Well, yes. There are snakes in the Bahamas.
Given that the beautiful islands of the Bahamas have a very tropical climate and the fact that snakes prefer the warm, humid weather due to being a cold-blooded species, this is not very surprising. You can even go as far as saying snakes are expected.
But if you strongly consider yourself an anti-fan of our slithering reptilian friends, then this article is for your reading pleasure – so hear us out. Especially if you are planning to visit this star beach paradise of the Caribbean blues.
Yes, snakes can give a lot of people shivers, but if you do travel to a more tropical destination, then snakes are to be anticipated. Well, obviously this isn’t Snake Island (referring to the movie and the actual place). So they are not exactly waiting for you all coiled on a branch or hiding in the bushes ready to jump at you. They simply exist in the same land as you do.
In fact, more often than not, snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them.
So what exactly should you know when it comes to snakes in the Bahamas? We will tell you.
How Common Are Snakes In The Bahamas?
There are native and non-native snakes in the Bahamas. But if we are to look at the current records that exist on snakes in the Bahamas, we can tell you that there are five groups of snakes.
The Brown Racers
These snakes are the most commonly found ones in the Bahamas. They are slim and can appear in different colours, but the most common colour they are spotted in is an almost milk chocolate shade, and they can grow up to approx. 3 feet in length. They are also known as the Bahamian Racer as well as garden snakes.
They are known to be quite active and can be found hunting in the woodlands in the southern and northern parts of Bimini. Before you tense up, no, these guys are not venomous to humans, however, they do have venom, which is used to paralyse small prey like Anolis lizards, frogs and even baby iguanas.
The Bahamian Boas
Yes, boas are massive and predatorial. But not the Bahamian Boa. Despite the fear they seem to create in the hearts of men, they are super harmless. They can obviously become quite large. We are talking approx. 8 – 9 feet. In fact, they have earned the title of being the largest snake species to exist in the tropical lands of the Bahamas.
This non-venomous boa constrictor is more commonly covered in greyish-brown scales, with some pretty beautiful darker patterns running through its scale-covered body of muscle. Their diet mainly consists of birds, frogs and rats – basically small prey. But like all boa constrictors, once they capture their prey, they envelop the body and squeeze till they suffocate and die, and then they begin to consume. That is not a great way to go.
The Blind Snakes
The Bahamian slender blind snake has a long and slim body. They do look a little like an enlarged earthworm (or maybe that’s just us), and they only grow up to a length of approx. 4.5 – 6.5 inches. Their scales almost have a glossy shine effect, and it honestly is alluring in a way. If you are lucky (yes lucky), you might even spot a blind snake that has a dark purple coloured scale.
These little guys can be biters, but fortunately, they are just not capable enough to bite a human. Because their mouths are super tiny.
The Pygmy Boas
The Bahamian Pygmy Boa Constrictor is also known as Bahama Wood Snake and the Iguana Trope. This non-venomous snake has some unique features worth noting. Pygmy Boas have the ability to change their colour. How? Well, by moving their dark pigment granules, they can switch between a light and dark colour, depending on what kind of camouflage they need.
These snakes are endemic to the Great Iguana Island. Despite belonging to the boa family, these slithering beauties only grow to a length of 30 cm to 60 cm on average. Nocturnal by nature and very shy. The young ones tend to live on trees consuming small prey like the Anolis lizards, while the adult Pygmy Boas feed on small animals like birds, rats and frogs even.
The Conception Silver Boa
This unique, almost ethereal looking boa constrictor belongs to the latest wildlife findings in the Bahamas (we are talking 2022). With a stunning silver scale sheath, this elegant slithering species was observed to be the length of approx. 3 ft. Through further observation, it was found that the boa hangs out in trees and prays specifically on feathered wildlife.
It’s super remarkable considering that nobody has discovered any new snake species in the Bahamas for the last 73 years.
Are There Poisonous Snakes In The Bahamas?
No, there are no lethally poisonous snakes in the Bahamas. In fact, almost all snakes found in the Bahamas are either small in size or quite harmless to humans or both. This is good news for many travellers.
Are Snakes Protected By The Bahamian Law?
Sadly no. The only law that is prevalent as of 2022 is the wildlife and conservation act which specifically prevents locals and visitors from importing, exporting, selling, possessing or displaying any kind of snake species within their space of control.
Are Snakes The Most Dangerous Species In The Bahamas?
Again, No. That title is held by mosquitos, who have managed to create local and international headlines in the past through diseases they have carried. But there is nothing to worry about, as long as you take the correct precautions.
Make a quick visit to Are there Mosquitos in the Bahamas article to find out how you can keep these pesky insects at bay.
Are There Alligators In The Bahamas?
First snakes, now alligators! That sounds like a lot! All you wanted was a lovely beach vacation.
But this question gets asked more often than one thinks.
And the answer to that is – there are no alligators in the Bahamas. Islands like Grand Bahama, New Providence, Acklins Mayaguana, Eleuthera and San Salvador used to have records of being habitats of alligators. Sadly, that is no longer the case.
So if you are not a fan of these toothy reptilian predators of the water, then breathe easy because that’s one less scary thing you need not worry about!