Almost every state within the us has poisonous snake species, but some have more deadly snakes than others. Texas has the second most venomous snake of all the states of the us of America.
What are the foremost dangerous snakes in Texas? the foremost venomous snake in Texas are the coral snake
that’s followed by Mojave rattlesnakes, which have the foremost potent venom of all rattlesnakes. Texas is additionally home to the prairie rattlesnake and therefore the banded rattlesnake , both of which have killed humans.
We will see the foremost poisonous species of snakes in Texas. we’ll discuss the well-liked habitat and appearance of every snake in order that you’ll easily recognize them within the wild. We’ll also take a glance at the toxicity of every snake’s venom and share some really cool facts about bites.
Venomous snakes found in Texas
Texas is home to several species of snakes. If you are doing venture out on a summer day, you’ll encounter one (even in your backyard).
Of these, the overwhelming majority – including the Texas brown snake, house snake , and squirrel snake – aren’t poisonous. Others, like garter snakes and hognose snakes, are slightly poisonous.
But, thanks to their small fangs, reluctance to bite, and therefore the venom’s low toxicity, they’re not considered dangerous to humans.
However, there are four sorts of poisonous snakes in Texas that are considered highly dangerous to humans. These include the following:
- Rattlesnakes, also referred to as «rattlers». Recognizable by a segmented rattle at the ends of their tails, rattlesnakes are commonest in arid and semi-arid rocky habitats.
- Copper heads (dry land moccasins). These snakes are pit vipers, like rattlesnakes, and that they share many of an equivalent visual characteristics.
- Cotton mouths (water moccasins). These semi-aquatic venomous snakes are often found in water and are closely associated with copperheads.
- Coral snakes. These highly venomous snakes are elipids, belonging to an equivalent family as cobras. they’re different from pit vipers, but even as dangerous.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about five people within the us die annually from a snake bite. Of these, a minimum of one or two are in Texas.
1) Texas Coral Snake (Micrurus Tener)
the foremost powerful venom is that of the coral snake. These snakes are elliptical, belonging to an equivalent family as cobras and mambas.
There are three species within the us , but the sole one found in Texas is that the Texas Coral Snake.
Most of the poisonous snakes within the us are pit vipers. Coral snakes are very different.
They have smooth scales and little , narrow, oval-shaped heads with round eyes. Texas coral snakes usually reach 2 to 4 feet long , and their bodies are quite slender.
They are bright in color, with wide red and black bands separated by thin yellow rings. People often mistake them for king snakes and milk snakes.
In general, you’ll tell it’s a coral snake if the yellow bands are touching the red.
Texas coral snakes are often found primarily within the southeastern a part of the state. they’re found no further west than Pecos County, and no further north than Lamar County.
You will not typically find coral snakes in dry or desert areas, as they like heavily vegetated environments, like forests.
Texas coral snake bites are very rare, as they’re nocturnal and shy. They spend most of their time hiding piles of leaves and burrows. they’re usually reluctant to bite, and their fangs are quite small.
However, the coral snake’s venom packs a punch. It contains powerful neurotoxins which will cause paralysis of the systema respiratorium and even death. Fortunately, death is rare with medical intervention.
2) Mojave rattlesnake (Crotalus Scutulatus)
The second most venomous snake found in Texas is that the Mojave rattlesnake . Of all the rattlesnakes within the world, the Mojave has the foremost potent venom.
The Mojave rattlesnake may be a heavy bodied snake, rarely growing quite 3 feet.
Its main body color is yellowish, tan or brown, sometimes with a greenish tinge (giving rise to the nickname “Mojave green”). it’s a series of light-edged brown spots running down its body, which may be diamond or saddle-shaped. There are black and white bands on the tail, at the bottom of the rattle.
Mojave rattlesnakes have broad, triangular heads and thin necks. they need elliptical (slit-shaped) pupils and thick-keel scales (striated).
Although it takes its name from the Mojave in California and Nevada, it also can be found in Texas. Its range is restricted to the Trans-Pecos region within the extreme west of the state.
