Universities with a wildlife and ecology or herpetology department, museums, zoos and state and local wildlife agencies often accept pictures of snakes for identification. Many of these institutions also offer online tools and databases to aid individuals in need of snake or reptile identification.
Positive snake identification should be left to an expert herpetologist or wildlife professional. When sending a picture of a snake to an expert include details about the date, time and place of the snake encounter. Snakes are not usually aggressive unless provoked or molested. Most bites in the United States are the result of people attempting to move or harm a snake, so the best course of action when encountering a snake is to leave it alone.