11 Pink Snakes: A Journey Through the Rosy World of Serpents

From Desert Sands to Lush Forests: Meet the Pink Snakes of the World

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Have you ever heard of a pink snake? Many people imagine all kinds of colors when they think about snakes. But pink? Pink is a rare spectacle in the world of serpents, and it often captures the fascination of many snake enthusiasts – understandably so. The rarity of this color is primarily due to the absence of pink pigments in snake skin and the role of morphs in creating such unique coloration.

This might seem confusing, but we'll explain everything in detail in this article. We will explore the captivating world of 15 pink snake species, each with its unique features, habitats, and behaviors. Prepare to be amazed by these rosy wonders of the animal kingdom. Just keep on reading!

1. Western Blind Snake

Western Blind Snake

Western Blind Snake. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Western blind snake (Leptotyphlops humilis) is a small, slender snake found in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Its pinkish coloration is often mistaken for an earthworm at first glance. This snake is fossorial, meaning it spends most of its time underground, surfacing mainly after rains to forage for ants and termites.

Despite its small size - reaching a maximum length of just 16 inches - it plays a vital role in controlling insect populations within its habitat. The snake lacks a tail spine and is a species of non-venomous, worm-like burrowing snakes. 

2. Aruba Rattlesnake

Aruba rattlesnake

Pink Aruba rattlesnake blends in with rocky terrain.

The Aruba Rattlesnake (Crotalus unicolor) is a critically endangered species found only on the island of Aruba. Its pinkish-tan hue serves as excellent camouflage against the island's rocky terrains. This rattlesnake is primarily nocturnal and feeds on small mammals like rodents. The Aruba Rattlesnake typically grows to a length of 2-3 feet.

Unlike many other snakes, it gives live birth instead of laying eggs. The babies might look cute when born, but don't let their innocent look fool you. This snake is venomous, and its bite can be fatal if not treated promptly. 

3. Eyelash Viper

Eyelash Viper on a tree limb

Beautiful pink colored venomous eyelash viper from Central America forests.

The Eyelash Viper (Bothriechis schlegelii) is found from southern Mexico through Central America to Colombia, Ecuador, and western Venezuela. It's named for its unique spiky scales above its eyes, which resemble eyelashes. This snake comes in various base colors – gray, brown, yellow, gold, and even pink and white. It measures up to 2.5 feet and averages between 22 to 32 inches. 

The snake prefers low-altitude, humid areas, often near permanent water sources, and is known to inhabit a wide range of wooded or shrubby habitats - particularly in moist tropical forests. It primarily feeds on small mammals, birds, and frogs. Its venom is potent and can be fatal. 

4. Southeastern Crown Snake

Southeastern Crown Snake

Southeastern Crown Snake. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Southeastern Crown Snake (Tantilla coronata) is another small snake found throughout the Coastal Plain - extending from the Florida panhandle northward, although it is notably absent from southern Georgia. This species measures between 7-9 inches in length. These snakes are often discovered under rocks, logs, leaf litter, and other ground debris. The slender snake exhibits a pink-to-brown body with a distinctive black head and chin. A 3-5 scales wide black band graces its neck, while its belly can be uniformly white, yellow, or pinkish.

They have a particular affinity for sandhills and dry pine forests. This diurnal snake feeds on centipedes, insect larvae, snails and spiders. It's a non-venomous species but has a similar defense mechanism to the Florida Crowned Snake, coiling its tail when threatened to mimic more dangerous species.

5. Rosy Boa

Rosy Boa

Pink rosy boa blends in with the rocky terrain. 

The Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata) inhabits the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. It has a striking pinkish-gray coloration that helps it blend into its desert and rocky habitats. They reach a length ranging from 17 to 44 inches. To evade the harsh elements and natural predators, this desert-dwelling snake spends most of its life hidden beneath rocks and tucked away in crevices.

 A sneaky snake! This constrictor snake is nocturnal and primarily feeds on small mammals like mice and rats. It's one of the few boa species found in the United States and is non-venomous. It's a beautiful and safe choice if you consider caring for a pink snake as a pet.

6. Western Coachwhip

Western Coachwhip

The western coachwhips from west Texas are often a pink color.

The Western Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum testaceus) has an extensive range. It stretches from southeastern North Carolina to central California in the United States and as far south as Mexico City in Mexico. It has a unique pinkish-tan color that allows it to blend into its arid desert environment. It can grow up to 4 to 6 feet in length. A formidable predator in its habitat!

The snake's diet is impressively diverse: it includes insects, amphibians, lizards, other snakes, birds, and rodents. It can chase down and capture other snakes and lizards by relying on its remarkable speed or following its prey into burrows. While it's non-venomous, it's known for its aggressive behavior when threatened - often striking and biting. 

7. Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

Northern pacific rattlesnake

Northern pacific rattlesnake curled up resting.

The Northern Pacific Rattlesnake lives in the western United States and British Columbia. It has a pinkish-brown hue that allows it to blend seamlessly into its rocky and forested habitats. The Northern Pacific Rattlesnake can grow to an average length of 3.2 feet, although the largest recorded specimen reached an impressive 5 feet.

