The 3 fastest moving snakes in the world!

It is hard to believe a reptile with no arms or legs can reach high speeds.

10mph seems unattainable for a snake, but speed is required for certain species as part of their survival.

A snake uses the scales on the underbelly to propel themselves across the ground.

So, let’s get into the list!

Sidewinder (18mph) 

(Crotalus cerastes)

The unofficial fastest snake on the planet is the sidewinder snake, a venomous pit viper snake which has does not travel using the same motion as other snakes. They create carves in an “S” shape body position and use the small wall of the sand to press against, then using an explosive power to push off and repeat.

This extortionary snake can achieve really high speeds and YouTube videos show these snakes can even get to 18mph.

sidewinders live in desert areas, the way in which they move is an adaptation to aid movement in the sand.

Another strange fact about these snakes are the horns which are located on the top of the head, these are to prevent sand going into the snake’s eyes whilst submerged in the sand.

Black Mamba (12mph)

(Dendroaspis polylepis

Often regarded as the fastest snake, getting to speeds of up to 12mph, the mamba is actually second in the fast snake catergory.

The black mamba snake lives in Africa and uses its speed to catch prey and inject their highly toxic venom.

Black mambas are not a small snake growing to sizes of just over 12ft in length. Their slender body allows for their speed and keeps them agile.

This species has an apex combination of speed, venom and regarded as having an aggressive attitude, which makes for a great predator.

The black mamba is the snake which is reasonable for the most human fatalities in Africa.  

A mamba will avoid confrontation with humans but if they are back into a corner, they are not strike shy.

So why is a snake that is not black called a “Black mamba”?

The “black” part of their name does not attribute to their skin colour, it in fact is the mouth of the snake, it is jet black and where they got the name from.

Southern Black Racer (10mph)

(Coluber constrictor priapus)

The southern black racer snake is non-venomous snake which uses its speed to ambush their prey.

This snake is found in the united states, covering most urban areas of Florida.

Black racers are often found within the grasslands and rock hills, this is where they have the highest chances of finding & catching prey. Since the southern black racer is not venomous it kills prey by constriction with their body.

Growing up to 6ft in length, the racer is far from a big snake, and being a light bodied snake allows them to reach speeds of up to 10 miles per hour for short durations.

They do not just get the name “racer” for their inland speed. A southern black racer is also an excellent swimmer and can reach serious speed in water. The snake is believed to be even faster in water, but it is yet to be confirm how fast they go.

This species is not deemed to be under threat of extinction, though the main cause is death and reducing population are humans. Either accidently being hit with cars or being mistakenly perceived as a venomous snake and killed.


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