Out of all the attributes that we imbue snakes with, ‘cute’ isn’t usually one of them. Or, at least, normal people don’t do that.
But we’re not normal people here, we’re snake lovers, so we’re allowed to qualify snakes as whatever feels right to us.
So today, we will discuss the 17 cutest snakes that you may or may not encounter in the wild, depending on your geographical location and luck. Let’s get to it!
It’s just a coincidence that we’ve started the list with a snake that has the word ‘cat’ in its name. But it’s quite a fortunate coincidence. This is a small species, only growing up to 30 inches in most cases, that comes with a very slim body.
Most specimens are either yellow or light brown, often with various differently-colored shapes covering their dorsal area.
The snake’s main features, and the ones it owes its name to, are the cat-like eyes with thin elliptical pupils.
The eyes tend to be extra-large and protruding, so you can’t miss them. Aside from the aesthetical punch, the snake’s eye conformation is ideal for improved vision in the dark.
These snakes qualify as colubrid reptiles, which places them in the same category as garter snakes, kingsnakes, boas, anacondas, and many others. They also rank as mildly venomous, and they pose no real danger to humans.
Cat-eyed snakes are very agile and can swim, climb, and crawl with impressive speed, whether for hunting or predator evasion purposes.
Not going to lie, this is one of the most majestic snake species you can find in the wild. The idea of a viper should scare you instantly, given how venomous and aggressive these snakes are.
This remains true for the eyelash viper, too, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that this species is too cute to take too seriously.
The eyelash viper is predominantly gold, which is rather unusual among snakes. It has no distinct pattern, except maybe some dark dorsal spots on some individuals. But the viper’s most noticeable physical characteristics are its long and flashy eyelashes.
These, paired with oversized green eyes with dark elliptical pupils, create a face that you have to love.
The eyelash viper is also small and stocky, only growing up to 30 inches in most cases.
Despite its small size and adorable presence, this snake is a formidable and deadly hunter, using its smell, heat pits, and vision to detect the prey and the venom to subdue and kill. Definitely not one to be taken lightly.
Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake
This is another cute entry, but one that comes with a warning attached to it. Yellow-bellied sea snakes are highly venomous and dangerous to humans. Most importantly, they don’t give away their venomous nature because they lack the trademark signs that are present in other snakes.
The head shape is rectangular rather than triangle-shaped, the eyes have round pupils instead of elliptical, and the mouth is filled with serrated teeth, which is more prevalent among constrictors, not venomous species.
But make no mistake, this one is a killer. Yellow-bellied sea snakes possess a powerful neurotoxic venom that can kill humans with relative ease. More importantly, the snake can bite both on land and in the water, thanks to its semi-aquatic nature.
Fortunately, its interactions with humans are kept to a minimum due to the snake’s shy personality and the habitat itself.
From an appearance perspective, the yellow-bellied snake is highly recognizable. Most individuals come in 2 colors, with black covering the dorsal area and a bright yellow splashed all over the underbelly. The 2 colors break down towards the end of the tail.
There’s no denying that this snake is beautiful, but its coloring acts as a warning rather than as an aesthetical effect.
Red-Tailed Green Rat Snake
This is a mouthful of a name, but it is quite fitting for the species. The red-tailed green rat snake is impressively long and capable of reaching 7 feet in the wild with sufficient food.
The snake only comes with one color, green, covering the entire body all the way up to the eyeballs. The eyes are emerald-green, imbuing the reptile with a precious look.
And then you have the red tail which seems like an awkward appendix because it’s long, thin, and very flexible and mobile. The reason for the tail’s length, thin appearance, and coloring is that the snake uses it as bait.
The rat snake is a climber, so it likes to hunt for prey on various tree branches, curled up in its comfortable ball. Only the tail moves and wiggles, mimicking the movement of a worm.
This can attract birds, reptiles, mammals, and any other creatures that cannot refuse a fast protein snack. Only for them to become protein snacks themselves.
Green Tree Python
We couldn’t have a decent and noteworthy list of the cutest snake species without including the green tree python. This snake is gorgeous, which is one of the things that make it highly popular in the pet trade.
Green tree pythons only grow up to 5 feet, which is quite small compared to pythons in general.
The snake’s body is very muscular and compact with a rectangle-shaped head paired with protruding head and jaw muscles. You can tell that this is an expert constrictor a mile away.
Green tree pythons are typically completely green with white or yellow spots sprinkled randomly, usually on the underbelly.
The snake’s eyes are either yellow or silver, crossed by thin slits for a plus of aesthetical magic. The row of dark openings visible on the sides of the mandible is the heat pits, allowing the snake to detect their prey’s infrared signature.
These are highly versatile and powerful hunters that rely on their raw strength to kill their prey and swallow it whole.
I wouldn’t qualify the royal python as cute, but rather as gorgeous. Gorgeous seems to have a majestic feel to it, which is exactly what transpires from this species.
Royal pythons only grow up to 3-6 feet, depending on the specimen, and come with a stocky and powerful body and a long and thin neck. This is the trademark body composition of a born constrictor.
