Snake Tattoo Designs are some of the most popular men’s tattoos because of their versatility. They can be adapted to fit any part of your body, from your chest to your fingers, and the wide variety of designs means they suit every guy’s style. From pit vipers to cobras, vipers, pythons, boas, and more, there are countless snake tattoo designs to explore
To give you a deadly dose of inspiration and ideas, check out this collection of 199 best snake tattoo designs. From realistic serpents to folklore, traditional ink, and abstract artwork, there’s plenty of tattoo designs to liven up your next piece.
1. Traditional Tribal Snake Tattoo
Tattoos are traditional in many different cultures, including African and Polynesian. These designs are inspired by the natural world – including plants and animals – and use black ink and solid lines to create intricate patterns. A snake is a particularly striking option for a traditional tribal tattoo because the reptile’s long, curved body is immediately recognizable, and can be adapted to suit many different placements.
2. Medusa Tattoo
I really enjoy how Medusa snake tattoos can slither in different directions. From realistic snake tattoo to more classical Greco-Roman style body art, the evil Gorgon sister can be portrayed in many interesting styles.
3. Snake Tattoo on Hand
One of the coolest and most badass tattoo options is on hand, which makes them perfect for guys who want an intimidating and masculine snake tattoo.
4. Coral Snake Tattoo
In nature, this pattern acts as a warning sign as coral snakes have the second most deadly venom in the world. As a tattoo, a coral snake can be used to represent danger.
5. Ouroboros Tattoo
The ouroboros is an interesting design that symbolizes infinity, regeneration, and the interconnected nature of the universe.
6. Snake and Rose Tattoo
A snake and a rose tattoo not only look badass but is also symbolic. Roses are a very traditional and universally popular tattoo design because of their association with love; when combined with a snake, the meaning changes to one of romantic temptation and overwhelming passion. A Gothic or traditional art style would pair well with the snake-and-rose design.
7. Rattlesnake Tattoos
Rattlesnakes don’t need to warn off predators with their markings, the sound of their tail does the job just fine. They are commonly found in the Americas, and some Native American tribes associate them with violence and acts of revenge.
8. Don’t Tread on Me Tattoos
Chances are you’ve seen the yellow Gadsden flag with a black snake on it, especially recently when it’s been questionably waved about during a period of political, social, and racial unrest in the USA.
The flag dates back to Christopher Gadsden, an American statesman and general, and has made it’s way into snake tattoos.
9. Kingsnake Tattoos
Unlike the other snakes we’ve discussed so far, kingsnakes are non-venomous. There are forty-five subspecies of kingsnake, and many of these have vibrant patterns similar to the coral snake.
10. Rod of Asclepius Symbol Tattoo
The above thigh tattoo showing the Rod of the Asclepius symbol is a great choice if you’re on the hunt for a design that looks aesthetically and symbolically remarkable. This symbol dates back to Ancient Egypt. Today, it’s the prime representation as a symbol of many medical associations.
11. Small Snake Tattoo
A small snake tattoo is an excellent option if you are looking for a minimal or discreet tattoo. The small size makes it ideal for a placement like on your finger, hand, or behind your ear. The general rule when choosing a smaller tattoo is to opt for black ink and a simplified design, to help the inking stand out more and make it easier to touch up.
12. ‘Join, or Die’ Tattoos
This fierce snake cartoon originally called on the American colonists to join together against the French. Later, it became a rallying cry for the colonies to join together against the tyranny of the British.
Each piece of the broken snake was created to represent each colony joining forces against enemies both domestic and foreign.
13. Japanese Snake Tattoos
The mamushi (Japanese pit viper) is the most venomous snake in Japan and often forms the basis for a Japanese snake tattoo.
14. Simple Snake Tattoo
One of the main strengths of snake tattoos is their versatility. While they look great paired with a particular art style, like Japanese irezumi, simple snake tattoos are equally striking. If your style leans more to the minimal side, or you would prefer an inking that takes less time to apply, try a simple snake tattoo.
15. Rattlesnake Tattoo
Rattlesnake tattoos are cutting-edge ink wonders and a staple of custom snake tattoo design and tattoo flash. Rebirth and transformation are two key concepts that are celebrated by rattlesnake ink. Because of their ritualistic skin shedding, these animals are considered symbols of immortality, rebirth, and resurrection.
