poisonous rattlesnake

How to Identify Poisonous Snakes in Los Angeles

There are tons of nature preserves near Los Angeles filled with wildlife. The large number of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts passing through these areas results in many encounters with snakes, especially in the spring. While you can call a professional for snake removal around your home, such is not the case in natural habitats.

There are six species of venomous snakes in the state.1 Rattlesnakes are relatively easy to identify. Hollow segments at the end of their tail “rattle” when shaken, which provides a distinct warning of danger.

Here are some of the most common poisonous snakes in California:

  • Western Rattlesnake: Has a pattern that’s dark gray, dark brown, or olive-brown, sometimes with a black or pale-yellow background. The snake’s color turns darker towards the tail.
  • Western Diamondback: An aggressive species with dark gray-brown to brown diamond blotches, against a contrasting dusty-looking gray-brown, with black and white bands on its rattle.
  • Speckled Rattlesnake: Has a speckled pattern on a gray, tan brown, or rocky gray color. It also has a relatively large jaw where the venom is stored.
  • Sidewinder Rattlesnake: Moves sideways, which is unusual in snakes. It is a light tan with darker brown flecks, which become rings closer to the tail, and it has horn-like protrusions above the eyes.
  • Mojave Rattlesnake: Ranges from pale green to brown, but usually somewhere in between, and it has rusty red-brown saddles with white and black borders. Dark rings surround the rattle.
  • Red Diamond Rattlesnake: Its scales are reddish-brown and sides are a pale red-brown; the saddles are a darker brick red. A distinct tail has thick black and white rings.

When you need a specialist for snake removal near you, Animal Capture Wildlife Control can safely and humanely rid your home or business of snakes. Call 310-551-0901 for help.


  1. https://eurekacamping.johnsonoutdoors.com/us/blog/6-venomous-rattlesnakes-california-and-how-identify-them