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How to Identify Snakes in Maine

| Updated September 26, 2017

There are nine species of snakes in Maine, and luckily for residents and visitors, none of them are venomous. The Black Racer, however, is considered endangered in Maine under the Maine Endangered Species Act. Accordingly, individuals should take care not to harm or interfere with this species of snake. Learning to identify each of the nine species of snake in Maine, and the Black Racer in particular, is a wise move for residents and visitors alike.

Obtain a reference guide that provides information about each species of snake, including physical characteristics, range within the state and common habitats. A guide that includes photographs of each type of snake would be the most helpful for identification in the wild. The Maine Herpetological Society website provides a list of each species of snake, pictures included.

Study each species of snake, memorizing the most important information about each that will help you identify snakes in the wild. Some species of snake are very distinct, while others look alike. Note distinguishing features to help you tell the look-alikes apart, including body size and habitat preference.

Use your newfound knowledge to identify snakes you come across in the wild. Most are easily recognizable from a distance by color, such as the Smooth Green Snake. Though no snakes in Maine are venomous, it is not advisable to approach and interfere with snakes, as nonvenomous snakes can still bite.


  • If you come across a snake at a close distance, try not to disturb it. If you have children, warn them to do the same.