Can You Recognize These Deadly Snakes That Might Be in Your Backyard?

By: Craig
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Snakes might be more afraid of you than you are of them, but when push comes to shove, a frightened or protective snake will strike. If you're unfortunate enough to be bitten by a mysterious slithering creature, you will want to identify it. Identifying your attacker is key to ensuring that you seek out the right treatment - and promptly.

Only one third of snakes are venomous, but that still means there are six hundred such species, and a pretty decent percentage of those are quite capable of unleashing enough poison to take down a human being - and even if they don't kill you, they can make you feel pretty darn awful and send you to the hospital. Plus, dangerous and deadly snakes aren't just found in exotic places or away from human habitation. There might just be one lurking in your back yard. So, be careful around that woodpile, and cut that high grass to protect yourself and your family from the deadly snakes in this quiz.

Could you recognize a snake capable of killing a full size human being? If so, let's get started to find out if you really know as much as you think you do.

Found throughout Southeast Asia, the King Cobra is certainly a beautiful specimen. This is the largest venomous snake in the world and can reach 18 feet in length. A fully grown male can weigh around 15 to 20 pounds but specimens of over 40 pounds have been recorded. The King Cobra is the preferred species for snake charmers as they have the ability to stand upright, sometimes as high as six feet.

Found in the deserts of the southwestern United States as well as Mexico, this is a highly venomous rattlesnake. As with all other rattlers, it will warn its prey by shaking its tail before striking. The Mojave Rattlesnake can grow up to 4 feet long.

This viper is found in Southwestern Europe and is noted for its broad, triangular head as well as its distinct markings. It also features a snout that is turned up slightly. The Asp Viper lives in a range of habitats, specifically those that can provide it with cover.

The Black Mamba is widely considered to be the world's deadliest snake. They live in the southern and eastern parts of Africa and are particularly aggressive if threatened, striking repeatedly. They can grow up to 14 feet in length but are normally around 8 feet. They are more a green-grey than black.

Known as the Naja Naja, this cobra is one of the deadliest snakes in the world. They are found in many countries in the sub-continent, including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal to name a few. Often found near water, they live in a range of habitats. Indian Cobras grow to around 1.5m in length and have a range of colors but are easy to identify thanks to two circular patterns on their hood.

So named because of the two horns on its nose, the Rhinoceros Viper or River Jack lives in and around rivers and swamps in both central and western Africa. Growing to around a meter, this snake has an incredible diamond-like pattern running down its back. It preys upon rodents, frogs, and fish.

There is no mistaking a Green Mamba! This snake is a brilliant lime green and easily spotted when in the open. Generally, they grow to between 6 to 7 feet in length but snakes of up to 8 feet have been recorded. Green Mambas are found on the eastern coast of Southern Africa.

Growing to around 1m in length, sometimes slightly bigger, this Cobra is found in the Philippines, particularly to the north. They live in many different habitats feeding on frogs, small mammals and other snakes. They often fall prey to King Cobras.

Found in India as well as Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the Common Krait is deadly. They are identified by their black bodies with white bands running around it. Kraits can grow up to 1.65m in length and live in a variety of habitats. They feed on other snakes, rodents, frogs, and lizards.

Found in Africa, this cobra grows to around 2.5m in length. Their habitat includes savannahs, wooded areas, or near dry river beds. Their colors vary greatly but often include shades of brown. Like other cobras, this snake will show its hood when threatened.

A bite from this viper causes vomiting, dizziness, and eventually kidney failure. An adult Russell’s Viper reaches around 1.2m in length. They can be identified by their beautiful color which can be light brown, dark brown or brown-yellow. They also have spots which are usually black or brown. These deadly snakes are found in the sub-continent, most notably India.

Also called the Central Asian Cobra, this snake is fairly aggressive. They are easily identified by their hoods as well as their coloring, which ranges from medium brown to yellow.

With its black head and hood and distinct orange bands, this snake certainly stands out. They are found mostly in sub-Saharan Africa where they prey on rodents, birds, other snakes, eggs, and fish. They themselves are prey to other snake species as well as birds, such as the Short-toed Snake Eagle.

This pit viper can be found in Mexico and the northern parts of South America. They generally prefer to live in rainforests but have been found in many different habitats. These snakes are identified by their flat heads and broad bodies and can grow to 1.8m in length and weigh up to 6kg.

