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The Most Common Texas Snakes

Rat Snake

Know Your Snakes Before You Get Close

Texas has its share of snakes and one thing is for sure; all snakes will bite if they feel threatened. Luckily, about half of the snakes in Texas are non aggressive. That’s why it is always good to know which snakes to watch out for, especially when going camping or traveling in wooded areas.

Texas is home to 15 venomous snakes:

  • 1 species of coral snake (Texas Coral Snake)
  • 1 species of water moccasin or cottonmouth (Western Cottonmouth)
  • 3 species of copperheads (Southern, Broadband and Trans-Pecos Copperhead)
  • 10 species of rattlesnakes (Western Diamondback, Timber, Mottled Rock, Banded Rock, Northern Black-Tailed, Mojave, Prairie, Desert Massasauga, Western Massasauga and Western Pygmy Rattlesnakes)

Texas Coral Snake

Texas Coral Snake

Texas Coral Snake
The brightly colored Texas coral snake is the state’s only member of the Elapidae family, which includes the cobras of Asia and Africa. The coral snake is slender with a small indistinct  head and round pupils, and is usually is 2-1/2 feet or shorter. Shy and rarely seen, its distinctive pattern is a broad black ring, a narrow yellow ring and a broad red ring, with the red rings always bordered by the yellow rings. Several harmless snakes are similarly marked, but never with the red and yellow touching.

The old saying “red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black, won’t kill Jack” come in handy as a way to distinguish the highly venomous coral snake from non venomous ringed species. The coral snake has a small mouth, and is usually non-aggressive. Its bites are dangerous, but extremely rare. Coral snakes are found in the southeastern half of  Texas in woodlands, canyons and coastal plains.

Red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black, won’t kill Jack. Words to live by.

The list of nonvenomous snakes includes over 100 species and subspecies. Depending where in Texas you live, you could have all four types of the venomous snakes living in your area (e.g., Southeast Texas has up to 60 nonvenomous snakes).

Texas Brown Snake

Texas Brown Snake

The Texas Brown Snake: (non venomous)

This snake is a combination of light and dark brown and can be seen mostly in Eastern Texas among gardens and trash. They  are not dangerous and can grow as big as 13 inches. The checkered garter snake is found throughout residential areas and on  lawns and flowerbeds in western Texas.