How Do Snakes Communicate With Each Other?

Different animals have different ways of communicating with each other. Most snakes are usually solitary animals that interact with each other on special occasions like mating and brumation. If you have snakes as pets, you are probably wondering how they communicate, and there are different ways a snake will communicate with another snake.

So, how do snakes communicate with each other? Snakes communicate with each other through various means, such as unique body movements and pheromones; however, they do not have an extensive communication system because of their solitary life. They prefer to live and hunt alone until breeding or brumation time. Snakes interact with each other during rare occasions such as breeding. A snake will use different modes of communication to find a breeding partner or defend its territory.

The hissing sounds your snake pet produces is not one of the ways it communicates with other snakes. A snake will use different modes of communication when it is interacting with another snake. Read on to find out more about how snakes communicate, if a snake can be friends with other snakes, and how sea snakes communicate.

How Snakes Communicate

Most snakes prefer to live alone, but they still need to pass a message to another snake whenever necessary. Their ways of communicating are very effective, and other snakes can never miss the message.

Most people think that snakes communicate with each other by producing hissing sounds. However, several studies suggest that a snake cannot hear another snake’s hissing sound. The most common method of communicating between snakes is the production of pheromones.

Pheromones are species-specific chemicals that snakes use to communicate with each other. Therefore, a rattlesnake will not respond to pheromones produced by a king cobra. Also, a snake of similar species will know if the other snake of the same species that left the pheromones is male or female.

Pheromones are important in female snakes, as it helps in communicating with male snakes that they are ready for mating. The male snakes will pick up the trail and track down the sexually receptive female snake.

A snake detects the pheromones through the vomeronasal system, also known as the Jacobson’s organ. The Jacobson’s organ is located in the roof of the mouth. By hissing, the snake will use its tongue to detect pheromones in its environment and send signals to the Jacobson’s organ.

Therefore, when your pet snake moves its head around while darting its tongue in and out, it is searching for pheromones. The tongue will pick all the particles in the air, and the Jacobson’s organ will send signals to the brain, and the snake will react appropriately.

Snakes also communicate through touch. Once the male snake locates the female snake releasing the pheromones, it will use touch to communicate that it is interested in mating. Some male snakes will bump into the female snake until it accepts to mate.

If two males find one female species, they will use touch to communicate. The male snakes will use the bodies to wrestle, and the weaker snake will leave, and the stronger male will mate with the female.

Some snake species will not fight over a female. The male garter snakes are known to gather around a female snake and try to mate. To reduce competition, some male snakes will produce female pheromones to distract the male competitions. This method will fool the male snakes who will try to mate with them and forget about mating with the true female.

If you own garter snakes as pets, the males will gather around the female, forming a ball-like shape, during mating season and try their chances at mating with the female.

When communicating with other animals, snakes use different ways of communication. A snake will hiss to scare or warn another animal not to come near it. Some snakes will stand tall and spread their ribs to make themselves look bigger like the king cobra. Rattlesnakes are known to warn other animals by vibrating their tails and producing a rattling sound.

A snake will also communicate with humans by hissing, biting, or recoiling. Biting is usually the last option. If your pet snake exhibits aggressive behavior, you should avoid interacting with it. Pet snakes usually trust humans and will not attack you. However, if your pet is always aggressive, visit a veterinarian and know what is wrong with your pet.

Can Snakes Be Friends With Each Other?

Many people believe snakes are solitary and cold creatures that prefer to be alone. Some snake species live a solitary life and will only interact with other snakes during the mating seasons. There are ways in which snakes can find friendship to be beneficial.

So, can snakes be friends with each other? Snakes also interact with each other, and research shows that particular snake species will form social bonds like friendship with other snakes. The garter snakes are known to form social bonds when they are kept together. If you keep two or more garter snakes in one habitat, they will become attached over time.

However, snakes do not form social bonds without reason. Their friendship has to be beneficial. For example, snakes can be friends and curl up together to retain heat during cold weather. Garter snakes will communicate with each other, informing them whether it is safe to leave their enclosure. Social bonds also help snakes prevent attacks from predators, since predators will rarely attack a group of snakes.

How Do Sea Snakes Communicate?

Sea snakes are venomous snakes that spend most of their time in the ocean. They obtain their food, small fish, that live among the coral reefs and the bottom of the ocean. Sea snakes are well adapted to live in the ocean, and their ways of communicating are different from land snakes.

So, how do sea snakes communicate? Sea snakes use touch and special sensory organs to communicate with each other. A male sea snake will follow a female sea snake and touch it in its snout to probe if the female sea snake wants to mate. Sea snakes also communicate through vibrations. A sea snake will detect another sea snake’s movements through the vibrations in the water caused by the other sea snake.

Sea snakes also communicate through pheromones. However, their communication system is stronger than their land relatives. When a sea snake releases pheromones in the ocean, it gets diluted by the ocean water. However, a sea snake has a strong Jacobson’s organ that can detect pheromones released by another sea snake in the ocean.

Sea snakes also communicate through sight. Sea snakes can see colors while immersed in water. Sea snakes have unique color patterns that other sea snakes can easily spot while in the ocean. Their ability to color underwater means they can easily spot prey and predators.


Snakes use different ways to communicate with each other. The most common method of communication is releasing pheromones. Snakes can also use touch and body movements to communicate with each other. Communication of sea snakes is a little bit different since they do not use the same methods as land snakes.

Snakes are known to be solitary animals. However, they have to interact with each other at some point. The most social snake species is the garter snakes. They can interact with each other and can live in groups for a long time. If you want to keep pet snakes in one habitat, you should choose the garter snake. They are friendly and are non-venomous.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is an owner of several pets including reptiles, cats and dogs. An avid writer, who loves to share her insights into caring for pets.

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