Common Snake Myths

All of the statements listed below are false.

1. Snakes always travel in pairs.
This is false. Exceptions to the rule: during breeding season (usually April-June) you may see males and females together.

2. Coral snakes have rear fangs.
Coral snakes actually have front, fixed and grooved fangs which provide a primitive delivery of venom (compared to the pit viper).

3. Coral snakes can only bite small, thin areas.
Coral snakes can bite anything its mouth can grip. Its mouth is larger than it appears.

4. Coral snakes have to chew to inject their venom.
Coral snakes bite and hold on to inject their venom.

5. Cottonmouths cannot bite underwater.
How do you think they catch water prey, such as fish?

6. Snakes always chase you when they are scared.
If a snake comes quickly in your direction, it is most likely because it is confused. Its goal is to get away from you.

7. Most venomous snakes can jump at least 2 feet.
Remember - snakes don't have legs! They can't jump.

8. Rattlesnakes can hear their rattle.
It's difficult to hear when you don't have ears.

9. Snakes won't cross a hemp rope.
Snakes don't care about ropes. They will cross anything they can get over.

10. Snakes spit.
Not the ones in Texas. The clumps of foam-looking spittle found on blackberry bushes and vines in Texas are often thought to be "snake spit," but the fact is, this foam is produced by Spittle Bugs.

11. Venomous snakes have triangular heads.
So do a great number of the NON-venomous. Most snakes have a triangular looking head. This is not a good way to determine between venomous and non-venomous.

12. It's definitely a rattlesnake... I heard it!
Most snakes (both venomous and non-venomous) rattle their tails when startled and when hitting leaves, brush or anything its touching can resemble the sound of a rattlesnake.

More: Is the Only Good Snake a Dead Snake?

Remember: Snakes are looking for a mate and food, not you and your family. So have fun, and keep a close eye on your surroundings. Snakes do not chase people, jump, OR roll in hoops!


--Clint Pustejovsky (


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