Do you know that there are around 100+ different types of snakes in Texas? Including the venomous and non-venomous ones, these creatures are of different sizes. Some of them are even endangered.
This guide will introduce you to the 15 different types of snakes found in Texas. We’ll also provide some basic information about each species, such as their natural habitat, size, and diet. So, keep reading whether you’re a snake enthusiast or just want to be more informed about the critters that call Texas home!
Table of Contents
Types of Snakes in Texas (Non-Venomous)
1. Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus)
The snake’s coloration is what sets it apart from other snakes in Texas. The snake is a beautiful bright green all over its body, with a white chin and a pale green, yellow, or cream-colored belly.
This combination of colors makes it one of the most beautiful snakes in Texas. The snake is found throughout the southeastern United States, from Virginia down to Florida. It is also found in Mexico and along the Gulf of Mexico.
The snake is non-venomous and is not dangerous to humans. However, it is important to be aware of this snake if you are hiking or camping in its natural habitat. If you see one, do not attempt to catch it, as they can bite if they feel threatened. Enjoy watching from a distance and take in the beauty of this amazing creature.
The speckled kingsnake is a fairly average-sized snake species with a maximum length of just over four feet. Although they are not particularly large, they are still considerably longer than many other common snake species, such as garter and milk snakes.
As with all kingsnake species, the speckled kingsnake is a nonvenomous constrictor. These snakes kill their prey by wrapping their bodies around it and suffocating it. Speckled kingsnakes typically eat small mammals such as rodents, but they will also eat other smaller snakes if given the opportunity.
3. Western Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum testaceus)
Known for its speed, the Coachwhip is often called the “Red Racer.” It is a non-venomous snake found throughout West and Central Texas that varies in color but typically has a brownish-red hue. These snakes can grow quite long, with some adults reaching lengths of up to 8 feet.
Given their size and coloring, they are often mistaken for rattlesnakes. However, unlike rattlesnakes, Coachwhips do not have rattle tails. Instead, they have narrow tails that taper to a point.
Venomous Snakes in Texas
1. Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus Atrox)
Found in a wide range of habitats, the Western Diamondback rattlesnake is Texas’s most commonly seen venomous snake. Although their bites are incredibly harmful, few people die from them each year. Bites from a Diamondback can cause severe pain and swelling. If you’re ever bitten by one of these snakes, seek medical attention.
2. Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)
The habitat of the timber rattlesnake varies depending on the region in which it is found. These snakes prefer mountainous areas, forests with both pine and hardwood trees, and agricultural areas. They also commonly inhabit lowland thickets and higher areas near bodies of water.
The timber rattlesnake has a brown-yellowish to the grayish body, but some can be very dark. The snake gets its name from the pattern of coloration on its back, which resembles the pattern of a timberline. This snake species is known for being shy and reclusive and is only aggressive if it feels threatened. If you encounter a timber rattlesnake in the wild, it is best to leave it alone.
3. Western Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus)
Found in prairies from the Texas Gulf Coast to the Texas Panhandle, the Western Massasauga is paler than most other snakes, with a light grey or tan-gray background coloration. Its dark brown markings provide a stark contrast that can be used to identify this snake easily. They typically grow between 2 and 3 feet in length, with some rare individuals reaching 4 feet.
These snakes are venomous, but their bite is rarely fatal to humans unless there is an allergic reaction to the venom. While they will often flee if confronted by a human, they will attack if cornered or threatened. If you encounter a Western Massasauga, it is best to leave it alone and give it plenty of space.
4. Desert Massasauga Rattlesnake (S.c. edwardsii)
These snakes are well-camouflaged in their natural desert habitat with their light colouring. They grow to an average length of about two feet, although some may reach three feet in length. The diet consists mostly of small rodents and lizards.
The Desert Massasauga is a shy snake that will usually try to avoid contact with humans. If threatened, it may coil up and strike, but it is not considered aggressive and will seldom bite unless handled. Bites can be painful but are not usually serious. This snake is found in arid areas of the Southwest and is listed as a threatened species in Arizona and New Mexico.
5. Pygmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius)
Known as the “rattle-less ground rattler,” the pygmy rattlesnake is a small but dangerous snake found throughout East Texas. These snakes vary in color, from black and gray to brown and light pink, but all are capable of delivering a painful bite.
They get their name from their lack of a rattle, which distinguishes them from other species of rattlesnakes. They are shy snakes that prefer to avoid humans, but will strike if they feel threatened.
6. Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
The Mojave rattlesnake is a smaller, slenderer species of snake found only in extreme West Texas. They are similar to the western diamondback in markings and behavior. They are considered to be one of the most dangerous snakes in Texas due to their venomous bite.
The size of an adult Mojave rattlesnake can range from 3 to 4.5 feet in length. Their diet consists primarily of small mammals and birds.
Mojave rattlesnakes are not considered good pets due to their dangerous nature. However, it is legal to own one in Texas with the proper permits. These snakes require a large enclosure and should only be handled by experienced snake owners.
Found in central Texas and extending north to the southern border of Kansas and Oklahoma, the broad-banded copperhead is a sub-species of Copperhead. If they feel threatened, they will not hesitate to bite in self-defense.
The longevity of a broad-banded copperhead is 15 to 20 years. These snakes are not recommended as pets because of their temperament and potential danger to humans. It is legal to own a broad-banded copperhead in Texas.
An adult broad-banded copperhead will typically grow to be 20 to 30 inches long. Their diet consists mostly of small rodents, such as mice and rats.
The solid black coloration of the cottonmouth is the most striking feature of this species. The wide, dark bands running along its body are also quite noticeable. This is a heavy-bodied snake, which averages about 3.5 feet in length.