16. Celtic Snake Tattoo
Knot tattoos are a very common choice for Celtic tattoo designs, so it makes sense that the snake would also be a popular animal for this style. The Irish Celts believed the snake to be a symbol for healing, wisdom, and rebirth due to the shedding of its skin.
17. Snake Head Tattoo
One of the coolest and most badass tattoo options is a snakehead, which makes them perfect for guys who want an intimidating and masculine snake tattoo. These designs show off the dangerous predator side of a snake by focusing on the fangs and venom. Snakehead tattoos have a lot of energy and movement and seem to jump off your skin.
18. Cobra Tattoo Art
There aren’t many snake tattoos more impactful than a cobra design, with many versions of this snake laden with symbolic meaning.
Cobras can cleverly wrap around an arm tattoo for daring 3D body art, or nestled into a veiled and coiled snake. Of course, their most iconic pose is the fearsome upright position with flared neck and bared fangs ready for snakebite.
19. Snake and Skull Tattoo
A snake and skull tattoo has a Gothic appeal and is ideal if you want an inking that stands out. It also has different meanings. While some might interpret a snake-and-skull design as symbolizing death or poison, the design also represents the endless cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Traditionally, a snake in the eye of a skull can also symbolize knowledge.
20. American Traditional Snake Tattoo
A snake tattoo idea is often viewed through a mixed lens thanks to the role they play in many religious texts, particularly the role of evil and temptation in the Christian creation story.
Snakes are well-known for their ability to shed their skin and begin anew, and they’ve been revered as creatures of rebirth and healing in different cultures including among Native American tribes.
21. Feathered Serpent Tattoos (Quetzalcoatl)
Over in Central America, ancient Mesoamerican cultures such as the Mayans, Olmecs, and Aztecs would worship a deity known as Quetzalcoatl.
Literally translating to the feathered snake, this divine ruler was said to have traveled across the land and founded cities and kingdoms.
22. Caduceus Symbol Tattoo
The Caduceus symbol is mostly wrongfully associated with medicine. Whereas, in reality, it is the symbol of trade and commerce. Unlike the Rod of Asclepius symbol, this symbol is associated with the unification of opposites.
The Caduceus symbol is depicted with two snakes and a pair of wings. These elements symbolize an intent to serve others in a higher capacity. The symbolism of the wings is straightforwardly meant to show higher thoughts, the higher mind, and above all high integrity. In essence, the representation of the symbol also includes a connection between heaven and earth, better communication, power, a focus between duality, and unification.
23. Snake Skeleton Tattoo
Skeletons make for a cool and unusual twist on an animal tattoo. So if you are looking for a unique snake tattoo, why not try a skeleton? Look for an artist who specializes in anatomical designs, as a snake skeleton is more complex to create than other snake tattoos. Snake skeleton tattoos look great wrapped around your arm, shoulder, or bicep.
24. Jörmungandr Tattoos
In Norse mythology, Jörmungandr (also known as the world serpent) is a gigantic sea serpent who was thrown into the ocean by Odin and grew to such a size that it was able to surround the entire Earth and bite its own tail.
25. Snake Arm Tattoo Design
In contemporary Western ink, an arm tattoo featuring the snake symbolizes betrayal, mistrust, and suspicion, and can demonstrate evil when combined in a traditional tattoo with more positive themes to represent duality.
Older religions saw snake symbolism as a link to regeneration, desire, and fertility, and is popular across a range of styles, including realistic snake tattoos or designs featuring a close-up, detailed snake eye.
26. Gucci Snake Tattoo
The scarlet kingsnake is one of the many animal logos used by Italian fashion house Gucci. The iconic red, black, and white snake not only looks cool, with its vibrant colors and semi-coiled pose, but it also has an interesting meaning. Scarlet kingsnakes are non-confrontational and prefer to be left alone.
They are also non-venomous, meaning their bite isn’t toxic to humans. As a result, a scarlet kingsnake tattoo is an excellent choice for someone who has an introverted and peaceful personality, rather than a dominant or aggressive side.
