what eats snakes

Snakes, with their slithering movements and unique features, are fascinating creatures that play an essential ecological role. They occupy various ecosystems and encounter a range of natural predators. Understanding the predators of snakes is crucial to appreciate the delicate balance of nature. Here are the primary natural predators of snakes, as well as some unusual ones:

Natural Predators of Snakes:

  1. Birds of Prey: Raptors such as eagles, hawks, and falcons are skilled snake hunters, using their sharp vision and powerful talons to capture and feed on snakes.
  2. Mammals: Several mammalian predators, including foxes, coyotes, mongooses, and larger species like big cats and bears, prey on snakes.
  3. Reptiles and Amphibians: Various reptiles, such as large lizards (like monitor lizards) and certain amphibians (like herons and water snakes), are known to consume snakes.
  4. Other Snakes: Some snake species are cannibalistic and feed on other snakes, either as a competition for resources or as a natural predator-prey relationship.

Humans as Predators of Snakes:

Unfortunately, humans also play a role as predators of snakes. In some cultures, snakes are hunted for their skin, meat, or traditional medicinal purposes. Habitat destruction and human-induced factors also contribute to the decline of snake populations.

Unusual Snake Predators:

Interestingly, there are unusual predators that occasionally target snakes:

  1. Large Aquatic Predators: Crocodiles and alligators, being powerful predators, may devour snakes that venture into water bodies.
  2. Invertebrates: Certain invertebrates like large spiders and scorpions have been observed capturing and consuming smaller snake species.
  3. Plants: While not direct predators, some carnivorous plants possess adaptations to attract, capture, and digest small snakes as a nutrient source.

Understanding the predators of snakes not only highlights the complex interconnectedness of different species but also underscores the importance of conservation efforts to maintain healthy ecosystems and protect these remarkable reptiles.

Natural Predators of Snakes

Discover the natural predators of snakes in a wild jungle. From birds of prey soaring high above the treetops to stealthy mammals lurking in the shadows, these formidable hunters play a crucial role in balancing the ecosystem. Join us as we dive into the fascinating world of snake predators, exploring their unique hunting techniques and the intricate relationships they share with their slithery prey. Prepare to be amazed by the remarkable diversity of nature’s hunters, including reptiles, amphibians, and even other snakes themselves.

Birds of Prey

Birds of Prey play a crucial role in controlling snake populations as they are natural predators. To illustrate this, I have compiled a table that showcases examples of Birds of Prey that feed on snakes:

Bird of Prey Snake Species Preyed Upon Habitat
Bald Eagle Water snakes, garter snakes Wetlands, rivers, lakes
Red-tailed Hawk Garter snakes, rat snakes, rattlesnakes Forests, grasslands
Cooper’s Hawk Gopher snakes, bull snakes Woodlands, suburban areas
Northern Harrier Marsh snakes, ribbon snakes Marshes, grasslands

These impressive birds possess sharp talons and beaks which enable them to efficiently capture and kill snakes. Their keen eyesight and agility help them locate and ambush their prey from above, making them highly effective at hunting snakes.


Mammals are an integral part of the ecosystem as natural predators of snakes. They have a crucial role in maintaining a balanced environment and regulating snake populations. Here is a comprehensive list of mammals that are known for preying on snakes:

  • Bobcats: These agile predators display exceptional hunting skills, often ambushing snakes in grassy areas.
  • Raccoons: They have been observed capturing and consuming smaller snake species.
  • Coyotes: Although snakes are not their primary prey, coyotes will take the opportunity to feed on them.
  • Foxes: Certain fox species, such as the red fox, have the ability to hunt down and devour snakes.
  • Mongoose: These small carnivorous mammals are renowned for their capability to prey on venomous snakes, including cobras.
  • Badgers: They are opportunistic hunters and will seize the chance to catch and consume snakes, among other prey.

These mammals have developed various strategies to capture and consume snakes, whether through ambushing their targets or handling venomous species with caution.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Reptiles and amphibians, such as King Cobra and Giant Salamander, Rattlesnake and American Bullfrog, and Green Anaconda and Eastern Newt, are natural predators of snakes. They have evolved various techniques, including constriction, venomous bites, and quick strikes, to capture and consume snakes. These predators play a significant role in regulating snake populations and maintaining a balance in the overall biodiversity of their habitats. Here is a table showcasing some examples of reptiles and amphibians that prey on snakes:

Reptiles Amphibians
King Cobra Giant Salamander
Rattlesnake American Bullfrog
Green Anaconda Eastern Newt

Their presence in the ecosystem is vital for regulating snake populations and ensuring the overall biodiversity of their habitats.

Other Snakes

When it comes to snake predators, other snakes, specifically kingsnakes and rat snakes, play a significant role. Snakes are known to exhibit cannibalistic behavior, feeding on their own kind.

