9 Gorgeous Snake Species Around the World

green tree python in juvenile yellow phase
Juvenile green tree python.

Mark Kostich / Getty Images

There are over 3,700 species of snakes around the world, so it's no surprise that they come in a vast array of sizes, colors, and patterns. We humans tend to spend so much time fearing them that we don't always appreciate their beauty. We've gathered examples of some of the most extraordinary snake species found around the world, each of which highlight the diversity of beauty among these reptiles.

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Sri Lankan Pit Viper

Sri Lankan pit viper snake

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If you visit Sri Lanka, be sure to look up in the trees to find the beautiful Sri Lankan pit viper. It's the only place to which the small, roughly 2-foot long species is endemic. The pit viper is noted for its green and black coloration and large triangular-shaped head. However, admire this creature's beauty from afar. The venomous Sri Lankan pit viper packs a painful bite, which can cause blisters and even death.

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Asian Vine Snake

Asian vine snake

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This snake has an extraordinary geometric pattern to its scales. When the vine snake feels threatened, this pattern is highlighted as the snake expands its body, revealing the black and white between the green scales. When relaxed, the snake has a very slender, nearly fluorescent green body. Vine snakes are also noted for their long pointed snout.

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Green Tree Python

green tree python

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The green tree python is best known for being green. The vivid green coloration of the adult green tree python provides ideal camouflage for this arboreal snake. Juvenile green tree pythons may be bright yellow, vibrant red, or even a very dark brown. While gorgeous in its adult coloration, the species is also stunning when it's young and going through color changes.

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San Francisco Garter Snake

San Francisco Garter Snake

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Considered endangered in the state of California where it resides, the San Francisco garter snake has a stunning color pattern of dark orange, turquoise, black, and deep coral. While the snake can grow to up to 3 feet in length, it is harmless to humans. Found primarily near water, the San Francisco garter snake's red tongue with black tips is thought to lure fish and other prey.

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Eyelash Viper

Eyelash viper

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Named for the scales that stand out above its eyes, this species is both highly venomous and beautiful. Eyelash pit vipers come in a variety of color variations including bright yellow, pink, green, and brown. Yellow eyelash pit vipers are often found in banana trees where they blend in easily. Their keeled scales are particularly rough to the touch, but the adaptation protects them against the branches they climb while hunting for food.

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Banded Sea Krait

Banded sea krait swimming in underwater reef

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Beautiful snake species aren’t just found on land, they inhabit the ocean too. Also called the yellow-lipped sea krait due to its yellow upper lip, the banded sea krait's yellow marking extends across its lip and under its eyes. The sea krait has a series of 20 to 65 black bands around its smooth body. An amphibious species that lays eggs on land but feeds in water, the banded sea krait has valved nostrils and a paddle-like tail that allow it to swim and hunt for prey in water.

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Brazilian Rainbow Boa

Brazilian rainbow boa

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Primarily brown or reddish-brown in color, the trait that stands out the most in this boa species is the iridescent shimmer of its scales. This striking feature is most prominent after shedding. Brazilian rainbow boas, which can range from 4 to 6 feet in length, have black stripes on the top of their heads and black rings down their backs.

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Formosa Odd-Scaled Snake

Formosa odd-scaled snake shimmers iridescent under light.

Sin Syue Li / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-2.0

Another snake species that shimmers with rainbow iridescence is the Formosa odd-scaled snake. The snake has a small head and small, black, beadlike eyes. The most common coloration in adults is olive, grayish tan, or black, while young Formosa odd-scaled snakes are usually black. The Formosa odd-scaled snake is found in Taiwan and the southern islands of Japan.

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Scaleless Corn Snake

scaleless corn snake

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Corn snakes come in a variety of colors from orange to brownish-yellow, depending on their age and the region in which they are found. Other identifying features include alternating black and white markings on their underside. An interesting variation on the corn snake is the scaleless corn snake, which has few to no scales on its body. A lack of scales is a natural genetic mutation that has been witnessed in the wild. Snakes, even scaleless ones, typically have ventral scales on their bellies which help them move across various terrain. Corn snakes have a docile, gentle nature and are non-venomous which has made them popular as pets.