what do snakes eat in the wild

What Do Snakes Eat In the Wild?

Snakes are carnivorous, meaning they mostly eat animals as part of their diet. They often prey on smaller creatures, such as lizards, frogs, birds, and small mammals including rodents, voles, and shrews. Depending on the species, they may also feed on insects, eggs, fish, or even other snakes.

Types of Prey

  • Lizards: Snakes are known to pursue fast-moving lizards. This is especially true for arboreal (tree-dwelling) snakes, who main prey is lizards.
  • Frogs: Frogs can provide an excellent source of protein for hungry snakes. Different snake species consume different types of frogs, depending on what is available in the area.
  • Birds: Small to medium-sized birds are targeted by large snakes, such as boas. Snakes are able to move quickly and coil around birds to constrict them.
  • Mammals: Rodents, voles, and shrews are a staple of most snake species. These small mammals are relatively slow-moving and make tasty snacks for hungry snakes.
  • Insects and Eggs: Many snakes also feed on insects and eggs. They may also hunt other invertebrates, such as snails,worms, spiders, and centipedes.
  • Fish: Aquatic snakes consume fish as the main source of their diet. This is especially true for aquatic and semi-aquatic species.
  • Other Snakes: Cannibalism occurs in some snake species, depending on food availability and individual appetite. Large snakes may also feed on smaller snake species.

General Hunting Strategies

When hunting, most snakes use a combination of patience and speed. They will often remain still and hidden until a potential prey is within striking distance. Then, they lash out quickly to capture their target. This method of hunting is known as “ambush predation.”

Snakes may also use the element of surprise to their advantage by curling into a tight coil before pouncing on unsuspecting prey. Some species may also use their mechanics to build crude traps, such as in the case of the egg-eating snake, which will shake its prey until they crack open.


Snakes are carnivorous by nature, and they typically consume animals such as lizards, frogs, birds, and small mammals. Depending on the species, they may also hunt insects and fish, as well as other snakes. A combination of patience and speed is used when hunting, with ambush predation being the most common technique.

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