  • Common snakes like kingsnakes and rat snakes are known to prey on smaller snake species.
  • Large constrictor snakes like pythons and boas often target smaller snakes as part of their diet.
  • Some venomous snakes, such as king cobras and black mambas, are also known to feed on other snake species.

Humans as Predators of Snakes

Humans as Predators of Snakes - what eats snakes

Photo Credits: Snaketypes.Com by Jesse Martinez

Humans, as one of the major predators of snakes, pose threats to their populations globally.

  • Habitat destruction: Human activities such as deforestation and urbanization lead to the loss of snake habitats.
  • Accidental killings: Snakes are often unintentionally killed by humans while conducting agriculture, construction, or road transportation activities.
  • Hunting and poaching: Some snake species are targeted by humans for their skin, meat, or medicinal purposes.
  • Illegal pet trade: Snakes are captured and sold by humans as exotic pets, leading to their removal from the wild.

To protect snake populations, it is important for humans to:

  • Support conservation organizations and initiatives.
  • Ensure responsible land management practices.
  • Be informed about snakes and their ecological importance.
  • Report illegal activities involving snakes.

Unusual Snake Predators

Unusual Snake Predators - what eats snakes

Photo Credits: Snaketypes.Com by Jordan Thomas

Discover the wild world of snake predators in this fascinating section! From large aquatic predators to invertebrates and even plants, we’ll uncover the unexpected foes that pose a threat to these slithering creatures. Get ready to dive into the striking facts, figures, and events that shed light on the unusual dynamics of snake predation. Get ready for a thrilling adventure through nature’s surprising food chain!

Large Aquatic Predators

Predator Examples
Large Aquatic Predators Water Birds, Fish, Crocodilians, Sea Snakes
Water Birds Heron, Egret, Cormorant
Fish Large predatory fish like Pike, Catfish, and Barracuda
Crocodilians Alligators and Crocodiles
Sea Snakes Marine snakes like Sea Kraits and Sea Snakes

Large Aquatic Predators play a significant role in the natural ecosystem by preying on snakes. They help control the snake population and maintain the balance of the aquatic habitat. Here are some examples of Large Aquatic Predators that feed on snakes: Large Aquatic Predators like Water Birds, Fish, Crocodilians, and Sea Snakes have adapted to their environment and developed specialized hunting techniques to catch and consume snakes in water bodies. Their presence helps maintain the ecological balance and control snake populations in aquatic habitats.


Invertebrates play a vital role as predators of snakes. They possess a diverse range of strategies for capturing and consuming these reptiles. Here is a table presenting some examples:

Invertebrate Predator | Snake Prey

Mantis | Small snakes

Scorpion | Venomous snakes

Spider | Juvenile snakes

Centipede | Snakes of all sizes

Assassin Bug | Young snakes

Fact: Some assassin bugs, like the wheel bug, are known to inject neurotoxic saliva into their snake prey, paralyzing them before consumption.


Plants may seem like an unusual snake predator, but some plant species have developed unique strategies to catch and consume snakes. One example is the pitcher plant, which lures snakes with the smell of nectar and traps them in its pitcher-shaped leaves filled with digestive enzymes. Another example is the Venus flytrap, which snaps shut when a snake triggers its tiny hair-like sensors. Once closed, the flytrap digests the snake for nutrients. While plants are not the typical predators of snakes, their adaptations highlight the incredible diversity of nature’s strategies for survival.

Pro-tip: When encountering plants in snake habitats, be cautious and watchful, as some species may pose a threat to both humans and snakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some animals that eat snakes?

There are several animals that feed on snakes, including wolverines, mongooses, kingsnakes, snake eagles, jaguars, Oriental bay owls, shoebills, opossums, two-toed amphiumas, tiger sharks, Indian mongooses, European hedgehogs, and king cobras.

What is a snake eagle?

A snake eagle is a type of bird of prey that primarily feeds on snakes. It has the ability to decapitate and swallow an entire snake while in flight.

Which animals are known to be cannibalistic and eat other snakes?

Kingsnakes, which are popular as household pets, are known for their cannibalistic behavior. They often kill and eat other snakes, including those of their own species.

Do predators like wolverines attack and eat snakes?

Yes, wolverines are ruthless predators known to attack and eat snakes. They are versatile scavengers and predators, and they are known to take down cobras.

What are some birds that prey on snakes?

Aside from snake eagles, oriental bay owls and shoebills are also birds that prey on snakes. Oriental bay owls are carnivorous birds that feed on snakes, small rodents, bats, birds, frogs, and insects.

Are there any animals that eat snakes and hibernate during winter?

While snakes themselves hibernate during winter, some animals that eat snakes, such as European hedgehogs, also hibernate during the colder months.

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