10 Rarest Snakes in The World

It is typical for most humans to cower in fear whenever they see a snake or hear that one is nearby. This fear sometimes drives us to get rid of them, especially if we blindly think of them all as a threat.

For some, snakes are simply fascinating. They inspire feelings in humans in a manner that no other species can. Did you know that some snake species have become extremely rare just because humans have unknowingly altered their environment?

Territorial encroachment and habitat degradation are only a few reasons why some species have recently dwindled in their numbers. Check out this list of the 10 rarest snakes in the world and find out what endangers them.

Rarest Snakes in the World:

1. Aruba Island Rattle Snake: Crotalus Unicolor or Aruba Island Rattle snake is an endangered rattlesnake species. It is mainly found in the Caribbean Island of Aruba, located just off the coast of Venezuela. They are mainly seen in the hot summer months during the early morning and late afternoons. It is a viviparous snake, and according to an annual survey, it is said that only 230 adult Aruba Island Rattlesnake exists in the world.

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An adult Aruba Island rattlesnake can grow up to 36 inches and weigh up to 2.5 pounds. The few hundred remaining specimens come in various colors, including slate, brown, apricot, tan, light brown, white, and sometimes almost pink.

This snake has diamond markings, typically along the middle back and from head to tail. The markings on some specimens are sometimes the same as the rest of the scales, hence the Latin name unicolor.

The Aruba Island rattlesnake is a venomous pit viper species. It has fangs for delivering venom and digesting prey. In addition, these specimens have heat-sensing pit organs on either side of the head, between the nostrils and eyes.

The Crotalus unicolor is endemic to Aruba Island, and you can only find them in thorn scrubs and desert areas of the island’s southeastern half. Their endangerment is due to the encroachment of human habitation into their already diminished territory. As to diet, this snake feeds on lizards, birds, and rodents.

2. Short Nosed Sea Snake:

This snake is mainly found in reefs off the coast of Western Australia. The scientific name of this snake is Aipysurus apraefrontalis, also known as Sahul Reef Snake. It can live up to 10 years in the wild.

Unlike land snakes, sea snakes can be problematic when it comes to conservation. Only a few recent sightings have happened at different locations, and the ocean is a vast world yet to be explored.

Having been extirpated from the Ashmore Reef before the dawn of the second millennium, experts have lifted the specimen’s status to critically endangered. Experts attribute this species’ endangerment to rising sea temperatures, pollution, and commercial fishing.

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The short-nosed sea snake is a small venomous reptile that can grow to 42.5 inches in length. As its name suggests, this snake has a small head, and its snout has a slightly pointed tip.

This sea snake’s colors vary from dark brown to purplish brown, with faint brownish-white bands scattered across its back. If you look closely, the head scales are much larger than the smooth body scales. Another distinguishing characteristic of this snake is its paddle-shaped tail.

Like other sea snakes, the Sahul Reef snake is an air-breathing reptile that must resurface to breathe. Nevertheless, it closes its nostril valves to spend between 30 minutes and two hours underwater between breaths.

This snake thrives in shallow waters, reef flats, and reef edges up to 32 feet deep. During low tide, it takes shelter under rubble or corals while it hunts for prey. Its favorite meal is eel, but it also feeds on coral reef fish. It uses its snout to poke into sand burrows and hiding spots.

3. Antiguan Racer:

The Antiguan Racer is a harmless, non-venomous snake. It was plentiful in Antigua before its European colonization. When the colonizers brought ships, they also brought rats that feasted on the Antiguan Racer’s eggs.

Meanwhile, people introduced Asian mongooses to the region to control the rat infestation. Little did they know that the mongoose also preyed heavily on Antiguan racers until it became one of the rarest snakes in the world.

By 1995, the remaining specimens only thrived in the small Great Bird Island off the coast of Antigua. Fortunately for the species, conservation efforts have been successful, starting with eradicating rats and captive breeding.

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The Antiguan Racer is one of the many snake species that exhibit different physical and morphological features for males and females. While they grow to a typical length of 3.2 feet, females are usually larger than males.

Males have a dark brown hue with markings that are light and creamy, while females tend to be greyish with pale brown markings. As they become older, their colors become highly variable.

Today, it is mainly spotted in the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda. Probably there are 900 individuals existing presently all over the world. This snake prefers eating lizards. While it sometimes hunts, it usually stays hidden, waiting to ambush its prey.

4. Alcatrazes Lancehead:

The scientific name of this snake is Bothrops Alcatraz. It belongs to the pit viper family. And amazingly, they have a heat-sensing organ, and they can find their prey through it.

It only lives in the Alcatrazes Islands off the southeastern coast of Brazil. The species is relatively plentiful on Alcatrazes, but it has garnered a vulnerable status due to its small habitat range of 1.35 square kilometers.

