Types Of Snakes In Texas

The adage “everything’s larger in Texas” is a well-known one. Since Texas has the most diversity of snakes of any state, the term also refers to the total number of snakes in the state.

This is owing to Texas’ enormous size as well as the fact that it offers a variety of environments, from the arid desert to the coastal waters, which make it the perfect home for anything from water snakes to rattlesnakes to harmless garter snakes.

There are 96 distinct species and subspecies of snakes that may be found in Texas. We’ll start with common, non-poisonous snakes, then move on to aquatic snakes, and finally, we’ll discuss venomous snakes that may be found throughout the state. You’ll be able to identify several of the most prevalent and harmful snakes in the Lonestar State by the time you reach the end of this essay.

Common Snakes Found In Texas

Texas is home to a large number of non-venomous snakes. We estimate that there are 82 different species of non-venomous snakes in the state.

Most are friendly and would stay away from any conflict with anyone. However, they may still bite if attacked or trapped. Let’s look at some of the snakes you could see more frequently. They range in size from a little over a foot to as long as 8 feet, and they are all non-venomous.

Western Ratsnake

The most prevalent species of snake in Texas is the Western Ratsnake. It is a kind of swift non-venomous animal.

The ability of Western Ratsnakes to climb trees comes naturally to them. Without the assistance of branches, they may climb a tree on the tree trunk. These snakes can swim rather well.

The snake’s adaptability is also demonstrated by the variety of its habitats, which include rocky mountains and wooded areas.

The main vertebrate species that make up the majority of the Western Ratsnake’s diet are rats and juvenile rabbits. They also consume numerous lizards and frogs.

Constriction is a method of predation used by Western Ratsnakes. Before devouring their prey, they compress it until their cardiovascular system is inhibited.

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

There are many different environments where the Western Diamondback rattlesnake may be found, including grasslands, woodlands, plains, scrub, rocky canyons, and deserts.

The most common poisonous snake in Texas is the Western Diamondback rattlesnake. Despite their venom’s high potency, relatively few deaths have been recorded. Anybody who has been bitten has to get help right away.

Cottonmouth Snake

The only poisonous water snakes in North America are cottonmouths! These snakes are regarded as semi-aquatic and have exceptionally powerful swimming abilities. They may prosper both in and out of water.

A lot of different states in America have cottonmouths. The southeastern, southern, and central regions of the country are where you’ll see them most frequently. Specifically, streams, marshes, and swamps are good places to look for these snakes.

Cottonmouths, however, can also be found residing in different environments because they are semiaquatic. For instance, East Texas’s forested areas are home to cottonmouths! They may therefore survive in different regions if necessary even though they prefer damp areas near water.

Texas Garter Snake

A variety of garter snakes include the Texas garter snake. The most prevalent snakes in the nation are garter snakes, which come in a wide variety.

The Texas garter snake resembles other garter snakes in appearance; it is often just one to two feet long and extremely slender. Its body is olive or brown with two delicate yellow lines along the length of it.

The Texas garter snake differs from other garter snakes in that it has a faint red stripe along the length of its body in addition to the two yellow stripes. These snakes only occur along the shore in Texas because they favor areas with moist sandy soil or dense vegetation.

Western Ribbon Snake

The Western Ribbon Snake, which belongs to the genus Garter Snake, may be recognized by its short green body and yellow-white stripes.

Although adults may reach a height of 50 inches, the species is renowned for its diminutive stature.

The Western Ribbon Snake is one of the species in Texas having distinct preying strategies, although being shorter than other species.

When attempting to get frogs to come out of hiding, it will, for instance, plunge its head into repeated mock strikes. As a result, frogs think the snake attacked them.

The Western Ribbon Snake is preyed upon by other species due to its small size. Their main predators are raptors and weasels.

Timber Rattlesnake

Timber rattlesnakes may be found in a range of habitats, such as hilly regions, pine and hardwood woods, agricultural areas, lowland thickets, and higher locations close to bodies of water. The body of a timber rattlesnake ranges in color from brown to yellow to gray, however some can get quite dark.

