I saw a 2ft black snake with yellow bands in Georgia. What kind of snake is that?


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Tim Cook answered

There are three or four species of snake in Georgia which are black with yellow bands. Given the small size of this snake, I would guess it is an Eastern Garter Snake.

Did you see the snake near water? If so, that makes it more likely to be an Eastern Garter Snake, as they live on fish and amphibians, although they also like to eat worms, mice and small birds. 

They like to live in warm, moist places and are quite common across North America. Although harmless, they can bite if handled, though you would get nothing worse than a mild itch from the bite.

Other Possible Types of Snake:

  • the Eastern Kingsnake (or common kingsnake)
  • the Yellow Rat Snake
  • the Coral Snake
The first two, although black with yellow bands, are usually much longer than two foot long, but maybe you saw an immature snake. Again, these two species are harmless to humans.

The Coral Snake is related to the cobra, and has black, yellow and red bands. If you think it is this you saw, then keep away, as the Coral Snake is venomous.

Here's some footage of an Eastern Garter Snake a YouTube user found in their garden, it may help you identify the reptile you spotted:

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