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The Hot Spot
Where each month we will showcase a venomous reptile. Check out which species it is this month, and learn interesting facts !
"Which is better: to fear all snakes and keep out of danger, or become educated and fear those only that can be harmful to you?" - Bill Haast on the Discovery Channel

There are about 38 species and sub species of snakes found in Kansas, only the 6 are venomous and a danger to humans.

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There are SIX species of venomous snakes that inhabit Kansas. Anyone who lives in or visits Kansas should make themselves aware of these snakes, and learn how to identify them. Children especially, whom snakes often fascinate, should be made aware of these 6 species. A lot of snakebites occur because people are uninformed about the venomous snakes that inhabit Kansas, and mistakenly think them harmless. The best rule of thumb is - if you don't know what kind of snake it is - leave it alone.

Osage Copperhead
Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster
Western Cottonmouth
Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma
Timber Rattlesnake
Crotalus horridus
horridus-02.jpg (109377 bytes)
Prairie Rattlesnake
Crotalus viridis viridis
crotalus_v_viridis-08 a.JPG (192724 bytes)
  atrox-16.jpg (85462 bytes)
Western Massasauga
Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus

A word of caution: If you find a snake, and you do not know whether or not it is venomous, the safest thing to do is leave it alone. Most snakes are not aggressive and, unless they are cornered, most will flee when humans approach. Occasionally, you might encounter one that is reluctant to leave because it is basking in the sun to get warm. Among snakebite victims, an unacceptably high number are bitten on the hands and arms when they are handling the snake. Do not catch a snake and do not handle one unless you are sure it is not venomous. In addition, for a short time after a snake is killed, its reflexes may continue to work. Those reflexes typically cause the body to writhe slowly for a while, but they can cause a convulsive contraction and a bite, so you should not handle a freshly killed venomous snake.
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