Baby Snakes

Asked June 2, 2016, 10:01 AM EDT

We have found 4 of these baby snakes in our pool this morning about 4:00am. Not the first time. They look like maybe some kind of brown snake is my guess. we live in Central florida, Apopka area on a old orange grove neighborhood. Worried about dogs.

Orange County Florida

5 Responses

Is your question what kind of snakes these are? Or what to do to try to keep them out of your pool? Or what?

Yes Becky Thanks for the reply. We need to know what type of snakes these are. One of my dogs got bit badly a few weeks ago and just want to make sure these are not dangerous. Caught another one last night (attachment). He was angry and puffed up and flattened out. About 6-8" long.

Thank you for your question. The photos are somewhat out of focus when I enlarge them, but I believe you are correct in your identification. These look like brown snakes (Storeria dekayi). This is a common species throughout the eastern and southeastern states, and as far west as parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Florida has its own subspecies (Storeria dekayi victa). This species is non-venomous, and does not pose a threat to humans or pets.

Brown snakes feed primarily on earthworms and slugs, but they also eat snails, insects, small salamanders and spiders. They are commonly found under pine straw, leaf litter and mulch. When threatened they usually first try to escape. If this fails, they may flatten their body to make themselves appear larger or just play dead. They are pretty easy to handle and usually don't try to bite. Their mouth is so small that it's difficult for them to bite even your little finger. They will, however, discharge a strong smelling musk from their anal glands sometimes when handled.

An excellent guide for snakes in your area is:

Gibbons, W. & Dorcas, M. (2015). Snakes of the Southeast. Athens: The University of Georgia Press.

Hope this answers your question, and thank you for using Ask an Expert.

Jim

Thank You for your help.

You're welcome. Contact us anytime.

Jim