Snakes have a fearsome reputation amongst humans and other members of the animal kingdom, but there’s no denying that snakes can be extremely beautiful creatures.
There’s something about a black snake, specifically, that is very visually striking – and what’s more, black snake species are some of the most fascinating to learn about!
If you’re interested in snakes, read on to find out more about 13 stunning black snake species.
13 Black Snake Species
One of the most well-known black snake species is the black kingsnake.
The black kingsnake can be found in certain U.S. states, mainly in Eastern and Southeastern areas.
It mostly likes to live near floodplains and tends to shelter in abandoned buildings.
This snake is entirely black for the most part, including a black belly and a black dorsal.
However, it does have lighter spots running down the side of its body which may be either yellow or white.
Scientifically known as Pituophis melanoleucus, the pine snake is a black snake with white stripes horizontally down the length of its body.
It’s easily identified by its striking pattern as well as its proportionally small head.
Unfortunately, the pine snake is now considered a threatened species in some states.
While this species is easy to find in places like Florida and Georgia, there are no longer any pine snakes in West Virginia.
Western Worm Snake
The western worm snake is a particularly beautiful snake with a black upper body and a bright red belly.
It can be confused with the mudsnake (see below), but it’s much smaller.
It’s not easy to spot a western worm snake because these snakes typically live underground in damp areas of states such as Kansas and Oklahoma.
Also known as Pituophis melanoleucus, the ring-necked snake has a colorful ring right behind its head.
While this snake can be various colors, such as green or gray, ring-necked snakes are often black.
Despite not having a venom gland, as most venomous snakes do, the ring-necked snake is still considered to be a venomous snake species.
Plain-Bellied Water Snake
The plain-bellied water snake is an aquatic snake mostly found in states like Oklahoma and Texas.
It can live both inside and outside the water and mostly eats frogs, fish, and crayfish.
This snake species can seem intimidating due to its large size, but while it definitely has a nasty bite, its most interesting form of defense is its ability to release a noxious smell when attacked.
Arizona Black Rattlesnake
Arizona black rattlesnakes can be found in grasslands and forests.
While they are mostly black, they have the special ability to change color as a camouflage mechanism.
The females of this species are also capable of giving birth to live young, which is unusual compared to most snakes, which lay eggs.
Eastern Indigo Snake
The eastern indigo snake is mostly black apart from a patch of red on its chin.
You can easily tell the males and females apart because male eastern indigo snakes are significantly larger than females.
Sadly, these snakes are threatened in the United States due to the destruction of their natural habitat (leaf-covered ground) to make room for industrialization.
Black swampsnakes live in high numbers in Alabama, North and South Carolina, and Florida.
As their name suggests, these snakes like to live in watery areas, including swamps.
You can identify a black swampsnake by its black back and red belly. Interestingly, the females of this species can give birth to live young.
The eastern ratsnake goes by many names, including the pilot black snake and the black ratsnake.
This is one type of snake that you might encounter near your home depending on what area of the United States you’re from.
This is because these snakes like to eat human food leftovers and are drawn to the smell from trash cans.
We’ve just discussed the eastern ratsnake, but another black snake species you should be aware of is the western ratsnake.
Although black snakes might look scary, most of them are not aggressive. The western ratsnake, however, definitely is.
It isn’t venomous, but it will lash out quickly when it feels threatened. It’s also excellent at climbing trees.
The mudsnake, as we mentioned before, can be confused with the western worm snake because both have black bodies and red bellies.
However, the mudsnake is larger and more difficult to spot because it likes to hide in muddy areas.
This water snake is also known as the stinging snake because it catches prey using its tail. However, it doesn’t actually have a sting in its tail.
Another kingsnake that usually has black coloring, aside from the black kingsnake, is the eastern kingsnake.
This snake is either black or blue-black in color, and it’s known for its fearlessness when it comes to hunting its prey, which often includes other snake species.
These snakes are not venomous, but some people believe that they are because they share nesting areas with the venomous copperhead snake.
North American Racer
Our final black snake species for today is the north american racer. It’s most commonly found in South America as well as some parts of the Midwest.
These snakes are completely black and look incredibly smooth because of how their scales are laid out.
They look a lot like the pygmy rattlesnake, but they are not venomous.
They have the ability to constrict their food, but most of the time, they will simply swallow it whole.
There are many black snake species distributed across the United States, but some species are now classified as threatened due to industrialization and habitat destruction.
Nonetheless, all of these snakes remain common in at least one or two states, although you might have a hard time spotting some of them due to their chosen habitats or camouflage abilities. See more black and white animals.