The Bahamas is a country made up of a 700 stunning islands located in the Caribbean and is famous for its beautiful scenery and exotic natural wildlife! Unsurprisingly the Bahamas are also an incredibly popular holiday destination for Americans and Europeans. Why? Because it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world, straightforward to reach, and there’s no language barrier as English is their official language!
However if you’re considering or planning a trip to the Bahamas, you might be wondering what type of wildlife they have there. One common question that crops up in this respect is: Are there snakes in the Bahamas?
The answer to this is yes, there are snakes in the Bahamas. There are several groups of snakes that the Bahamas are home to – each made up of several subspecies. While there are venomous snakes inhabiting the islands, the most venomous snake is the brown racer which is not harmful to humans.
In this article we’ll take a closer look at the types of snakes you can expect to find in the Bahamas, and why you shouldn’t be worried about your visit. So read on to find out more!
What types of snakes are there in the Bahamas?
Now that we have established that snakes do live in the Bahamas, it is worth exploring what type of snakes you will find there.
There are four overarching groups of snakes that are native to the Bahamas, each made up of many subspecies. These consist of:
- Blind snakes – These incredibly small, thin, and harmless snakes – also known as thread snakes – do not typically exceed 30cm in length. They also have very poor eyesight, as their name suggests, and resemble long earthworms (see picture below).
- Thread snakes – Small snake around the same size as blind snake.
- Pygmy Boa – This is a small boa that can grow to around 1 foot in length.
- Brown Racer – These are very slim and long snakes that don’t tend to exceed 3 feet in length. They move quickly, hence the name ‘racer’.
- Bahamian Boa Constrictors – This group of snakes are also sometimes referred to as ‘fowl snakes’ and can grow to a length of around 8 feet. They can look quite intimidating if spotted in the wild, and they have inspired many Bahamian folk tales.
It should be noted that although some of the species of snakes that exist on the islands in the Bahamas can be as long as 8 feet, there are no native species that pose any real harm or threat to humans.
We will discuss some of these snakes found in the Bahamas in more detail in the following sections.
Are there venomous snakes in the Bahamas?
Venom is a type of poison that is secreted by various animals from venomous glands. Snakes are one of the most commonly known venomous creatures and they use it to infect their prey, making it easier to catch them. Some venom can be toxic to humans as well as animals, so it makes sense why many people are afraid of snakes.
But are there poisonous snakes in the Bahamas?
The answer to this question is yes, there are venomous snakes in the Bahamas. The only known venomous snake in the Bahamas is the brown racer – sometimes called the garden snake. However, they are very small snakes (roughly no longer than 30cm) and their venom is not harmful to humans. Their venom is only harmful to lizards and frogs – their natural prey.
This means that while there are venomous snakes existing in the wild in the Bahamas, you should not be concerned for your safety as they are not harmful to humans.
Are Bahamian Boa Constrictors dangerous?
Previously, we mentioned that Bahamian Boa Constrictors are the largest and most intimidating snakes to inhabit the area. But you might be wondering, are these large reptiles dangerous?
In short, no. These snakes are not considered dangerous – to humans at least. In fact, they might be considered useful to us as they act as a sort of pest control, keeping the mice and rat population of the area under control.
Therefore, although they can look frightening and intimidating, Bahamian Boa Constrictors are harmless and pose no real threat to us.
What is the most dangerous snake in the Bahamas?
So far, we have identified that the largest and most venomous snakes in the Bahamas aren’t dangerous. So, what is the most dangerous snake?
As noted, all of the native snakes to the Bahamas are not harmful to humans and pose no threat. However, sometimes non-native species of snake are accidentally or purposefully introduced to various islands.
The most common non-native snake to be found is the ‘corn snake’ which, again, is not harmful to humans. However, this non-native species is incredibly disruptive to the ecosystem on the islands as it competes directly with the brown racer snakes for food.
Therefore, non-native snakes can be extremely dangerous to the environment and ecosystem.
What about other spiders?
While it’s good news that there’s no poisonous snakes for humans in the Bahamas, you might not be happy to hear that there are many spiders in the Bahamas!
There are several hundred species of spider in the Bahamas, however almost all of them are not harmful to humans – including the large Bahamian tarantulas! If you’re staying in a resort it’s very rare to see any spider, apart from very small ones.
The Bahamas does have some species of spider that are dangerous to humans, like the black widow and the brown recluse, however sightings of these spiders are very rare.