Found on the island of New Guinea as well as the northern and eastern coast of Australia, the Coastal Taipan is extremely venomous. They can grow to around 6 feet in length and have fangs that reach up to 13mm. Their coloring can be anything from light brown to a darker shade on top (sometimes looking black) while their bellies are yellow.

With a black hood and black and white markings on its body, the Indochinese Spitting Cobra is not difficult to miss. Found all over Southeast Asia, this snake lives in hills, plains, woods and many other habitats. Before this snake bites, it will spit venom. If it does bite, it doesn't let go and actually chews.

This snake looks incredible with its black and white bands along its body. Don’t let its beauty fool you, however. Many-banded Kraits are deadly! They reach 1.5m in length and are found throughout Asia.

Sometimes called the Blue Krait, this snake is found in Southeast Asia, right down to Indonesia. Much like the Many-banded Krait, it too has multiple bands of white and blackish-blue and can grow up to 3.5 feet in length. A bite from this snake, if left untreated, will result in a mortality rate of around 70 percent.

The fact that this snake is fairly shy is a good thing as many believe it to be the most venomous in the world, even more so than the Black Mamba. The Inland Taipan will also warn before striking, bending its body from the head downwards in a tight S-shape. The venom produced by one bite of this snake can kill 100 humans!

The Mozambique Spitting Cobra is found in Southern Africa. This member of the cobra family is noted for its toxic venom and the snake itself accounts for many bites in the regions it frequents. They tend to live in hollow logs, holes, termite mounds and other areas that provide cover and are found in lowland forests, savannahs and near water sources. When threatened, they spray venom, something their fangs are modified to do.

The most dangerous snake in Australia, the Eastern Brown Snake lives in a number of habitats, including pastures, forests, savannah woodlands, grasslands and arid shrublands to name a few. Unlike many other snakes, they are active during the day, which often leads to encounters with humans. They are extremely agile and move quickly. Generally, they are brown or orange with a light cream, yellow or orange belly with blotches on it.

Native to the United States, these snakes are found in areas such as Arizona. A typical rattler, they will warn any threats before striking by moving their tail and shaking their rattle. They are called Tiger Rattlesnakes because of the patterned stripes down their flanks.

Reaching around 3.3 feet in length, the Common Death Adder is found in Australia, mostly in the eastern part of the country. It lives in a multitude of habitats, including forests and woodlands where it feeds on small mammals and sometimes even birds. Death Adders produce live young.

Another native of Australia, Tiger Snakes are found even as far away as Tasmania. They are so named because of their yellow and brown bands which feature along the length of the snake. Tiger Snakes are fairly aggressive when threatened but luckily, they generally steer clear of humans. They tend to live near a water source, including rivers, dams, creeks, and swamps where they feed on small birds, mammals, fish, and frogs.

A pit viper found in South America, the Jararaca lives in a variety of habitats. These include forests, savannah regions, and dense evergreen areas, as long as there is vegetation to provide cover. This snake will indicate it is about to strike by lifting its head and shaking its tail.

Living in Central America as well as the northern half of South America, the Bushmaster generally lives in forested areas. These snakes are aggressive and will attack humans. Luckily, they are mostly active at night. Growing up to 3.5 meters, Bushmasters are the longest venomous snakes found in both North and South America.

The Gabon (or Gaboon) Viper is a fairly docile ground-dwelling snake found in central and western Africa where it lives in tropical rain forests. What makes this snake impressive is the size of its fangs. They grow up to 4cm in length, the longest of any snake in the world.

A native of South Africa, the Rinkhals is black with yellow markings. It has adapted to a number of different habitats and is sometimes found near human dwellings, especially those outside the city. Like a cobra, the Rinkhals has a hood which comes out when it feels threatened. It is often mistaken for a Cape Cobra but is far shorter and broader. These snakes don't often bite and prefer to spit venom at their victims.

Found throughout Africa and into parts of the Middle East, the Puff Adder is the most widespread of the venomous snakes. A large snake, the Puff Adder can grow to around 1.4m in length and is noted for the chevron shapes appearing as a pattern down its back. Because the Puff Adder doesn't move much, most human interaction and bites happen when the snake is stepped on accidentally.

Also called the Kaitan Spitting Cobra, this snake lives in and around West Africa. As with many other Cobra species, it will spray venom when threatened.

