West Virginia Spiders and Snakes

Snakes and spiders have a reputation for the high level of venom in their bites. In West Virginia, as is the case with most states, the number of nonvenomous snakes and spiders far outweighs the number of venomous species. Also, venomous snakes and spiders bite only when they feel threatened or alarmed. West Virginia's 21 snakes and hundreds of spider species are beneficial to the state's agricultural industry because they prey on crop pests -- rodents and insects.

  1. Colubrids

    • The Colubridae family of snakes represents all nonvenomous snakes in West Virginia. This snake family has 19 species in the Mountaineer State. Colubrid snakes use constriction, or suffocation, to capture and kill their prey. Also, nonvenomous snakes have round pupils as opposed to venomous snakes, which have slit-shaped pupils. King snakes make up the largest contingency of colubrid snakes in West Virginia with three: eastern king snake, eastern milk snake and black king snake. Other colubrid snakes in West Virginia are garter snakes -- common ribbon snake and eastern garter snake -- northern black racer, northern pine snake, queen snake and northern ring-necked snake.

    Black Widows

    • The Latrodectus genus of spiders represent black widows, the only venomous spider in West Virginia. In the Mountaineer State black widows are split into two subspecies, northern and southern black widows. Northern black widows (Latrodectus variolus) primarily live throughout the state, and southern black widows (Latrodectus mactans) live in the southern region of the state. Only female black widows are dangerously venomous to human beings. Black widows may be identified by red hourglass-shaped markings on the underside of their abdomen; the rest of their bodies are solid black.

    Vipers

    • West Virginia is home to two venomous snakes, the northern copperhead and timber rattlesnake. These two snakes belong to the Viperidae family of snakes. Viperidae snakes are also known as pit vipers because of the grooves embedded on the side of the snakes' heads. These grooves are for sensing the heat of warm-blooded mammals, which are a staple of northern copperhead and timber rattlesnake's diets. To paralyze their prey, these venomous snakes inject venom from their fangs into their prey's body. When alarmed, northern copperheads and timber rattlesnakes shake their tails prior to striking; timber rattlesnakes have rattles on the end of their tails.

    Wolf Spiders

    • Wolf spiders are in the Lycosidae family of spiders and one of the most common spiders in West Virginia. This spider is large and hairy, which gives it a fearsome appearance. However, wolf spiders do not have enough venom to cause any serious damage to human beings. Their prey have much to fear, though, because wolf spiders are quick and easily overtake their prey in a footrace. Since they are hunters, wolf spiders do not build webs. Wolf spider offspring will ride on their mother's back until they can support themselves.

Related Searches

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

You May Also Like

  • How do I Identify West Virginia Snake Skins?

    Identifying snake skins can be a fascinating nature activity, or just a way to learn what animals might lurk in your yard...

  • Gray Snakes That Live in Virginia

    Gray Snakes That Live in Virginia. ... West Virginia Spiders and Snakes. Snakes and spiders have a reputation for the high level...

  • Reptiles of Virginia

    West Virginia Spiders and Snakes. Snakes and spiders have a reputation for the high level of venom in their bites. In West...

  • How to Identify West Virginia Spiders

    If you've been bitten by a spider in West Virginia, it is imperative that you know what type of spider bit you....

  • Common Spiders in Virginia

    Spiders are one type of creepy crawly critter that gets on lots of people's nerves. Most spiders are not dangerous, though, and...

  • Snakes in East Virginia

    How do I Identify West Virginia Snake Skins? What Are the Most Common Venomous Snakes? The Types of Snakes Found in East...

  • Snakes Common to Virginia

    Snakes Common to Virginia. Snakes belong to the Squamata class of reptiles. ... View Photos. Imaginative Games for Kids by Mom.me. Check...

  • Snakes That Live in Ponds in Virginia

    Two poisonous snakes in and around Virginia's water sources are the northern ... 34 species of salamanders in five taxonomical families live...

  • Types of Black & Yellow Snakes

    West Virginia Spiders and Snakes. Snakes and spiders have a reputation for the high level of venom in their bites. In West...

  • Deadly Spiders in West Virginia

    Currently, West Virginia has only two types of poisonous spiders, ... West Virginia Spiders and Snakes. Red Spiders in Virginia. Common Spiders...

  • Rattlesnakes In Virginia

    Outside Virginia, the snake is found throughout much of the eastern U.S., from New Hampshire to Florida and west to Pennsylvania. Diet...

  • What Spiders Are Poisonous?

    All spiders are what people usually refer to as poisonous, although the correct term would be "venomous," since all spiders have venom...

  • How to Identify the Snakes of West Tennessee

    Pictures of snake species if you feel you are in an area ... The shape of the eye of a venomous snake...

  • Spiders Native to West Virginia

    Spiders Native to West Virginia. ... West Virginia Spiders and Snakes; Comments. Related Ads. Check It Out 14 Books Turned Into Movies...

  • Cottonmouth Snake Habitat Facts

    They are native to the southeastern U.S. from Virginia to Florida, and as far west as east Texas. ... venomous aquatic snake...

  • Poisonous Spiders in Virginia

    Poisonous Spiders in Virginia. ... The northern panhandle of West Virginia consists of Marshall, Brooke, Ohio, Wetzel, Hancock and Tyler counties.

  • Common Reptiles in Virginia

    What Type of Lizards Live in West Tennessee? ... the northern ringneck snake and the timber ... Snakes Common to Virginia. Snakes...

  • Common Snakes Found in a Virginia Pond

    The Eastern garter snake can have up to 80 babies in a litter and is identified by its brownish gray checkerboard pattern....

  • Nonvenomous Snakes of Tennessee

    Due to this, non-venomous snakes have rounder eyes and their heads extend very little from their necks, ... View Photos. Surviving Europe...

  • Common Snakes in Massachusetts

    Of these 14, two are venomous --- the copperhead and timber rattlesnake --- but extremely rare in the Bay State. Five species...

Related Ads

View Blog Post

5 Easy Ways to Transform a Plain Kids T-Shirt into a Mini Fashion Statement