Green water Snake

The habitat of the Green Water Snake includes bayous, swamps, marshes, and any other type of permanent body of water.

They may be found close to various kinds of water, although they do like areas with dense vegetation and minimal current. They prefer to dwell near water at all times, therefore fish, frogs, and crayfish make up the majority of their food.

East Texas is the specific location for these snakes. They are widespread in Louisiana, coastal South Carolina through Florida, eastern Arkansas, and southern Illinois in addition to Texas.

Green Water Snakes are primarily active at night. They can emit a foul odor when threatened by predators, like the majority of other water snakes, but surprisingly, they don’t often do this like other snakes.

Western Hognose Snake

Although the western hognose snake also like sandy soil, it favors dry sandy soil found in semi-arid regions. Texas has a large amount of desert and semi-desert, and as a result, western hognose snakes may be found there. However, they are less abundant in the eastern half of the state.

Western hognose snakes seldom exceed two feet in length, while females can grow up to three feet long. Their bodies are brown, tan, or olive, and their backs feature darker marking spots. These snakes’ noses are what actually distinguish them.

A Hognose snake may be recognized by its upturned, flat nose. These snakes can easily dig their way into the sand thanks to their snout.

Plain-Bellied Watersnake

It is well known for this species to reside close to water sources. The Plain-bellied Watersnake, an aquatic reptile, is renowned for migrating far from water sources.

Its light-colored belly contrasts with its darker dorsal side to give it its name.

This snake, which prefers marshes and moist forests, regularly consumes fish and amphibians.

During the summer, there is a good chance you may observe this species near water sources. The Plan-bellied Watersnake is aggressive and will bite if given the chance, but without any venom, therefore it is better to avoid handling it.

Western Massasauga Rattlesnake

From the Texas Gulf Coast all the way up to the Texas Panhandle, the Western Massasauga inhabits plains. Western Massasaugas are lighter, with a background colour of light gray or tan-gray and contrasting dark brown markings.

Southern Water Snakes

In lakes, streams, ponds, marshes, or any other body of water, southern water snakes can be found in their natural habitats. Since these snakes are largely aquatic, they usually exclusively consume frogs and fish. Interestingly, despite only hunting at night or after a lot of rain, when they can readily catch frogs, these snakes like to sunbathe.

While Southern Water Snakes, also known as Banded Water Snakes, can be found all over the country (from North Carolina to the Florida Keys, and even strangely in certain parts of Illinois), they are most frequently found in eastern and western Texas.

Milk Snake

The milk snake is a fake that mimics the appearance of a poisonous coral snake. The milk snake, however, is not poisonous. In Texas, there are four different snake species that imitate the Coral snake in an effort to deceive predators.

A foot and a half to two feet long, milk snakes have broad, vivid crimson streaks along the length of their bodies.

You can identify whether a snake is a milk snake or a poisonous coral snake by the color around its bands. If the thin, black bands are found adjacent to the red bands, a milk snake is present. You must be extremely cautious around a coral snake if those narrow bands are yellow.

Texas is home to the four milk snake subspecies from New Mexico, Louisiana, the Central Plains, and Mexico, all of which share a similar look but differ somewhat from one another. The red kingsnake, another non-venomous snake species that resembles a coral snake, and the milk snake have striking visual similarities.

Rough Earthsnake

Huge environments in Southern Texas are home to rough earthsnakes. The snake is renowned for having a small, slender body. In adulthood, it may grow up to 10 inches long.

One of the most prevalent snakes in Texas with a calm disposition even when touched is the rough earthsnake.

Despite having teeth, these snakes don’t bite.

The species is adapted for living underground, as suggested by its name. When other species’ burrows and nests are unavailable, it can still be found in gardens under piles of leaves, rocks, and decorative stones.

Brazos Water Snake

Brazos Water Snakes are exclusively found in the Brazos River System in Central Texas, where they are fully endemic. The rocky places near to the Brazos River are where these unusual snakes choose to reside. These snakes are regarded as a near-threatened species in Texas because they are restricted to a single region.

