I am no expert but I have done a lot of research on snakes.
I stand to be corrected if wrong but this has never failed me.
I live in Alabama and we only have four venemous snake species.
Cottonmouth (Water Mossican)
All the above, except the Coral snake, can be identicied, by some people, by ther phyisical caracteristics, Large head, thick, short body, eliptical eyes and the pit (hole) between the eye and nostral.
All this is good except when you cut the snakes head off or you find a snake skin in your home, but I have found another means of identification.
A vinimous snake such as the Rattlesnake, Copperhead, or Cottonmouth can be identified by the underside of their body.
On these Venemous snakes the under belly scales will be the same to the tip of their tail.
Non venemous under belly scales will be broken from the anus to the tip of their tail.
As I stated this can be very assuring if a snake skin is found in or around your home because this scale identification will be on the skin.
I hope this will be helpful to some. and not an encouragement to "play" with a snake
Living in the Sonoran Desert most of my life, the rule with snakes is the same with rocks...most of the rocks can be properly labeled as "Leaverite." This comes from a native folklore telling folks to "leave 'er right there," since this belongs to the ecosystem and even the tiniest critter will bite or sting you for damaging its home. There is also a rule that if it's not bothering you don't bother it. Potential risks get relocated.
We like to leave any snake alone, since they are very beneficial to the whole environment. It is good to know what kind of snake/lizard/critter bit you when you are racing to the ER - this will determine if you need antivenin, or just a tetanous shot and antibiotics.
I still don't understand why people keep snakes and spiders as pets!
__________________ "Aw! Why does everything that only happens to stupid people happens to me?" - Homer J. Simpson