Mojavos don’t usually venture into populated areas; they like flat, rocky areas with little vegetation. However, they’re also found in grasslands.
Mojave poison is extremely dangerous. It contains neurotoxins which will cause vision abnormalities, difficulties with speaking and breathing.
Fortunately, CroFab antivenom (available in most hospitals) effectively treats these effects. With prompt medical attention, death is unlikely. the foremost recent death from a Mojave bite was in 2007.
3) Rattlesnake (Crotalus Atrox)
The prairie rattlesnake causes the very best number of snakebites within the us .
This is thanks to its highly defensive disposition and its tendency to attack when approached.
Western diamond rattlesnakes look quite almost like Mojavé ones. they’re usually brown to tan in color, with darker diamond-shaped spots along the body.
Its tail has black and white bands, although the black bands are much thicker than on the Mojave rattlesnake . Like all rattlesnakes, they’re heavy-bodied and broad-headed.
They are among the most important species of rattlesnake, commonly growing up to five feet long.
Western diamonds are often found within the overwhelming majority of Texas, from Dallam County within the north to Cameron within the south. it’s located as far west as El Paso and as Far East as Harris County.
Western diamond backs enjoy a good range of habitats, including forests, deserts and desert scrub, grasslands, and rocky areas. they will even be found in yards, or anywhere with an abundance of small mammals to prey on .
Western rattlesnake bites are quite common – many them occur annually within the us . this is often because these snakes aren’t afraid to carry their ground when approached, and that they tend to attack the slightest threat.
Its venom contains hemotoxins that destroy blood cells, leading to massive internal bleeding. Again, CroFab antivenom nearly always prevents death.
4) banded rattlesnake (Crotalus Hhorridus)
Timber rattlesnakes are one among the foremost common rattlesnakes within the US they will be found in most eastern states, including Texas, where they’re a protected species.
Due to their abundance, wood rattlesnakes are liable for the bulk of snakebite-related deaths within the us , along side diamonds from the east and west.
Timber rattlesnakes also are referred to as ringed rattlesnakes. they’re pale raw sienna in color, with dark brown or black zigzag bands (horizontal stripes).
Some specimens have one orange-brown stripe down the center of the rear . they need a black tail, ending during a rattle. Timber rattlesnakes can reach up to five feet long .
Timber rattlesnakes, found within the eastern neighborhood of Texas, no further west than Eastland County, are generally found in wooded areas. Although they’re not water snakes, buzzards prefer wetter habitats, and may often be seen along riverbanks.
As with all rattlesnakes, wood rattlesnakes have a nasty bite. Their venom isn’t as potent as diamond or Mojave venom, but because they produce a high yield of venom, bites are still considered very serious.
Different samples produce differing types of venom, which may contain neurotoxins, or can cause internal bleeding. CroFab antivenom is effective against stings.
5) Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus Catenatus)
Venomous Massasauga snakes are rattlesnakes, but they differ from most other species because they’re a part of a separate genus (Sistrurus instead of Crotalus).
They are smaller than most Crotalus rattlesnakes, but this doesn’t make them any less dangerous. they’re still pit vipers and may produce a toxic bite.
Massasaugas are relatively small, starting from 1.5 to three feet as adults. Like all rattlesnakes, they need an important body with slit pupils.
Massasaugas are light gray to brown in color, with dark brown butterfly-shaped spots along the rear , and two to 3 rows of smaller spots on the edges .
They do not have bands on the tail. the top and neck of the snake are striped.
In Texas, two subspecies of massasauga are often found. Western massasauga are often found in northern and central Texas, in flat grassland or rocky hillside habitats. The Massasauga Desert of western and southern Texas is merely found within the prairies.
Massasauga rattlesnakes are quite shy and solitary. They always attempt to escape danger and only bite a predator as a final resort. However, you’ll still be bitten if you mistakenly tread on one.
About 25% of bites are “dry,” meaning no venom is injected, consistent with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Massasauga venom contains cytotoxins, which destroy tissue and cause internal bleeding. However, the bites are rarely serious and almost never end in death with proper medical treatment.