27. Cute & Subtle Snake Tattoo
Those that don’t like to delve too much into the historical and religious symbolism of snakes, straightforwardly think of them as animals that kill. Their natural meaning, to many, might be the reason to get a snake tattoo in the first place. The above image is of a cute little snake. Yet, we all know about every snake’s venomous powers. The cool thing about such tattoo designs is that you can place them on most body parts. Also, they’re simpler, cheaper, quicker, and less painful than most other designs.
28. Snake Eating Itself Tattoo
The ancient symbol of the snake eating itself is called ouroboros. The mystical image dates back thousands of years and represents the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. It also symbolizes infinity and unity. For those who want a spiritual or historical snake tattoo, the ouroboros is an excellent choice. It suits many different placements, including your forearm, chest, or back, and is bound to start a conversation.
29. Tribal Snake Tattoos
Tribal black snake tribal ink can be complex and interesting if the designs are crafted with care and precision by a talented tattoo artist.
The serpentine figure has been a notoriously sexy symbol throughout history, conjuring up symbolic meaning from the garden of Eden and beyond for centuries.
30. Snake Tattoos with Flowers
Flowers are usually incorporated into tattoos to add an extra flourish to a design and some variety to the colors. Specific types of flowers can also hold their own significance, with associations to different occasions and events.
31. Two-Headed Snake Tattoo
What’s better than one snake? Two! A two-headed snake makes for a fresh and badass tattoo with an interesting meaning. The two snakes represent an internal battle – two opposing parts of your personality that need to unite, such as your aggressive side and your peaceful side. A two-headed snake can also represent having two ‘paths’ in life and making difficult choices.
32. Snake and Dagger Tattoo Art
The snake-and-dagger symbol carries multiple meanings in ink culture, and its tattoo likeness will no doubt elicit equal parts fear and awe from those who glimpse upon the viper curled around a blade or with it driven through its skull.
33. Infinity Snake Tattoos
An evolution of the ouroboros symbol, infinity snake tattoos also represent eternity. The infinity sign, which looks like a sideways number 8, is hugely popular with tattoos in general but fits perfectly with a snake motif and the idea of rebirth and renewal.
34. Medusa Tattoo Forearm Of Women
Medusa is one of the most popular mythological creatures and is familiar especially to the people who read Percy Jackson. She was cursed and had snakes on her head, which would turn anyone who’d face them into the stone. The petrifying power of the cursed Medusa served as an amazing inspiration for a Snake-themed tattoo. What do you think?
35. Black Mamba Snake Tattoo
One of the most dangerous and venomous snakes on Earth, the Black Mamba, is native to Africa and known for its incredible speed and agility. It is also known to be very aggressive when threatened, despite its harmless appearance. As a result, a Black Mamba tattoo is an excellent choice for guys who can relate to the snake’s qualities. Basketball fans could also consider this tattoo as a tribute to Kobe Bryant, whose nickname was Black Mamba.
36. Snake Skeleton Tattoos
The snake may shed its skin over a lifetime, but its bones remain long after it has departed this existence.
In cultures around the world, the snake skeleton is a powerful and much-prized treasure, and while modern Western inhabitants generally prefer it for decorative purposes, occasionally the serpentine vertebrae wind its way into unforgettable tattoo art.
37. Eagle Fighting Snake Tattoos
Tattoos that depict a snake fighting an eagle or similar bird of prey are known as Battle Royale tattoos. As popularized by the 2000 film and the recent video game genre, this is a term that refers to a fight where there can be only one victor.
38. Devil Cupid With Snake Tattoo
If you’re combining some gothic elements into your tattoo then this gothic Cupid surrounded by a snake, while being tattooed himself can be a great tattoo representation for a gothic sleeve tattoo, but we believe it can be comfortable anywhere. You can also use this idea if you’re making the Apple of Eden-themed tattoo. The cupid has a trident and looks a little malicious. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but a good idea for gothic tats.
39. Snake Eye Tattoo
A unique snake tattoo option is a snake eye. Similar to a dragon eye tattoo, the inking stands out due to its intimidating and reptilian appearance. Your artist can use saturated yellow or green ink to create a bold tattoo that is true to life while adding white ink details and black shadow to create the illusion of depth. Make sure there are scales around the eye to add to the snake effect.
40. 3D Snake Tattoos
A 3D tattoo of a snake would stop some people in their tracks. It is a very striking image because the snake has always been associated with danger or evil. A man who wears a snake tattoo definitely has more to tell.
