Snakes of the Southeast

Whit Gibbons and Mike Dorcas

Coachwhips, cottonmouths, and more


"Easy to read . . . An informative book for the general public aimed at educating those with a limited knowledge of snakes."
Southeastern Naturalist

"The Southeast is especially ripe for a book that places snakes in a context that can help catalyze a change in attitudes toward these badly maligned animals. This profusely illustrated book is a big step in the right direction. . . . The information presented here is detailed yet presented in an easy-to-understand format. This is a worthy and valuable addition to the natural history literature of the Southeast. This book should be carried by anyone going into any natural area of the Southeast. It should be kept on hand even in urban and other areas where snakes could turn up."

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Fifty-two kinds of snakes can be found in the Southeast, almost half of all species native to North America. Filled with more than 300 color photographs and written by two of the region’s most renowned herpetologists, this is the most comprehensive educational guide to the snakes of the Southeast.

At the heart of the guide are its heavily illustrated, fact-filled descriptions of each species and its habitat. Also included is a wealth of general information about the importance of snake conservation and the biology, diversity, and life cycles of snakes. Useful information about the interactions of humans and snakes is also covered: species that are likely to be found near houses, snakes as pets, what to do in case of a snake bite, and more.

Clearly written, cleanly designed, and fun to use, the guide will promote a better understanding of the habitat needs of, and environmental challenges to, this fascinating group of animals.


  • Conservation-oriented approach
  • Over 300 color photographs
  • Nearly 50 distribution maps
  • Clear descriptions of each species, including differences in the appearance of young and mature snakes
  • Size charts, key identifiers (scales, body shape, patterns, and color), descriptions of habitat, behavior and activity, food and feeding, reproduction, predators and defense, and conservation
A Wormsloe Foundation Nature Book

Page count: 264 pp.
Trim size: 7.5 x 10


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List price: $27.95

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Whit Gibbons is a professor of ecology emeritus at the University of Georgia and the head of the Environmental Outreach and Education Program at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Mike Dorcas, a biologist at Davidson College, is author of A Guide to the Snakes of North Carolina. Gibbons and Dorcas are coauthors of North American Watersnakes.