semiaquatic snakes that thrive in the freshwater habitat in the region. They are mostly located in the DuBois country. They can grow up to 43 inches long and they have dark brown bodies with brown and dark cross-bands.

Further reading: Dangerous animals in Illinois


The bull snake is a common snake that you can encounter in Indiana. These snakes are very unique because they are larger and they usually rattle their tail and make a hissing sound to mimic the venomous rattlesnake before attacking. Whenever these snakes are threatened, they will usually raise their heads from the ground before making a hissing sound.

This is the largest poisonous snake in Indiana and they can grow up to 5 feet long. They have heavy bodies and their muscles around the body are advanced to ensure they can capture their prey and constrict them. 

The bull snakes come in different colors, such as yellow or grey. They have blotches, which are black or dark brown. You can find these snakes in a wide array of habitats such as the prairies and forests.

These snakes inhabit the northwestern part of Indiana. They are large and powerful snakes that usually kill via constriction. The snakes consume creatures such as lizards, frogs, and toads.

Bull-snakes are highly defensive therefore they will attack without any notice. They are good climbers as well.

Diamond-backed Water Snake

The diamond-backed water snake is yet another poisonous snake that you can encounter in Indiana. They have diamond-shaped markings on their back.

These snakes can grow up to 48 inches long. The diamond-backed water snakes prefer slow-moving waters such as rivers, ponds, marshes, and the various streams across the state of Indiana. 

They are often mistaken for the cottonmouth snake because of their features. You should avoid them because they consume some of the toxic creatures around the state and can transfer the dangerous bacteria to your system.

Prairie Kingsnake

The prairie kingsnake is another common species that you can encounter during your trip to Indiana. These snakes can grow up to 40 inches long. They usually have light brown bodies with reddish brown and dark blotches.

These snakes are common in the eastern parts of Indiana. They prefer the open grassland areas and areas where there is loose soil. They sometimes live on the edge of the forests.

These snakes are highly venomous. They can transfer many bacteria from the food that they consume. This can cause fatal infections in your body. Its diet consists of toads, frogs, lizards, and salamanders.

Eastern Fox Snake

The eastern fox snake is one of the unique poisonous snakes in Indiana. These snakes can grow up to 48 inches long. They usually have tan to yellowish bodies that are brown with dark blotch overlays. 

You can find the eastern fox snake in the northwestern region of Indiana. They are large, therefore they usually kill their prey via constriction

These snakes are unique because they have keeled dorsal scales. You must stay far away from them because they can be very dangerous.

Queen Snake

These are some of the unique snake species that you can find in different parts of Indiana. They are very good at adapting to the rough terrain across the state.

The snakes are characterized by thickened scales underneath their chins and on top of their heads. It is one of the brown snakes that you are going to find in the state of Indiana. They usually have a brown body with a tan belly and they have four stripes that run throughout their bodies.

These snakes are unique because they are semiaquatic in nature. They thrive in the rocky streams and areas close to water bodies. They have adapted to this unique setting and you will find them moving from one place to another with ease. The queen snakes are more abundant in the southeastern and central regions of Indiana.

DeKay’s Brown Snake

The DeKay’s brown snake is another common poisonous snake that thrives in Indiana. These snakes can grow up to 13 inches long. The snakes are brown and they have a brown stripe that runs down their backs. They also have two rows of dark spots on either side.

These snakes live in wetlands, forest edges, and fields. Since they are small creatures, they consume soft-bodied creatures, such as earthworms and slugs. You should be careful about this species because they carry large amounts of bacteria that cause dangerous infections in your body.

Northern Water Snake

The northern water snakes are poisonous snakes from which you should stay far away from during your trip to Indiana. These snakes are dangerous because they have saliva that has an anticoagulant. When they bite, they usually release this anticoagulant, which makes clotting of blood difficult. When this happens, it is going to make the process of stopping bleeding difficult. 

They are part of the aquatic snake family that you can find in different parts of the state. The northern water snake is commonly mistaken for the cottonmouth snake. They can grow to about 56 inches long. These snakes usually appear darker

It usually lives in freshwater habitats and prefers to consume salamanders, frogs, toads, fish, and newts. They are aggressive in nature and you should stay far away from them because, when disturbed, they are always ready to bite.

Read more: Most dangerous animals in North America

Timber Rattlesnake

The timber rattlesnake is one of the most venomous species that you are going to find in the state of Indiana. They are known to have very long fangs, and these fangs usually carry a high amount of venom. This venom can cause severe effects on the body.

They are the most dangerous snakes in North America. The timber rattlesnakes can grow up to 60 inches long and they have brown bodies and dark to black cross-bands

However, as time goes by, they are likely to change in color to some of the common dark colors. People consider them as some of the iconic endangered species and they occur in the south-central parts of Indiana. The timber rattlesnakes usually live in thick forest regions.

Southeastern Crown Snake

The southeastern crown snake is one of the smallest yet very reclusive snakes that live in Indiana. They are common in the southeastern part of the state and they can grow up to 10 inches long.

These snakes usually inhabit the rocky hillsides and the forests where they have adequate forest cover for them to hide. In the state of Indiana, you are likely to find them in Floyd and Clark counties

They have uniform bodies and they come in brown color with black heads and necks. There is a pale band that divides the neck and the headband.

Copperhead Snake

The copperhead snake is another poisonous snake that calls Indiana home. These snakes inhabit a wide array of areas and they are characterized by their pale brown to pink brown body color.

They have darker and hourglass-shaped bands down the body. These snakes are light brown with dark brown cross bands and it is one of the most dangerous snakes that you will find in the state.

These snakes can grow up to 36 inches long, and they have venom in their system. Whenever they feel threatened, then they are likely to attack and deliver venom to your system.

These snakes usually have a wide array of diets ranging from amphibians, rodents, lizards, and birds. They are very active during the summer period.

Aurimas Bio

Hi there! I’m Aurimas, a man behind Go Look Explore. I’m passionate about hiking, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, and everything outdoors related. Let’s connect.