Everything else is there as well, like the rectangle-shaped head, the powerful jaws, the curved teeth, and the ball-like resting position. Interestingly, royal pythons have no visible pupils due to their eyes being completely black.
This adds to their mystery just as much as the snake’s coloration and pattern. Most royal pythons are brown with a mix of yellow and black and an intricate pattern of eye-like structures and color patches.
These snakes make for great pets thanks to their docile demeanor and shy nature.
The garter snake is one of the most recognizable snakes in the US, thanks to its unique appearance. The color pattern reminds of the garters that were once used to keep the socks up the leg, hence the name.
Most individuals grow up to 2-2.5 feet and showcase colors like grey, yellow, cappuccino, and brown. All garter snakes have a distinct dorsal band traversing the snake head-to-tail. This is lighter in color than the rest of the body. The other 2 bands may be visible on the sides as well.
Another unique and cute feature is the red tongue with the black tip, which imbues the reptile with an additional drop of personality. Garter snakes are not dangerous to humans, and they are quite widespread in the wild.
They also play a critical role in the ecosystem by consuming pests like insects and various rodents.
As an additional note, garter snakes are considered a symbol of good fortune in some local cultures. Whether that’s true or not, one thing is for certain: this is one visually-pleasing reptile.
If you would only see the snake’s head, you couldn’t tell that this is an actual snake. You would have to see the rest of the body for that. And that might not even convince you.
The hognose snake is one of the weirdest entries on today’s list due to its unconventional look. Hognose snakes are petite, only growing up to 3 feet, although most individuals won’t get past 2 feet.
They have funny-looking faces with uplifted noses, big eyes, and small heads. The snake’s body isn’t that much more normal, either. Hognose snakes usually have very thick bodies, especially in the neck area, while the back half gets thinner.
This is by no means the standard body type of a constrictor snake, yet that’s exactly what the hognose is.
This species is actually quite powerful, too, as the hognose snake can kill prey considerably larger than itself. Some of the snake’s standard meals include rats, small rodents, amphibians, other reptiles, etc.
Because the snake enjoys living near various bodies of water, its main diet consists more of frogs and toads than anything else. This qualifies the species as a great pest controller.
The ringneck snake is quite the beauty, despite its small size. This species only grows up to 15 inches and comes with a thin and slithery body. But it’s the coloring and color pattern that’s bound to win you over.
Ringneck snakes are some of the most brightly-colored reptiles on today’s list and showcase amazing color variations depending on the morph.
Some individuals have silver backs and orange, red, or yellow underbellies. Others are half blue and half grey or black with similar underbelly coloring. The underbelly region also displays black spots for a plus of variation.
But it’s the ring neck that qualifies as the most distinct trait. All ringneck snakes have this feature and the ring itself is usually yellow or orange.
Because of their small size, agility, and reclusive nature, ringneck snakes aren’t easy to spot in the wild. Especially due to them being excellent burrowers.
Robust Blind Snake
If you know of blind snakes, you already know what to expect with this one as well. The 2 species are very similar in appearance, with the only difference being that robust blind snakes are larger.
These can reach 11 inches as adults, while regular blind snakes can only grow to 7-8 inches in most cases.
The snake’s appearance is very unsnake-like, to put it that way. In essence, blind snakes look like oversized earthworms because they have the same body shape, coloring, and overall features and movement. Blind snakes are earthy-brown with a slippery appearance and smooth scales.
The eyes are some tiny black spots, and no other facial features are visible, which is an evolutionary feature. This makes it easier for the snake’s predators to mistake the head for the tail.
However, these snakes do have mouths too. It’s just that they’re small, cute, and toothless, which is great for consuming termites, underground larvae, insect eggs, etc.
Blind snakes rank as the most elusive predators due to their reclusive nature and underground-based lifestyle. Needless to say, this doesn’t make them the most exhilarating pets, but it does make them fascinating reptiles.
The kingsnake is also among the most highly recognizable snakes in the US. If you’re looking for a cute reptile pet with a memorable presence, you can’t go wrong with the California kingsnake.
This species is typically small, only reaching 3.5 feet, but rarely. Most snakes won’t get past the 2-2.5-foot mark.
Appearance-wise, California kingsnakes are typically brown with white or cappuccino bands. They have slim bodies with slightly thinner necks and small heads. Their simplicity is what appeals to people, as well as their docile demeanor and friendly nature.
These snakes use agility to catch their prey and are fairly active reptiles in captivity. They are also quite hardy, making them beginner-friendly pets with modest requirements and maintenance demands.
Corn snakes also qualify as awesome reptile pets for the same general reasons. They are docile, non-aggressive, and resilient. The difference between them and the California kingsnake, among other things, is the size.
Corn snakes can reach 7 feet in captivity, depending on the diet, environmental conditions, housing parameters, and layout. So, they might need more space to remain comfortable and reach their true growth potential.
Corn snakes are easily recognizable by their orange coloring and rhomboid pattern. Most individuals display the same coloring and pattern complexity, but some variation exists if you look hard enough.
Interestingly, these are probably the friendliest snakes you can get as pets. They don’t bite, don’t exhibit aggression, and tend to bond with their keepers over time. They even appreciate being handled due to your hands’ warmth and comfort.