Native to Africa, this is the largest of the Cobra species. This snake can grow to 8 feet in length and is particularly aggressive. As with all Cobras, it forms a hood when it feels threatened. It is equally at home in water and climbing trees as it is on the ground.

With its red belly and black back, this snake is difficult to miss. They are native to eastern Australia where they live near water sources. On average, they grow to around 2m in length. Red-bellied Black Snakes are generally not aggressive and would rather get away than tangle with a human.

Found in the southwestern parts of South Africa, the Cape Cobra has a hood just like other snakes in the species. It will raise itself off the ground and spread its hood if threatened. This Cobra doesn't spit and ranges in color from yellow/tan to light brown.

A Dugite can be a variety of colors ranging from brown, olive brown and brownish grey combined with some spots that are usually black/dark grey. They live in southwestern and western Australia and often come into contact with humans while hunting their favorite prey – mice!

With a distinct ‘horn’ on the front of its snout and its beautiful markings, the Sharp-Nosed Pit Viper certainly is a looker! But don’t let that fool you, their venom is dangerous. In fact, their nickname, ‘Hundred Pacer’ comes from the legend that a person would only be able to walk 100 paces after a bite from these beauties. Whether this is true or not is unknown.

With both neurotoxic and cytotoxic venom, the Monocled Cobra is one of the most dangerous snakes found in Southeast Asia. It has a distinct marking on the back of its hood that looks similar to a monocle, unlike the Indian Cobra which has two such markings that look more like spectacles. These snakes feed on a range of prey, including rodents, fish, and amphibians.

Found in Central Africa, the Water Cobra has distinct banded markings. As the name implies, they spend most of their time in the water, and usually at night. Water Cobras can hold their breath for 10 minutes and dive up to 25m deep.

Found from Texas to Mexico, this snake has distinct black markings on its back. They also have a slightly upturned snout which is how they got their name.

These jet black snakes are found in the MIddel East, including Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait to name a few countries. Here, they mostly live in the desert where they eat snakes, mice, reptiles, toads, and lizards.

With its distinctive yellow and black markings, this Cobra is a looker! Don't get too close, though! They are mostly found in the southern Philippines, specifically in jungles. Samar Cobra hunt frogs and reptiles.

With either a light brown, grey or beige-colored skin, the Night Snake has distinct spots on its back and side. This snake lives in central and western areas of the United States in a range of habitats, including woodlands, deserts, and grasslands. They are nocturnal creatures.

Found in Texas, this snake eats a range of prey, including lizards, birds and even bats. It lives in a multitude of habitats such as deserts, hills, forests, canyons, and grasslands. The Texas Lyre Snake has a distinct V shape on its head and is mostly tan and grayish.

Found throughout Europe and as far as Asia, this is the only venomous snake found in the British Isles. Adults grow to around 55cm in length. Males more of a grey color and females are brown. Both, however, have a distinctive zig-zag pattern running down their backs.

When looking at a Meadow Viper, you will notice its large distinct scales immediately, as well as its beautiful patterned markings. These snakes are found in a range of Western and Central European countries. They feed on insects, spiders, beetles, lizards, and birds.

Vipera Raddei or the Rock Viper is found in central Europe and Asia. This snake can grow to around 39 inches in length and has a distinctive pattern down its back.

This species of Rattlesnake is found in North America right from the border with Canada in the north and Mexico in the South. They do not grow very large, adults reaching around 30 inches in length. They come in a range of colors, mostly brown, tan and darker brown. Each snake has spots or blotches of another color on its back.

Found throughout Southeast Asia, this snake is particularly dangerous. While other snakes normally move out the way when humans approach, the Malayan Pit Viper is lazy, and will not. It has a triangular shaped head as well as distinct patterns down its back and an upturned snout.

The Cascabel, or South American Rattlesnake, is found throughout South America. Like its northern cousins, this snake will use its rattler on the end of its tail to warn against approaching it. They can grow up to 6.2 feet in length.

Found in most of Australia (except the east), this snake is highly agile and fast. They feed on a range of prey, including rodents, eggs, lizards, as well as frogs. They live in grasslands, shrublands and a range of other habitats.

One of the many Cobra species in the world, the Chinese Cobra is found mostly in southern China. As with all other similar species, this Cobra has a hood that it displays when threatened. They also have a distinctive white hood marking.

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