At some point in its history, the island even became a target practice area for the local navy. In 2016, it became one of the 30 most critically endangered pit viper species.

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The Alcatrazes Lancehead is quite small, growing to a length of only 20 inches. Scientists attribute their small size to the low nutritional value of available prey.

Due to their isolation from the mainland, rodents, which is their primary food supply, dwindled. As a result of this, they grew smaller in size because they could only feed on insects and arthropods.

5. Darevsky’s Viper:

Vipera darevskii, or Darevsky’s Viper as it is more commonly called, is one of the most venomous snakes in northwestern Armenia and northeastern Turkey. It is a critically endangered species.

When last counted, there were only 500 individuals left on the earth. They are generally found in mountainous regions and at high altitudes.

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Darevsky’s viper is even smaller than the Alcatrazes Lancehead. The largest recorded female was 16.6 inches long, and the largest male was 10.2 inches. The species also demonstrate sexual dimorphism, and the females are larger than the males.

This snake requires certain climate conditions to thrive. It has to maintain an optimal body temperature of 79 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and prefer damp hiding spots. Residents have been mowing and using these snakes’ natural habitat to pasture cattle.

6. Round Island Boa:

Like the Antiguan Racer, the Round Island boa is a non-venomous snake. Round Island boa is mainly found on the Round Island of Mauritius. Its endangerment is attributed to goat and rabbit grazing, ultimately destroying the snake’s habitat.

Unlike our first five rarest snakes, the Round Island Boa has had an improved conservation status of vulnerable from endangered. The total population in the world at present is 1,000 in an approximate value.

Nowadays, they are also found on the island of Gunner’s Quoin, Ile de la Pas, Flat Island, and mainland Mauritius.

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Round Island boas are generally dark brown in color, and the lower portion of their body is lighter in color with smattering dark spots. They can grow to 59 inches in length, but the males are typically shorter than the females. This snake typically feeds on skinks and geckos.

7. St. Lucia Racer Snake:

The Saint Lucia racer is a small, harmless snake confined to Maria Major, a small island almost 900 yards from Saint Lucia. It is now the rarest snake in the world.

Saint Lucia racers have become dangerously extinct, as only 18 snakes exist in the whole world. Like the Antiguan Racer, the Saint Lucia racer has dwindled in numbers due to the introduction of Asian mongooses into their habitat.

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Due to its variable coloration, the Saint Lucia racer is also known as the ornate ground snake. It can grow up to 48 inches, feeding on small rodents and lizards.

8. Orlov’s Viper:

Vipera orlovi, or Orlov’s Viper, is a venomous snake endemic to the Black Sea region of Russia. It is now declared critically endangered, and only 250 individuals still exist. Like the Alcatrazes Lancehead, the Orlov’s Viper is now one of the 30 most endangered species of vipers.

One of the reasons for this species’ high conservation status is hybridization resulting from the expansion of human habitation.

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Orlov’s Vipers reside in shrubland, grassland, and forest habitats at altitudes between 660 and 3,120 feet. While it exhibits little dietary discretion, this snake can grow to a length of 25 inches. They are found in various dark color combinations, with a zigzag pattern on their dorsal surface.

9. Santa Catalina Island Rattlesnake:

The Crotalus Catalinensis is a generally nocturnal pit viper species. This type of rattlesnake is endemic to the island of St. Catalina in the Gulf of California. It is now a critically endangered species, and now they are very rarely seen.

Typical threats include specimen collection and the insertion of domestic cats into their habitat.

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This rattlesnake’s most distinctive attribute is that it lacks the rattling sound prominent to many rattlesnakes. They are very small in size, usually growing only to 29 inches.

10. Wagner’s Viper:

Also known as the Ocellate Mountain viper, a Wagner’s Viper is a venomous snake species. The scientific name of this viper snake is Vipera Wagneri. Northwest Iran and Eastern Turkey is the main native place of this snake. They always prefer rocky and slightly grassy areas.

This snake’s conservation status was raised from endangered to critically endangered in 2009 because of collection and exploitation through pet trade practices. In addition, the planned construction of a dam threatens its natural habitat.

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A Wagner’s Viper can grow up to 37 inches. It has a relatively large, elongated head that is well-defined along the neckline. This snake’s dorsal surface is grayish, with dark blotches and spots that run from head to tail.

Why Learn About the Rarest Snakes?

If you’re looking for a reptile to raise as a pet, be sure it’s not one of the rarest snakes. These animals are better left off in the wild to propagate or given to authorities for conservation.

Remember, snakes are very important for maintaining a high level of biodiversity, especially in their natural habitat. They comprise a crucial proportion of mid-tier predators that safeguard the biological processes of ecosystems.