How Many Species of Snakes Are There?

There are 3,458 known species of snakes as of February 2014, according to The Reptile Database. This number changes periodically as new snakes are observed and some groups are reclassified.

A species is traditionally defined as a group of animals that are capable of reproducing with each other, bearing fertile offspring and sharing genetic information. In the contemporary scientific community, there is a shift to defining a species through evolutionary criteria. This leads to many animals, including snakes, being reclassified and creates disputes on which exact groups constitute a species. There are snake species on every continent except Antarctica. The islands of Ireland, Iceland and New Zealand are also free of snakes.