This venomous snake primarily feeds on small mammals, birds, and reptiles. It's known for its rattling sound, which serves as a warning to potential predators or threats. The venom can be potent but is generally not fatal to humans if treated promptly. Its size (combined with its venomous nature) makes it a frightening presence in its natural habitat.

8. Corn Snake

Corn snake wrapped around a branch

Corn snake hanging out on a branch.

The Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttatus) is most abundant in Florida and other southeastern states. These snakes are versatile in their choice of habitat. They can be found near rocky hillsides, wooden groves, meadowlands, and even abandoned buildings. It has a pinkish-orange coloration with red or brown blotches. The Corn Snake can grow to lengths ranging from 2 to 6 feet. This snake is non-venomous and is known for its climbing ability.

As constrictors, Corn Snakes have a unique method of subduing their prey. They bite to get a solid grip and then wrap around their meal, squeezing until the prey is incapacitated. They usually swallow their food whole, often headfirst, and have been observed eating smaller prey alive. Their diet evolves as they grow. Young hatchlings primarily consume frogs and lizards, while adults go for larger prey like bats, birds, mice and rats.

One question you might have about this snake is, "Why did the corn snake get its name from?" Well, with some imagination, you can see a resemblance between the snake's belly markings and a piece of brightly colored Indian corn. The corn snake is also often found and used in corn fields, where it helps farmers get rid of pests. It is quite useful for these farmers, and it is not harmful. A cute pink snake that also makes a great pet!

9. Western Hognose Snake

Western hognose snake

Closeup pink pastel western hognose snake.

The Western Hognose Snake (Heterodon nasicus) has a wide range, extending from southern Canada through the United States to northern Mexico. It has a unique pinkish-brown coloration. It prefers sandy or loose soils where it can easily burrow. This snake is known for its upturned snout, which it uses for digging. It feeds primarily on toads and is mildly venomous, but the venom is not dangerous to humans. Males of this species are generally smaller than females: adult males rarely exceed a length of 15–20 inches. In contrast, females can grow up to about 3 feet. 

When it comes to self-defense, this snake has some theatrical tactics. Highly defensive individuals will go to the extent of playing dead when threatened. They flip onto their backs, coil up, open their mouths, and even emit a foul odor. 

Interestingly, their patterning closely resembles rattlesnakes, which can be misleading to the untrained eye. This is a form of Batesian mimicry. What does that mean? Well, it's where a harmless species mimics the warning signals of a harmful one to deter predators. 

10. Sharp Tailed Snake

Sharp-tailed snake

Sharp-tailed snake. CC BY 2.0.

The Sharp-tailed Snake (Contia tenuis) is found in the western United States and British Columbia. It has a pinkish-brown color that helps it blend into its forest floor habitat. This non-venomous snake feeds on slugs, their eggs, and even slender salamanders. It is known for its sharp, pointed tail, which it uses to anchor itself when capturing prey.

Watching this procedure happen is fascinating – let us tell you that! Size-wise, it's a relatively small snake – it usually measures less than 12 inches long and rarely exceeds 16 inches. The Sharp-tailed Snake prefers moist environments rich in surface debris like twigs, roots, and leaves, where it can easily find its prey.

11. Pink Boa Constrictor

Pink boa morph

Beautiful pink boa morph. Credit: Boabasement.

The Pink Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor) is a captivating morph of the Boa constrictor species. It is native to Central and South America. It thrives in various habitats– from tropical rainforests to arid deserts. The Pink Boa Constrictor can grow quite large.

It ranges from 10 to 16 feet in length. Its hunting strategy often involves ambushing prey. It targets a variety of animals, such as rats, birds, monkeys, and even wild pigs. The pink hue morph is from selective breeding (which means it does not selectively occur). It is highly sought after in the pet trade. 

The Role of Color in Snake Behavior

The color pink in snakes is not just a fascinating aesthetic feature. While that certainly makes us enjoy looking at these animals, the color also plays a role in their behavior and survival. Pink coloration can serve as camouflage in specific habitats like sandy or rocky terrains. In some species, the pink hue may also serve as a warning to potential predators. It can signal that the snake is venomous, even if it's not. The color may also attract prey, making hunting easier for these snakes.

Conservation Status of Pink Snakes

Conservation of pink snakes is essential for maintaining biodiversity and ecological balance. While some species, like the Corn Snake, are abundant and not currently at risk, others like the Aruba Rattlesnake, are critically endangered. Habitat loss, pollution, and human activities threaten these snakes significantly.

Conservation efforts that include habitat restoration, anti-poaching measures, and public awareness campaigns are vital for their long-term survival. Let's all be aware and informed to contribute to these rare species' continued existence. You're already doing a great job by reading this article.

Pretty And Pink – And Dangerous? 

What do you think? Isn't the world of pink snakes fascinating? These different species come with unique features, behaviors, and habitats. While some of these pink snakes are undeniably beautiful (or you might even call them "cute"), it's important to remember that some species can be venomous and dangerous to humans or pets like dogs.

Pink snakes are rare and often human-bred, so you probably won't encounter one on your next hike. If you do, keep a safe distance and appreciate the beauty of this creature from afar.