When it comes to appearance, snakes are just like us.
Many of them are plain-looking.
And some are downright stunning.
Maybe they have amazing patterns and colors. Or they have a defining physical trait that makes them stand out from the snake crowd.
Before we get to that, let’s clear up a misconception.
Bright, colorful snakes are not always venomous. Some are, but many gorgeous snakes are harmless.
Unless you are an expert, it’s always best to keep your distance.
With that said, let’s check out the 11 most beautiful snakes in the world.
Table of Contents
- 1 Most Beautiful Snakes In The World
- 2 Related Questions
- 3 Most Beautiful Snakes: Conclusion
Most Beautiful Snakes In The World
Now these are some gorgeous creatures! We will also see which ones you can keep as pets, and which ones are better left wild.
Emerald Green Pit Viper
We start our list with the dazzling emerald green pit viper. As you probably know, pit vipers are some of the most venomous snakes in the world.
Emerald green vipers were first discovered in 2002 in the Himalayan mountains in Burma.
Although they’re called the emerald viper, these snakes have bright green markings on their bodies, along with white and red stripes. These beautiful snakes can grow to around four feet in length.
This viper, along with all other vipers, is poisonous and has hinged fangs. In some U.S. states you are allowed to own pit vipers as long as you have a permit.
But we don’t recommend you own any venomous snakes, unless you are highly experienced, because of the dangers that they pose to the community and even to first responders.
Blue Malaysian Coral Snake
This striking snake has a breathtaking blue and black body, as well as a bright red head and matching tail. It looks stunning but aggressive. And it’s both of those things!
This coral snake originates from Malaysia and it feeds on other snakes. It’s not a practical snake to own.
It has a smart strategy to fend off predators: it turns over and puts its bright red belly on display while using its tail as a decoy for its head.
You can find this snake in Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Singapore.
Brazilian Rainbow Boa
This pretty snake gets its name because its skin is a wealth of beautiful colors and its scales look iridescent in direct sunlight. That’s because of the way they refract light.
The Rainbow Boa is not an overly aggressive snake (despite its reputation) and you can keep it as a pet. These snakes are quite low-maintenance, actually.
But they do have some specific environmental requirements, which is why we don’t generally recommend them for beginners. Our article on rainbow boa care has more.
When it comes to their diet, for example, they need to eat about once every week or so and they can quite happily survive and thrive on a diet of mice and rats.
This is not a snake that gets mentioned often when talking about the most colorful and beautiful snakes, but it deserves a spot on this list, due to its striking appearance.
Ringneck snakes get their name because of the bright ring around their necks, usually in orange or yellow. Against their darker bodies, it’s really striking!
This snake is mildly venomous, but poses no danger to us, making it one of the most beautiful snakes for pets. It is very small and you only need to you feed it things like earthworms and insects to keep it happy and healthy.
Leucistic Texas Rat Snake
This snake is nonvenomous and mainly found in Texas, as the name might suggest. It’s a morph of the Texas Rat Snake. It has low levels of pigmentation, which means that it has a beautiful white appearance.
It almost looks like it’s made of milk or cream, as it has no markings on its body whatsoever. Rat snakes in general make good pets because of how shy yet active they are. They’re always entertaining to watch.
Just make sure that you secure their enclosures properly because they’re great escape artists! Food-wise, these snakes will happily enjoy a rat-only diet in captivity. Bet you never would have guessed that!
San Francisco Garter Snake
This snake is a multi-colored beauty. It’s been called the most beautiful snake in North America, and if you see one you’ll know why.
It has many different colors on its skin. It has an orange head, a bright blue-ish green belly, and a greenish-yellow back that’s decorated with black and red stripes.
With all that bright color, you might wonder if this snake is poisonous. Garter snakes only have mild venom in their saliva and they don’t have fangs. The San Francisco Garter snake can reach a length of up to three feet and it mainly feeds on frogs.
Sadly, this snake is endangered and this is as a result of its habitat being destroyed by commercial and urban development. It beauty makes it popular in the pet trade, which has also led to its endangered status.
Atheris Hispida (African Hairy Bush Viper)
The name bush viper sounds pretty intimidating. Which is fitting, because the snake itself is intimidating too. It is very poisonous, and can kill you if it bites you and you don’t get first aid.
It’s one of the most beautiful snakes in the world because of its brightly colored bristly scales.
It’s quite an unpredictable snake, so you’re better off not keeping it as a pet and only looking at its beautiful pictures on the internet from the safety of your computer screen.
Kalahari Purple-Glossed Snake
As its name suggests, this snake has a beautiful purple color. It can be found in Africa, specifically in Botswana, northern Namibia, and western Zimbabwe.
Although its name suggests that it’s completely purple, this snake also has yellow scales and a long dark brown stripe that goes all the way down its body.
It’s probably not a good choice for a pet, because it is venomous and it likes to feed on other snakes, such as garter snakes.
Arizona Coral Snake
This coral snake is another highly venomous, but beautiful, species. It has red, white, and black segments of color along its entire body. It resembles a necklace.
This snake can grow up to two feet long and can be found in central and south-eastern Arizona and New Mexico.
Interestingly, coral snakes are known for farting to defend themselves from predators! These snakes like to feed on certain reptiles, including snakes.
Red Tail Boa
Here we have yet another boa on our list of the most beautiful snakes on earth. And it’s really quite beautiful.
It’s a tropical snake that’s quite docile, so it makes a fantastic pet. But it can grow up to 10 feet in length, so make sure you have enough space for it and a large enough enclosure.
This snake gets its name from the red pattern on the end of its tail. The rest of its body is brown or gray with saddle-shaped bands on it.
If you want to own a red tail boa, you’ll have to ensure that you give it a warm environment as it comes from Brazil. This means you’ll need heating pads and a reptile fogger. The same goes for its cousin from the same part of the world, the Amazon Tree Boa.
This brightly-colored snake is long and thin, with a greyish-blue color. It has white ventrals and a gold-tinged face. This type of snake can grow to up to two meters in length.
You can find it in several locations in the U.S., like Michigan, Iowa, and other states. Despite its bright color, this snake is not venomous. It likes to eat grasshoppers, beetles, crickets, rodents, frogs, and sometimes other snakes.
While these snakes are frightened of humans and can be aggressive, they can also be kept as pets. They require large tanks but can handle lower temperatures. Their diets are also pretty low-maintenance.
How can you tell if a coral snake is venomous or not?
Remember this rhyme, “red touch yellow, kills a fellow; red touch black, venom lack.” It will help you when you see a coral snake’s skin pattern in real life so that you don’t get bitten by a venomous one.
What’s the most dangerous snake?
The deadliest snake is said to be the saw-scaled viper. If that name wasn’t scary enough, this viper is responsible for more human deaths than all other snakes combined (via Britannica).
It’s a light brownish-yellow color with brown, gray, or red markings, and white patterns on the sides. It is aggressive and lives near areas with high human populations, which is why it kills so many people.
There are deadlier snakes in terms of more potent venom. The snake that could kill the most people is the inland taipan, but it lives in areas with small human populations and it is very shy, so it actually kills very few people.
Most Beautiful Snakes: Conclusion
Some of the most beautiful snakes in the world can also be the most poisonous, but there are also docile, colorful snakes that are non-venomous and make excellent pets.
In this article, we’ve looked at some of the most striking and breath-taking snakes. You’ll want to own all of them, but only some make good pets. The rest are simply too dangerous, so please do not try to keep one. It is likely illegal anyway.