Are There Snakes In Hawaii? Cool Facts On Hawaii Snakes Revealed!

Oluwatosin Michael
Oct 10, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Oct 22, 2021
Black snake on the sand.

Hawaii consists of 137 islands.

These islands are home to approximately 21,383 species consisting of 10,000-10,500 native species, 8,759 endemic species including the most famous Hawaiian monk seal and Hawaiian hoary bat. Only 100-150 species are well known and spotted often.

The rest of them are rare visitors of the Hawaiian islands coming to either rest or give birth. Hawaii is one of the marine and wildlife rich areas but is considered to be a very boring place by most snake lovers.

This is because the island is devoid of snakes. This does not mean the people of Hawaii have never seen snakes in their entire life.

A few boa constrictor sightings and yellow bellied snake sightings have caused quite a stir in this snake's free island. Since there are no predators that prey on this reptile, snakes pose a great threat to the native animal and native bird species in Hawaii.

This will disrupt the ecosystem. Hence snakes have been strictly avoided in Hawaii.

The government has done everything in its power to get rid of the very few snakes that are spotted rarely. To know more about snakes in Hawaii keep reading.

We have curated a bunch of interesting facts along with knowledgeable information for you. Once you have finished this article do check out our other articles on timber rattlesnake facts and are there snakes in Alaska.

Why are there no snakes in Hawaii?

Hawaii is not entirely snake free. Some snake species introduced into the environment accidentally or through the ocean currents are rarely seen. Sightings of the brahminy blind snake, non venomous brown tree snake, and yellow bellied snakes have been recorded so far.

Absence of natural predators: There are no natural predators to hunt snakes. This means if snakes start breeding the snake population will multiply quickly and reach millions in no time. This would be a threat not just to the native bird species but also to humans.

Government: People of Hawaii smuggle snakes into the island to keep them as pets. They eventually lose patience to maintain them and release them into the wild.

Some of these snakes naturally slip into the environment and often eat eggs and birds. This caught the attention of authorities, who decided to make this illegal.

Hawaii's government has gone to great lengths just to ensure that the snake populations do not reach the island.

They have even made it illegal to own a snake. Hawaii's laws regarding snakes on the island are pretty strict.

It is also illegal to import or bring in any type, be it venomous or nonvenomous snakes within the island. If a person is caught in the illegal snake trade business they can be fined up to $200,000 with imprisonment for three years and payment of all costs relating to the capture or eradication of the pest.

Are there sea snakes in Hawaii?

There are no native snakes in Hawaii. However, some species occasionally slip into the island due to the water currents and through transportation vessels.

Hawaii only has one sea snake, the yellow bellied sea snake (Hydrophis platurus). This is not one of the harmless snakes, it is in fact a highly venomous snake.

The yellow bellied snake is named after its bright yellow underparts. The upper parts are dark blue gray, brown, or gray. They prefer freshwater regions and drink the precipitation that is found on the surface of seawater.

This helps them survive dehydration. They can go on without water or with minimal water for as long as seven months.

The victim should immediately seek medical attention if and when bitten by this snake. The side effects can be life threatening. The venom is powerful and can put the victim in a coma or collapse the respiratory system.

Even if the person survives for a long time the chemicals can weaken the muscles and result in kidney failure. Did you know the yellow bellied sea snake is one of the very few snake species that is capable of swimming backward.

Brown snake in nature.

What types of snakes are found in Hawaii?

Like previously said there are no native snake species in Hawaii due to the absence of natural predatory animals.

There are a few introduced snake species that are accidentally released into the environment by the ocean currents, transportation, or illegal pet trade.

Yellow bellied sea snake: The yellow bellied sea snake is the one and only sea snake found in Hawaii. Very rarely there are seen traveling in groups consisting of as many as 100 members. Luckily, these venomous animals don't do well inland areas. So the chances of coming across this snake species are relatively low.

Brown tree snake: The ships coming from Guam are said to have brown tree snakes. Fortunately, there has only been one brown tree snake report since 1994.

This was also captured. The Hawaiian government imported four brown tree snakes just to train dogs in order to detect snakes and attack them if they ever enter Hawaii by any means. They are mildly venomous snakes that prey on birds, eggs, and mammals.

This snake wiped out a majority of the birds in Guam. They are not dangerous to humans but can cause reactions in children and pets.

Boa Constrictor: A 5 ft (30.4 cm) boa constrictor was turned in to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture Boa constrictors are nonvenomous A Kunia, Oahu, farmworker said he saw the snake near bushes along Kunia Road not dangerous to humans. A two and a half foot rainbow boa constrictor was also reported in 2013.

Brahminy blind snake: Brahminy blind snakes, also know as Island Blind Snake, and the Hawaiian Blind Snake is very small. It looks like an earthworm.

These snakes are neither dangerous to humans nor to pets. They only feed on ants and termites. This small snake is 6 in (15 cm) long and is often spotted under nests, hummus, logs, and leaves.

What states have no snakes?

We all know that snakes are cold-blooded animals that are not capable of producing their own body heat when the temperature falls. This has made their presence rare in extremely cold regions.

As relieving as it sounds only a few places are snake free. All other places in the world are filled with snakes. States like Ireland new Zealand have no snakes due to the climatic conditions. Other islands like Iceland and Greenland are also devoid of snakes.

Fun fact: You have probably heard bout St Patrick's Day. Saint Patrick was a bishop born in Britain. This Britain born bishop strongly believed that snakes were a symbol of evilness.

So he drove them all out in the 5th century while he was converting the people of Ireland from paganism to Christianity. He drove them all to a mountain where he had starved for 40 days and pushed them all into the sea. This is of course a myth.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Are There Snakes In Hawaii? Cool Facts On Hawaii Snakes Revealed!

then why not take a look at Are Ringneck Snakes Poisonous? Cool Snakes World Facts For Kids, or Are Salamanders Poisonous? Know The Truth About This Amphibian facts pages?

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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