Florida has four types (six species) of venomous snakes:
Cottonmouth (also called water moccasin), an aggressive snake that prefers swampy areas.
Rattlesnake (diamondback, timber or canebreak, and pygmy), which can be found in upland or swampy areas. Pygmy rattlesnakes, which are generally very small, are the most commonly seen venomous snakes in Florida and cause the most snake bites, since children often pick them up.
Southern copperhead, found in the northern forests of Florida.
Eastern coral snake, found throughout the state. Small and colorful, their banding is similar to the scarlet king snake. Remember the rhyme “red touch yellow, kill a fellow.”
Most snake bites occur because someone attempted to handle a snake or got within the snake’s “strike zone.” If you encounter a snake, treat it with respect. Give it a wide berth. NEVER PICK UP A SNAKE. If you are struck by a snake, call 911 immediately rather than attempt to treat it yourself.
Here’s an excellent guide to identifying these snakes – as well as harmless ones – from the Florida Museum of Natural History.