Why Do Snakes Hiss?

Ringneck Snake

Most people are not too comfortable when it comes to snakes. This is because snakes are generally feared and associated with everything bad which is very wrong. Snakes might not be as bad as you think. Some snakes are pretty friendly and harmless.

Due to the fear and lack of understanding of snakes, a lot of people often tend to get afraid when they see a snake hissing. The first thing that comes to most people’s minds is the fact that the snake is probably about to attack them. This is wrong. There are a couple of things you should know when it comes to snakes. We are going to be discussing all these things in the article below.

Why Do Snakes Hiss?

There are a lot of reasons why your pet snake and other snakes hiss. Below are some of the reasons you should consider.

Reason 1: Personality Traits

This is the first and most important reason why your snake might be hissing. There is a pretty good possibility that your snake might be hissing because it is simply part of its personality. All snakes can hiss although it isn’t all snakes that hiss.

If you notice that your pet snake hisses often, you need to put in mind that it is probably hissing because of its personality. Hissing might come naturally to it and it is probably something it loves to do in its leisure time.

Reason 2: Defense Mechanism

This is another good reason why your snake hisses often. It could be that your snake is hissing to protect itself. If you meet a snake in the wild and you find it hissing, there is a pretty good probability the snake perceives you as a treat. There is also a pretty good probability that the snake isn’t too comfortable with you coming too close.

Whenever this happens, the snake will hiss to let your know it doesn’t want you too close. Its hissing is more like a “back off” from the snake. On the other hand, if your pet snake is hissing at home, it might be because of the presence of something that makes it feel threatened.

Reason 3: Your Snake Is Agitated or Angry

If you meet a snake in the wild, there is a pretty good probability that the snake is hissing not just because it isn’t comfortable with your presence, it could also be hissing because it is agitated or angry. Snakes love to be left alone and they often get agitated the moment they are disturbed.

Do not assume this doesn’t apply to pets or domesticated snakes. The same thing applies to them. If you notice your snake hissing whenever you come around, it is a sign that your snake doesn’t want to be disturbed. It might even hiss more when you try to handle it. Give the snake space in scenarios like this.

Reason 4: Your Snake is Digesting its Meal

This is also another reason why your snake might be hissing. There is a pretty large possibility that your snake is hissing because it is trying to digest a relatively large amount of food and it doesn’t want to be disturbed. This often happens when you get close to the snake right after it just had a meal.

You should know that snakes find it hard or impossible to move right after swallowing a large meal. This makes your snake very vulnerable. Since it can not move around, the only thing it can do to make your stay away is to simply hiss as ich as you can.

How Do Snakes Hiss?

Since you have gotten possible reasons why your snake might be hissing, you might be a little curious about how snakes hiss. Ever taken your time to observe a snake and marveled at how they managed to pull this stunt? we are going to be explaining how snakes hiss subsequently.

When it comes to hissing, snakes make use of a respiratory structure called the glottis. This structure is a small opening at the bottom of their mouth and it is what a snake uses to hiss. The glottis is connected to the snake’s lung and also to the windpipe. 

All the snake needs to do whenever it wants to hiss isn’t complicated. The snake should only try to inhale and exhale through the mouth. If it does this with more force, the air will come out from the glottis thereby causing the hissing sound you hear from them all too often. 

One major misconception a lot of people often have is to assume snakes hiss with their tongues. They make this assumption because they often see the snake hissing with their tounges out. You should know that snakes do not use their tongues whenever they try to hiss. The tongues are only used to pick up signals in the environment. 

Another thing you should keep in mind is the fact that snakes do not hiss to communicate with one another. Snakes cannot hear the sound of their fellow Snake hissing as the vibration from hissing is beyond what the snake sensors can pick. The hissing can only be heard by other non-snake animals.

How Do Reptiles Protect Themselves?

There are different methods reptiles use wherever they perceive you as a threat. Below are the different methods animals and the methods they use to protect themselves.

Method 1: Snake Protective Methods

There are a lot of methods available to a snake wherever it is trying to protect itself. There are some snakes that can play dead. When it does, you will actually assume the snake is dead and likely just pass by.

The most common method every snake does for its protective strategy is to run into hiding. Snakes know that it will be difficult for you to find them if they go into hiding.

Apart from going into hiding, they can also hiss or use their tails (This only applies to rattlesnakes) to scare you off. The last thing a snake does is attack.

Method 2: Lizard Protective Strategies

If there is one specie that has a lot of protective strategies, it is the lizard. There are a lot of things lizards can do to protect themselves. These things range from dropping parts of its body such as its tail or nails to a host of other things.

Some lizards hiss whenever they are trying to protect themselves. Some lizards bite although you should know that most animals wouldn’t do this unless there is no other option.

Method 3: Turtles Protective Strategy

There are few things a turtle can do to protect itself whenever it feels threatened. The most obvious thing they can do is to hide in its shell. The turtle shell is known to be very strong and can protect the turtle from a lot of dangers.

It is impossible for sea turtles to hide in their shell. However, they have very sharp senses. These senses allow them to sense danger from a long distance. They swim to safety as these turtles are also really good swimmers.



Snakes hiss for a number of reasons . some snakes hiss because they are angry, there are also some that hiss because they feel threatened. All these possible reasons why sake hiss and more have been discussed above.

Written by Sarah Rivera

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *