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Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platyrhinos) Doesn’t bite humans Size – 20-33” Habitat – open deciduous or pine woods Identification – usually by its behavior; stocky trunk & wide neck; upturned for burrowing Young – egg bearing; 4-61 (average 22); mating March – May
Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platyrhinos) Spreading Adder” Core; raises body & spreads foreribs Pseudostrike; hisses, anal discharge Belly up – looks dead & tongue hangs out
Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platyrhinos) Food – toads; enlarged tooth to puncture toads
Texas Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais) Endangered Size – longest snake 5-6’ (record 8 ½’) Distribution – South Texas Identification – long, shiny black & smooth scales; undivided anal plate is difference between it & Rat Snake Gentle or vicious; territorial Young – whitish, oblong eggs (up to 3”); laid April – May; incubate 70-85 days
Bullsnake (Pituophis melanoleucus) Habitat – terrestrial; plains Identification – yellow background; dark spots; has high nostril plate Diurnal Young – lays 10-16 leathery eggs May bite – usually tames down after period of time; vibrates tail & hiss Food – constrictor & can kill more than one at a time
Texas Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta lindheimera) Most common snake Distribution – Eastern ½ of Texas Habitat – woodland & prairie, climbs trees Identification – long, brown/dark mottled snake Aggressive non-venomous snake Food – warm blooded prey
Western Coachwhip (Masticophus flagellum) Most common large snake Distribution – state-wide Identification – large, long-tailed fast moving; smooth scales, no side stripe Western races – tan, yellow or pink Eastern races – brown towards head & neck going lighter towards tail Perhaps our fastest snake; when cornered, will strike repeatedly at face Food – Cicadas, lizards, other snakes, & rodents
Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus) Size – 22-32” Distribution – Eastern 2/3 of Texas Habitat – trees, shrubs
Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus) Young – 3-12 eggs laid in leaf litter Slow moving; not wary, easy to capture & doesn’t bite Food – insects, spiders, & caterpillars
Texas Patchnose Snake (Salvadora grahamiae)
Texas Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis annectans)
Flathead Snake (Tantilla gracilis)
Plains Blind Snake (Leptotyphlops dulcis)
Water Mud Snake (Farancia abacura)
Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis proximus) Habitat – seldom far from water Diurnal forager WILL BITE Eaten by other snakes, mammals, & carnivorous birds Predators frequently get just tail Food – eats tadpoles, frogs, & lizards
Ground Snake (Sonora semiannulata) Size – less than 1’ Distribution – Western 2/3 of Texas Habitat – dry, open areas; loose, sandy soil – prairies & vacant lots Identification – smooth scales; divided anal plate; variable pattern Does not bite Burrows Habit of hiding head & waving tail Eaten by Skunk, Armadillo, & Javelina Food – eats Invertebrates
Great Plains Rat Snake (Elaphe guttata emoryi) Size – 2-3 ½’ Distribution – common state-wide Habitat – all habitats Identification – two brown stripes form V on top of head; divided anal plate Nocturnal May bite at first; later can be tame Food – warm blooded prey, plus frogs & lizards
Trans Pecos Rat Snake (Bogertophis subocularis)
Western Smooth Earth Snake (Virginia valeriae elegans) Size – small 7-13” Distribution – Edward’s Plateau & NE Habitat – rural hillsides; Oak-juniper woodland & towns Identification – small, reddish brown; no markings; weak keels & plain belly Burrowing snake
Praire Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus)
Speckled Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula) Distribution – Eastern 1/3 of Texas Size – 18-36”; may reach to 6’ Identification – dark speckled yellow As most snakes, eggs are laid early Summer & hatch late Summer Have undivided anal plate Nocturnal Food – carnivorous on small vertebrates
Louisiana Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum)
Prairie Kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster) Size – 2-3’ Distribution – Eastern ½ of Texas Habitat – grassland Identification – dark dorsal blotches; “beautiful belly”; like Great Plains Rat Snake but no V on head and no divided anal plate Forages at night; secretive Mild manner; seldom bites but vibrates tail Food – Gophers, rats, mice, birds, and some ectotherms are taken
Yellow-Bellied Racer (Immature) (Coluber constrictor)
Yellow-Bellied Racer (Adult) (Coluber constrictor) Also called Blue Racer Size – 30-50” Habitat – woodland /prairie interface Will bite; won’t tame down in captivity Different pattern for young Food – eat insects mainly; will take small vertebrates
TX Longnose Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei) Also called Blue Racer Size – 30-50” Habitat – woodland /prairie interface Will bite; won’t tame down in captivity Different pattern for young Food – eat insects mainly; will take small vertebrates
Diamondback Water Snake (Nerodia rhombifera) Size – heavy bodied; 20-34” Distribution – Eastern 2/3 of Texas Habitat – near water; most common South of Houston (coastal plain area) Identification – keeled scales; back pattern Bites readily; releases musk – not venomous, but aggressive Young – live-bearing (average 37 young) Moves faster than Cottonmouth; does not expose mouth
Blotched Water Snake (Nerodia erythrogaster transversa) Size – 2-3’ Distribution – Central ¾ of Texas Habitat – near water Identification – no pit & no elliptical pupil Nonvenomous, but will strike repeatedly Food – aquatic life
Dekay's Snake (Storeria dekayi)
Graham's Crayfish Snake (Regina grahamii)
Graham's Crayfish Snake (Regina grahamii)
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