41. Panther & Snake Tattoos
The panther and the snake seem to be natural enemies in tattoos. Most snake and panther tattoos show them engaged in battle, with the snake twisted around the big cat’s body or in between its ferocious jaws.
42. Abstract Snake Tattoo
This may not be interesting to everyone, but it’s an ink tattoo with a lot of deep meaning and abstraction. One hand is being extended as if it’s offering help to the other hand, which has a snake intertwined around its fingers and wrist. This can symbolize fake or toxic friendship or love. Additionally, it can also signify that not everyone is as friendly as they appear to be. Leave it down to your imagination.
43. Snake Wrapped Around Arm Tattoo
One of the best snake tattoo options is a wrap-around design on your arm. The slim, curved bodies of snakes make them ideal for placements on muscular parts of your body, like your bicep. The design could wrap around one section of your arm or even create a semi-sleeve effect, running from your wrist up to your shoulder.
45. Snake Shoulder and Chest Tattoos
46. Sword & Snake Tattoos
A lot of snake tattoos include a sword or dagger in the design. The reason for this? Well, mostly it’s just because it’s an interesting motif that looks great and plays into the theme of danger that a snake tattoo represents.
47. Floral Cobra
Cobras are some of the most popular snakes to make a tattoo of, and they are present in various cultures and tales. This particular cobra is surrounded by a floral pattern, which makes it a perfect design for girls who want to showcase their delicate side and that not everything is as vicious as it appears to be. Snakes can also be seen as misunderstood creatures, and maybe this tattoo is trying to convey that.
48. Snake Thigh Tattoo
For guys who want a larger tattoo that can be covered easily, a thigh inking is an excellent choice. Plus, your thigh is one of the least painful places to get a tattoo, so your extra time under the needle will be more bearable. Choose a design with more curved lines, as it will work around the muscle without warping. Some possible options are a realistic 3D snake or an intimidating design like a striking cobra.
49. Black and Gray Snake Tattoo
50. Uraeus Egyptian Snake Tattoos
Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and symbols are frequently used in tattoo art. The Uraeus is a symbol associated with the early Egyptian serpent goddess, Wadjet. Representing royalty and divine authority, the Uraeus is a cobra in an upright pose – sometimes with a sun disc and large horns atop its head.
51. Side Snake Tattoo
Side tattoos are great if you’re planning a larger print. This tiny black snake surrounds a couple of roses that are deeply imprinted into the tattoo design. The snake shows great attention to detail, and this idea can be conveyed in different designs. The snake could likely be made smaller if you want to put it in multiple positions, as well as the flowers.
52. Snake Leg Tattoo
Leg tattoos have become very popular in recent years and snakes are a great option if you want to embrace the trend. The shape of a snake means it can be adapted to fit your leg without warping over the muscles. For a unique result, combine your snake tattoo with a circular design on your knee, such as an evil eye. Alternatively, a wrapped snake design also looks very striking.
53. Snake Tattoos in Pop Culture
The snake isn’t just a popular symbol in ancient art and mythology – it’s appeared in countless forms throughout modern literature, movies, TV, and fashion. Let’s take a look at some of the most iconic snake tattoo ideas in the zeitgeist.
54. Half-Sleeve Snake Tattoo
This half-sleeve snake design is going to blow you off, and it surprisingly resembles the Midgard Serpent from Nordic mythology. The design simply looks majestic, and as you can see, represents an entire drawing print, with a giant snake located in the castle. There are no colors, but everything looks quite detailed and perfectly illustrates the scales and patterns of the snake, as well as the colossal fangs.
55. Snake Wrist Tattoo
Your wrist is a great place for a snake tattoo. There are many different options to choose from, including a wrapped design or a small, simple coiled snake. A wrapped snake creates a subtle ‘cuff’ effect, similar to a banded tattoo. You can also extend your snake wrist tattoo further up your arm to give the inking more impact.
56. Geometric Snake Tattoos
A geometric design can give your tattoo a contemporary edge through minimalist shapes and line-work.
57. Lady With A Snake Tattoo
We called this lady with a snake tattoo design, which doesn’t mean that it’s called this way. The reason we liked it is because it can be used to inspire snake designs with other humans, princesses, witches, women, or dancers. This also looks like a traditional style tattoo, with detailed and vibrant colors and lines. The scales and snake texture is deep and visible enough. This tattoo could take a longer time to make, but it’s more than worth it.
