On this page, you can find an overview of snakes in South Dakota. The list is separated into non-venomous and venomous snakes in South Dakota. This should give you a quick overview if you are dealing with a venomous snake or not.
There are 15 species of snakes in South Dakota. The prairie (or western) rattlesnake is the only venomous snake that can be found in South Dakota. The other 14 species are non-venomous and harmless snakes.
Just click on any of the images or links to learn more about the snake.
If you have encountered a snake in South Dakota that is not yet on our list or that you cannot identify yourself, we’ll be happy to identify it for you. Simply take a picture of it and upload your picture, a quick description and the U.S. state where it was found here on our snake identification page.
List of venomous snakes in South Dakota
The prairie rattlesnake, also called the western rattlesnake, is the only venomous snake found in South Dakota. It can be found throughout the western parts of the state and in the counties along the eastern side of the Missouri River.
Racers and garter snakes are the most common non-venomous snakes found in South Dakota. Several harmless snake species mimick the appearance and behavior of the venomous rattlesnake and are often confused with it and therefore killed mistakenly. In South Dakota, the gopher snake (bullsnake), the western and the eastern hognose snake, the common watersnake, and the western fox snake can all take on a similar appearance to rattlesnakes. Most of these species also show similar defensive behaviors and rattle their tail when they feel threatened.