Compared to other local reptiles, these snakes are not well understood. Although they may readily survive on land near water, they are mostly aquatic snakes. They are usually active throughout the day and feed on fish and frogs.

Bullsnake

One of the biggest non-venomous snakes in the nation is the bullsnake. Some can reach lengths of almost eight feet. The color pattern of a bullsnake is strikingly similar to that of a poisonous diamondback rattlesnake.

Bullsnakes will occasionally wave their tails and attempt to rattle if they are threatened or cornered in order to fool predators into thinking they are the deadly diamondback. Bullsnakes can still bite or act violently, so it’s best to either avoid contact with them totally or approach them carefully.

Bullsnakes are sometimes referred to as “gopher snakes.” They go by both names since they are a subspecies of the gopher snake.

Diamondback Watersnake

Due to its keeled scales, the Diamondback Watersnake is renowned for its rough body. The species has evolved to survive close to water.

Diamondback water snakes consume a variety of fish. These snakes’ adaptations allow them to submerge their heads to seek for fish. They successfully grasp slippery fish thanks to their sharp teeth.

These snakes are visible throughout the daytime on foliage that hangs over various bodies of water. When it sees people, it frequently dives into the water to flee.

The Diamondback Watersnake is quite hostile to humans. It can bite when cornered or handled roughly.

This snake can deliver a painful bite due to its sharp teeth, which were developed for capturing slippery fish. Some people believed the snake to be venomous due to the severe pain of its bite.

Plain-Bellied Water Snake

The Plain-Bellied Water Snake is a native of every southeastern state in the United States, unlike other snakes that only live in a few states. They are among the most prevalent water snakes in Texas and may be found throughout the majority of the state.

These snakes are mostly aquatic species, thus you can always locate them close to sources of permanent water. Most likely, they’ll be close to any lakes, ponds, streams, or other trustworthy bodies of permanent water.

Plain-Bellied Water Snakes are different from other types of common water snakes in that they will leave the water if they feel threatened or when the weather is too hot and muggy.

These snakes, which are aquatic and mostly consume fish and frogs, don’t mind spending time on land and are frequently spotted on the banks of bodies of water rather than in the water.

These snakes usually only become active during the warmer months of the year, and the summer is when they do best. They will be active both during the day and at night on the warmest days!

Yellow-Bellied Racer Snake

A yellow-bellied racer snake is known for having a yellow belly, as you would have guessed from the name. But when they become older, snakes drastically alter their look. They have spots all over their bodies as youngsters (see photo above). When they reach adulthood, their hue changes to an olive green.

These snakes are typically approximately five feet long and extremely slender. They occasionally travel at speeds of 3–4 miles per hour and can be very quick.

Additionally, aggressive yellow-bellied racer snakes will bite. Even though these snakes are not poisonous, it is recommended to exercise caution if you come across a Yellow-Bellied Racer snake because any snake bite can be unpleasant and need medical care.

Concho Water Snake

An additional snake that is entirely indigenous to Texas is the Concho Water Snake. Only in west-central Texas, along the Colorado and Concho river systems, are these snakes to be found. These snakes are regarded as a threatened species because they are only native to this region.

Concho Water Snakes are much like other kind of water snakes. The Colorado and Concho river systems are the only permanent sources of water that they choose to live around.

The daytime hours are when these snakes are most active. Their preferred habitat is on rocks or rocky cliffs that are very close to the water, along swiftly moving water. However, you can also find them in pond vegetation or along the shorelines.

Rattlesnakes in Texas

In Texas, there are more than nine different varieties of rattlesnakes. Although that would give the impression that there is a large chance you will be bitten by a rattlesnake in Texas, there are really just a small number of bites reported each year.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department estimates that each year in the United States, there are about 7000 bites from venomous snakes. Those bites typically result in just 5 fatalities.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that all rattlesnakes produce that recognizable rattle sound with their tails. Stop dead in your tracks if you hear that rattling. Retract gently.

Keep your movements slow and leave the place as soon as you can. The best defense against a rattlesnake bite is to do that. Texas has the following species of rattlesnakes.