The adult size of the cottonmouth is 30-48 inches. Its diet consists of small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The cottonmouth is not a good choice for a pet, as it is a venomous snake. It is legal to own this species in Texas.
The habitat of the cottonmouth is quite diverse, as they can be found in swamps, slow waterways, coastal marshes, ponds, and rivers. The name “cottonmouth” comes from the white tissue inside its mouth, which is displayed when the snake feels threatened. Cottonmouths are found over the central and eastern half of Texas.
2. North American Racer (Pantherophis obsoletus)
Known for their agility, Western ratsnakes are non-venomous and represent Texas’s most common snake species. Their ability to climb trees trunk-first without the aid of branches is impressive, as is their swimming skill.
These versatile snakes make their homes in various places, from rocky mountains to woodlands, and their diet consists mainly of vertebrates such as rats and rabbits, though they will also eat frogs and lizards on occasion. When hunting, they will constrict their prey until its cardiovascular system is suppressed, killing it before eating it.
3. Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Known for their speed, coachwhip snakes are among the most popular snakes in Texas. These black-bodied snakes with tan coloring near the tail can grow up to six feet long. While they have large, round eyes that help them see prey, they are also very difficult to spot on open ground.
Lizards and amphibians make up the majority of their diet. Although terrestrial, coachwhip snakes are excellent climbers and will use this ability to escape danger or predators. They are also aggressive when captured or cornered, often biting without warning.
Found around water sources in arid habitats, Black-necked Gartersnakes can reach a size of 40 inches. Their bodies are easy to recognize due to a yellow-orange stripe running along with them.
These diurnal snakes are known to eat small fish by diving underwater and swallowing their prey whole. They typically live for a few years and enter hibernation next to water sources in the fall.
5. Flat-Headed Snake
The deep-burrowing habits of the flat-headed snake make it challenging to spot, but this common Texas species can be found in parks and gardens across the state. Although they are nonvenomous and unknown to bite, handling flat-headed snakes is generally not recommended. As their habitats continue to dwindle in other parts of the country, these snakes are also facing a diminishing population in Texas.
The endangerment of flat-headed snakes is partly due to the loss of habitat and fragmentation as a result of urbanization. As their natural habitats are destroyed, these snakes are forced to compete for resources with other species, disadvantaging them. Additionally, pesticides and herbicides in gardens and parks can also be detrimental to flat-headed snake populations.
Texas rat snake also called the black rat snake, is the most common type of snake in Texas. It is a nonvenomous constrictor snake that can grow up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) long. Texas rat snakes are typically brown or gray, with dark blotches down their back and sides. These snakes are found throughout Texas but are most commonly seen in East Texas.
What Is The Most Venomous Snake In Texas?
The most venomous snake in Texas is the Texas Coral Snake. Coral snakes are brightly colored snakes with red, yellow, and black bands that run the length of their bodies. They have a neurotoxic venom that can cause paralysis and respiratory failure.
How Do You Identify A Snake?
There are many different ways to identify a snake. One way is to look at the shape of the snake’s head. Venomous snakes typically have a triangular-shaped head, while nonvenomous snakes have a round or oval-shaped head. Another way to identify a snake is by its color pattern. Many venomous snakes are brightly colored, while nonvenomous snakes are typically duller in color.
What Part Of Texas Has The Most Snakes?
The part of Texas with the most common snakes in East Texas. This region of the state is home to many snake species, including both venomous and nonvenomous snakes. East Texas is also home to the majority of the state’s human population, which means more opportunities for people to come into contact with snakes.
Can I Shoot A Snake On My Property In Texas?
It is legal to shoot a snake on your property in Texas, but it is not recommended. Shooting a snake can be dangerous, and it may not be effective in preventing future snake sightings on your property. If you decide to shoot a snake, be sure to use a gun that is appropriate for the snake’s size and be sure to have a clear shot.
How Do I Keep Snakes Out Of My Yard In Texas?
You can do several things to keep snakes out of your yard in Texas. First, remove any potential food sources from your property, such as rodents or insects. Also, keep your property clean and free of debris. Third, seal any cracks or holes in your home’s foundation or exterior walls. Finally, consider installing a fence around your property.
What State Has The Most Snake Bites?
The state with the most snake bites in North Carolina. This is likely due to the large number of snakes that are found in the state. North Carolina is home to various venomous and nonvenomous snake species, including the copperhead, cottonmouth, and rattlesnake.
Do Snakes Nest In Houses?
Yes, snakes can nest in houses. This is most likely to occur if a food source is present, such as rodents or insects. Snakes will also nest in homes if they can find a warm, dry place to hide. To prevent snakes from nesting in your home, seal any cracks or holes in your home’s foundation or exterior walls. Also, keep your property clean and free of debris.
Do Snakes Come Out At Night?
Some snakes are more active at night, while others are more active during the day. It depends on the species of snake and the time of year. In general, snakes are more involved in the spring and summer when temperatures are warmer.
What Month Is Snake Season?
Snake season typically runs from April to October in most parts of the United States. This is when snakes are most active and most likely to be seen by humans.
What Time Of Day Are Snakes Most Active?
Snakes are most active during the day when it is warm outside. They will also come out at night if the temperature is right. In general, snakes are more active in the spring and summer when temperatures are warmer.
What Part Of Texas Has The Most Rattlesnakes?
The part of Texas with the most rattlesnakes is Sweetwater, Texas. This region of the state is home to many rattlesnake species, including the western diamondback rattlesnake, which is the most common type of rattlesnake in Texas. West Texas is also home to many human populations, which means that there are more opportunities for people to come into contact with snakes.
What Does A Water Moccasin Look Like In Texas?
Water moccasins are dark-colored snakes with distinctive heads. They are found in freshwater habitats, such as ponds, lakes, and streams. Water moccasins can grow up to six feet long, but the average length is three to four feet.