58. Snake Ankle Tattoo
Ankle tattoos are an excellent option if you want a snake tattoo that you can easily hide under trousers or socks. You have plenty of design choices too; an ouroboros would look cool as a circle around your ankle bone, or you could go for a wrapped or coiled snake. Alternatively, a snake inking that starts on your foot could be extended up to your ankle for a more detailed and complex final result.
59. Watercolor Snake Tattoo
As the name implies, watercolor tattoos work best when there are many colors involved in the design. Snakes are naturally vibrant animals, making them a good choice for a watercolor-style tattoo.
60. Realistic Snake Tattoo
Guys who want a serpent inking that stands out from the crowd should consider a realistic snake tattoo. Your artist will create a lifelike 3D tattoo design using shading techniques. Because a realistic tattoo has more detail than simpler designs, it’s best to choose a larger placement, such as your chest, leg, or back. Add saturated color for an even more eye-catching and realistic result.
61. Snake From The Black Hole
The abstract designs never end. We have difficulties deciphering this one, but it looks quite interesting and rather detailed and majestic. The giant snake looks as if it’s coming out of a sky, a portal to be precise, or even a colossal black hole. It has large fangs and it looks like it’s up to something vicious. The scales are also realistically represented, while its body was shaped to the finest details. You can also combine the snake with other symbols and tattoos, but this one seems to fit into a more gothic pattern.
62. New School Snake Tattoos
Originating in the 1970s, New School tattooing is a style with exaggerated, almost cartoonish, subjects and heavy use of color.
63. Snake In Attack Tattoo
Whether this snake looks happy, or just hungry, you’ll have to decide. What’s for sure is that it’s ready to attack, arching its majestic and flexible body into an attack of its prey. The snake was tattooed to the finest details, with special emphasis on its eyes, scales, and bodily shape. It looks thin and slim, which means it’d look great regardless of the body position that you choose.
64. White-ink Snake Tattoos
White ink tattoos are a great option for dark skin tones or for creating a subtle design on lighter skin.
65. 13 Face Tattoo
If you’ve been wondering where on your face could be the best spot for your innovative snake tattoo, this side face tattoo of an angry snake in attack could serve as an inspiration. The snake is ready to attack, it has opened its mouth and sharpened its fangs towards the prey. This ink tattoo is more appropriate for darker styles, but it’s still inspirational for other snake designs.
66. Cute Snake Tattoos
Snakes don’t have to be the scary creature that some people see them as! While a fearsome snake tattoo can look great, so can a cute snake tattoo.
67. Red Snake Tattoos
Red is a color often seen on a snake’s markings, so it becomes a good choice of ink for your tattoo. There are lots of different ways to work red into your tattoo design, from a realistic snake with red and black stripes to a simple snake tattoo that only uses red ink.
Which Gender Prefers The Snake Tattoo More?
We believe that there are no gender classifications when it comes to making a tattoo of a snake. It’s equally suitable for both men and women who’d like to resonate with the design of a snake tattoo. As we listed earlier, snakes are associated with a large specter of symbolism, so there’s no limit to getting a snake tattoo in regards to gender.
While men statistically prefer snake tattoos more, there are also a lot of women who make them symbolize a situation or emotion that they hold.
Snake Tattoo Meanings
The snake has so many potential meanings that it would be almost impossible to cover them all, so let’s cover the main interpretations.
The first and most obvious meaning of a snake tattoo is change or rebirth.
Similar to how a butterfly tattoo can represent a change in one’s life, so too can a snake tattoo, as snakes shed their skin when they outgrow it.
In the west, snakes often have negative connotations due to their deadly nature and their links to evil in the Bible.
Because of this, snake tattoos are often a sign of a rebellious nature and are particularly popular in punk and metal subcultures.
Snake tattoos have also been popular among bikers since the 1940s as a sign of their dangerous lifestyle on the road.
Snakes aren’t always seen in a negative light.
In Hinduism, snakes often represent freedom as they are difficult to tame.
What is the meaning of a snake and rose tattoo?
A snake and rose tattoo represent the ultimate temptation and loss of innocence and purity.
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