Just don’t overdo it because excessive handling and petting can stress all snakes, even the most tolerant ones.
Asian Vine Snake
This is probably the only snake in the world that sounds and looks like a plant. Which speaks volumes about the animal’s unique factor and appeal. Asian vine snakes can reach 5 feet in ideal conditions and come with long, thin, green bodies and awkwardly-shaped faces. The head is flat, especially the snout, and the eyes are big and oval-shaped.
These are some of the fewest snake species in the world that come with horizontal, rather than vertical pupils.
The snake’s body is very thin and displays a vibrant green. Then you have the snake’s resting position, which is just the body being curled up in a spring-like form, hanging in mid-air.
The lower body half grips the branch, while the higher half is curling up motionless in the air, with the head and neck gripped in a striking pose.
The snake can maintain this demanding posture for a long time, which earned it the name of vine snake. Needless to say, the snake’s body posture, color, and ability to freeze up entirely are great for boosting the animal’s hunting and camouflaging prowess.
The main problem is that vine snakes are not good for pets. Not because they are violent but precisely because they are the direct opposite of that.
Asian vine snakes are very shy and skittish and will stress out easily when kept in captivity. Because of this, they will experience a lower quality of life and a lower lifespan and will get sick and die more often than not. Unfortunate, I say.
We’re now moving onto a swampy species that you can mostly find in semi-aquatic habitats. The mangrove snake can reach 6-7 feet in the best-case scenario and comes in 2 colors: black and yellow.
The snake is typically black with yellow vertical bands and a yellow underbelly. Interestingly, there is very little color and pattern variation among the different individuals. Some snakes can exhibit shades of blue instead of black, but that’s rare.
The lack of any meaningful color and pattern variation is great because it allows you to identify the species easier in the wild. Which, itself, is also great because this is a highly venomous reptile.
Mangrove snakes tend to camouflage themselves in mangrove trees when resting and waiting for prey, but they can also hunt actively on land and in the water.
Aside from being venomous, mangrove snakes are also quite aggressive overall. This disqualifies them as viable pets.
The rainbow boa looks as majestic as it sounds. Just so you can understand the snake’s appearance in just a few words, picture the typical octopus and its brightly-colored body rings that can alternate nuances.
That’s exactly what the boa’s body pattern looks like. The snake cannot change its color, but the rings and the snake’s entire body come in different colors, depending on the individual.
Rainbow boas can reach 4-6 feet in the wild, so they’re not the largest boas you can get. This species has a longer head than typical boas, and the jaw muscles aren’t as well defined.
Other than that, expect the same boa-specific features like the predilection for climbing, the tough and muscular body, and the overall chill demeanor.
The problem is that rainbow boas are notoriously difficult to keep as pets. They are quite sensitive to poor environmental conditions and are prone to infections and other health problems.
So, specialized care is necessary to keep the reptile in good health and optimize its quality of life. These snakes can live more than 20 years in captivity.
Arabian Sand Boa
The Arabian sand boa takes the cake as the weirdest specimen we’re discussing today. This species is the most derp-looing snake you can find anywhere.
This snake is small, only reaching up to 15 inches, and lives mostly in the Arabian Peninsula, in desertic and sandy ecosystems. The snake’s appearance complements the animal’s lifestyle entirely.
Arabian sand boas are burrowing snakes that use their flat bodies to bury themselves in the sand. The only thing that remains outside is the air of small and innocuous eyes. But how is it possible for the eyes to remain on the surface, if the head is buried in the sand, you might ask?
Well, you see, the Arabian sand boa has its eyes located on the top of the head. Now you try and picture that image.
The snake also has a smooth and slippery body with a flat face, perfect for hiding and moving under the sand.
Most individuals come with a sandy-yellow coloring and are covered with grain-like yellow spots for improved camouflaging abilities.
However charming and interesting this species might seem, you can’t really keep it as a pet. Arabian sand boas are extremely sensitive to stress and don’t do well in captivity. All I can say to this is: unfortunate.
Schneider’s Adder (Bitis schneideri)
This is a cute, short, muscular, and very dangerous sand viper that also doesn’t qualify as the ideal pet. These adders only grow up to 10-11 inches and rank as some of the most venomous snakes in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This viper’s sandy coloration allows it to become practically invisible in its natural ecosystem. To enhance this effect even more, the adder buries itself in the sand by flattening its body and only leaving its head on the surface.
The adder’s face is also memorable thanks to the large and sandy eyes with the black vertical slits starring you ominously.
Then there are the eyelashes. The eyelashes consist of scales forming spiky growths above the eyes, giving the adder’s face a distinct look.
The snake is cute and all, but it’s deadly and unfit as a pet. Aside from the venomous bite and deadly venom, Schneider’s adder is also extremely aggressive and territorial and is unlikely to bond with you in any meaningful way. This makes this snake unfit for pet status.
As you can see, there are quite a handful of snakes that could qualify as cute. Just keep in mind that the ‘cute’ tag doesn’t necessarily imply the ‘harmless’ one.
Some of these cute snakes are also deadly and highly aggressive, so tread carefully.