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Most Venomous Snakes in the USA: A Guide to the Top Ten

Snakes are some of the most dangerous creatures you can come across in the wild. You may not even know that it is there until it is too late. In this article we present some of the most venomous snakes in America.

Cobra with detailed view of fangs and venom as it prepares to strike.

1. Black Diamond Rattlesnake – The Most Venomous Snakes in the US

Rattlesnakes tend to be some of the most dangerous due to their venom. Few American rattlesnakes have venom that is as potent as the Black Diamond. These snakes live in western North America, and they usually prefer a hotter climate.

You may wonder what makes the Black Diamond more dangerous than many other snakes in the country. It has to do with the way the venom works. Black Diamond Rattlesnake venom is different in that it targets your nerves directly, requiring more antivenom than most bites.

2. Cottonmouth Viper

While the Black Diamond rattlesnake may be an intimidating example of this species, you won’t come across many forms of venom that can compete with the Cottonmouth’s. This type of snake causes severe damage with its venom when they bite.

Tissue necrosis, the disintegration of flesh, and more from a Cottonmouth’s venom. They even cause amputations. However, with the advance in medical science, timely treatment reduces the risk from a Cottonmouth bite.

3. Tiger Rattlesnake

Not every snake that has potent venom is a killer because lethality depends on a range of factors. For example, the Tiger Rattlesnake has some of the most fearsome venom found in a snake, but it is simply incapable of injecting enough of it into its victim at any one time.

Since the venom dosage is relatively low, there haven’t been many deaths due to this snake, but you still wouldn’t want to approach one of them. Tiger rattlesnakes get their name from the pattern of stripes on their scales. It is not from their behavioral resemblance to Tigers.

4. Mojave Rattlesnake

As you may have guessed by the name, this rattlesnake is a resident of the Mojave desert. Though its range does extend a little bit further. This snake is similar to the Tiger rattlesnake due to the immense power of its venom. However, this one can use a more substantial amount.

The Mojave rattlesnake has immensely powerful venom with delayed effects. At first, upon receiving a bite from one of these snakes, you won’t have much trouble. This can lull you into a false sense of security. Whenever you get a snake bite, you should immediately seek aid.

5. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

The Diamondback is one of the better-known snakes on the continent, and it is also one of the most dangerous. The Eastern Diamondback, in particular, is the largest venomous snake that you will find in North America, making them immensely imposing and deceptively fast.

Its massive fangs allow the Eastern Diamondback to use a large amount of venom every time it bites its prey. This heavy dose combined with the sheer potency of this snake’s venom makes the Eastern Diamondback one of the deadliest snakes in this part of the world.

6. Timber Rattlesnake

Compared to other examples of their kind, the Timber rattlesnake is a bit of an enigma. While these snakes have rather large fangs which can provide a substantial flow of venom upon biting prey, they are also surprisingly docile. Of course, one of these snakes will still attack eventually, but not immediately.

Timber rattlesnakes are usually quite dark, and they have a different rattle when compared to their cousins. While most people would assume that venomous snakes are all exceedingly dangerous, there are varying degrees of that danger, and the Timber Rattlesnake is pretty low on the list.

7. Copperhead – One of the Most Venomous Snakes that Isn’t a Rattlesnake

You’ve likely heard of Copperheads if you live in an area with snakes in it, as they are known as the most frequent biters out of all of the American snakes on this list. While Copperheads are more likely to bite you, you won’t have to worry about serious injury as they have relatively weak venom.

You may be wondering why the Copperhead tends to bite humans so much more often than other snakes, and it doesn’t have to do with their aggression. When one of these snakes spots a human, they don’t retreat into the bushes, as you would expect. Copperheads freeze on sight, making them likely to be stepped on and bite you.

8. Eastern Coral Snake – Another Non-Rattlesnake That is Still one of the Most Venomous Snakes

The Eastern Coral Snake was once seen as one of the most dangerous species in America, but that has changed as we have grown to better understand them. Recognizable by the bright bands around their bodies, these snakes can hold an immense volume of venom in their teeth.

Fatalities due to this snake are surprisingly rare because they don’t have much control over how much venom they use during a bite. The severity of an Eastern Coral Snake bite is often a matter of luck, making them even more dangerous.

9. Prairie Rattlesnake

While the Prairie rattlesnake can be found all over the continent, all the way up to Canada, it is one of the least dangerous ones on this list. Don’t be fooled, however, as the Prairie rattlesnake has surprisingly potent venom; the issue is that it can’t use enough at a time.

10. Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

While the Eastern Diamondback has the highest death toll in America, its Western brother is the most dangerous one in Mexico. The Western Diamondback tends to be a little bit lighter than the other type, as it will need to blend into more arid environments while stalking prey.

Snake with its mouth open in summer ready to bite.

Conclusion on the Most Venomous Snakes

There are plenty of venomous snakes in the USA, and this list only scratches the surface. Out of all of the snakes on this list, keep an eye out for any Diamondback varieties, as they are incredibly lethal. If you live in an area where snakes are common, it helps to take precautions, like finding the right snake boots. Thank you for your time.

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