by John M. Erickson, MD
The majority of snakes in the United States are non-venomous. These snakes are not dangerous to humans. The two main families of venomous snakes include the Viperidea and Elapidae families. The Copperhead, Cottonmouth (often called “water moccasins”) and rattlesnakes are examples of pit vipers in the Viperidea Family. Pit Vipers make up approximately 98% of the venomous snake bites in the United States. The coral snake is the only snake in the Elapidae Family native to the United States, and it is much less common than pit vipers.