7 Most Common Snakes in South Dakota
The state of South Dakota has 16 reported species of snakes. A few can be found in the Black Hillls, some enjoy life on the west-river plains and several are concentrated in the southeastern part of the state along the Missouri River.
There are seven species of snake that can be found in most of the state, including our one venomous species.
The Prairie Rattlesnake is the only venomous snake native to South Dakota. Its habitat is mainly the counties along the eastern side of the Missouri River and all counties in western South Dakota.
There are two subspecies of Milk Snake found in South Dakota. The Red Milk Snake is found in the southeastern counties. The Pale Milk Snake is found in the counties along and west of the Missouri River. They are nonvenomous and often mistaken for the poisonous coral snake which is not found in South Dakota.
More of a blue-greenish color, the Racer likes open grassland, pasture, and prairie areas. This is another snake that likes the counties along to the Missouri River and all counties in western South Dakota
Also known as a gopher-snake, Bull Snakes can grow to 3-7 feet in length. They can be found in open grasslands in most of the state where they eat gophers, ground squirrels, mice, birds and their eggs, and amphibians.
Found statewide, the Hognose Snake is identified by it horn-like snout. It's mildly venomous to the frogs, toads, salamanders, and small mammals that make up it's diet.
The Plains Garter Snake (not garden snake) is one of two garter snake species found in South Dakota. The Plains species has a bright yellow or orange single stripe along the middle of the back and along it's sides with rows of dark spots. They like to eat frogs and other aquatic vertebrates, insects, earthworms, and small mammals.
Our other Garter Snake species is the Common Garter Snake. Found statewide, it's sometimes called the red-sided garter snake. They have a bright yellow or orange stripe along the middle of it's back with yellow or orange stripe on each side of body and black spots on a reddish background along body sides.