Snakes of the Eastern Shore of Maryland

Eastern garter snakes are the most common snake in Maryland.
Eastern garter snakes are the most common snake in Maryland. (Image: Slithery Snake image by J3TPhotos from <a href=''></a>)

Maryland is home to 27 different species of snakes, 22 of which can be found on the state's Eastern Shore, east of the Chesapeake Bay.

Common Snakes

Ten species occur throughout Maryland, including the state's Eastern Shore. These include the black rat snake, eastern garter snake, eastern hognose snake, eastern ribbon snake, eastern worm snake, northern black racer, northern brown snake, northern and southern ringneck snakes and northern water snake.

Regional Snakes

Some snakes are restricted to certain regions within Maryland. The eastern kingsnake and rough green snake are native to only the eastern portions of the state. The eastern milk snake, present throughout northern Maryland, is restricted to Cecil County on the Eastern Shore.

Rare Snakes

Of the state's harder-to-find snakes are five native to the Eastern Shore. The corn snake can be found in mid-regions of the shore, from Talbot to Somerset counties. The northern redbelly snake and the smooth earth snake like the damp, heavy cover of the southeastern part of the state. Within the Eastern Shore, the northern scarlet snake can only be found in Wicomico and the queen snake in Cecil and Kent counties.

Species of Concern

The redbelly water snake--found only in Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, Worcester counties--is on the state's species of concern list. The Eastern Shore of Maryland is the northern extent of this snake, which likes low, wet areas.

Poisonous Snakes

Copperhead snakes--specifically northern copperheads and, to a lesser extent, southern copperheads--are the only poisonous species of snake that can be found on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Historic Species

The northern pine snake is considered a historic species to Maryland, specifically to Worchester County on the Eastern Shore, because no existing populations can be verified.

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