Southern Pine Snake – Identification

Q: I was picking sugar snap peas in my garden in Westminster SC when I heard something moving in a bed nearby. I looked over there and saw a big, light-colored snake!

I ran into the house to get my camera and climbed into the bed of my truck to take pictures of it. Can you tell me what it is?

A: I’m so proud of you for getting your camera instead of grabbing your shovel to kill the snake!

I’m no snake expert so I sent your pictures to Jim Rodgers at Nearly Native Nursery ( in Fayetteville. He identified your creature as a southern pine snake. It is harmless (except to small mice, lizards and toads!).

Indeed, this reptile is a pretty rare sight. Like most snakes, it might coil and strike at you if surprised but it poses no danger to humans or pets.

If you’d rather not find it by accident in your garden again, use a shovel to bang on the boards of your raised bed beforehand. Any snakes around will quickly exit at the other end of the garden.

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