6) prairie rattler (Crotalus Viridis)
Prairie rattlesnakes also are referred to as plains rattlesnakes, as they’re found primarily within the Great Plains of North America.
They are one among the foremost common rattlesnakes within the us , along side the banded rattlesnake .
Prairie rattlesnakes generally reach a minimum of three feet long when adult, with the most important specimens reaching almost 5 feet.
They are brown to brown in color, with large dark brown oval spots, outlined in white. Their tails are brown with fine dark brown cross bands and in fact a rattle at the tip.
In Texas, the prairie rattler is confined to the northwestern a part of the state (the Panhandle and Trans-Pecos region).
It lives exclusively in flat grassland areas and feeds on grassland animals like birds and rodents. Prairie rattlesnakes rarely make their way into residential areas.
Like most species of rattlesnakes, prairie rattlesnakes aren’t aggressive, preferring to withdraw from danger. However, they’re going to bite when cornered or stepped on.
Its venom is slightly hemotoxic and has some neurotoxic properties. Although their bites aren’t as severe because the other rattlesnakes we’ve talked about, medical treatment remains necessary. Antivenin is effective in remedying the consequences of a bite.
7) Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon Piscivorus)
Also referred to as water moccasins, cottonmouths are semi-aquatic pit vipers. They belong to an equivalent subfamily as rattlesnakes, and that they share some physical characteristics, although they are doing not have rattlesnakes on their tails.
They are often mistaken for harmless water snakes, which may be a mistake which will have serious consequences.
Cottonmouths are heavy-bodied pit vipers which will get older to three feet long. they need broad heads, slit pupils, and keel scales.
Western cottonmouths, found in Texas, are dark brown, dark gray, dark olive, or black. Juveniles are lighter in color with prominent cross bands that fade with age.
The inside of its mouth is bright white, hence the nickname “cottonmouth.” When threatened, they often pose with their mouths open in an open display.
As a semiaquatic snake, cottonmouths spend most of their time in or near water (swamps, swamps, lakes, and rivers).
Although they breathe air, they will hold their breath while hunting underwater for up to an hour. They reside primarily in eastern and southeastern Texas.
A bite from a cottonmouth is usually not as serious as a bite from a rattlesnake. Its venom is cytotoxic, which suggests that it destroys body tissue.
Deaths are rare, but bites can occasionally cause amputation. CroFab antivenom, commonly used for rattlesnake bites, is additionally effective for cottonmouths.
8) Copperhead (Agkistrodon Contortrix)
Of all the foremost poisonous snakes in America that pose a danger to humans, the copperhead is that the one with the smallest amount potent venom.
However, the bulk of poisonous snakebites within the country are attributed to copperheads, thanks to their abundance within the wild.
Copperheads are pit vipers, belonging to an equivalent genus as cottonmouths. they’re probably the foremost instantly recognizable viper , thanks to their coloration.
Their background color is pale brown to brown , sometimes with a pink or orange tint. they need wide coppery bands on the rear .
These markings appear hourglass shaped on southern copperheads. As their name suggests, they need copper-colored heads and eyes.
Copperheads are often found in most of Texas, except within the northernmost counties within the beggars area and within the far southern counties.
They occupy a fairly diverse range of habitats, from rocky outcrops to forests. they will occasionally be found near rivers and swamps, and sometimes even on farmland. The Trans-Pecos copperhead can even tolerate desert areas.
Copperhead snake bites are more common within the us than bites from the other venomous snake. they’re well camouflaged on the forest floor and remain motionless when approached, which suggests they’re often stepped on without realizing it.
Its venom is medically significant, causing symptoms like pain, swelling, vomiting, bruising, and tachycardia (increased heart rate). However, it’s rarely serious enough to need antivenom treatment.
What Are the Poisonous Snake Ownership Laws in Texas?
Poisonous snakes aren’t usually kept as pets. for many snake enthusiasts, owning a toxic snake – or a “hot one,” as they’re known within the herper community – isn’t well worth the risk of being bitten.
However, if you would like to stay one, you’ll be wondering: what’s the law on keeping a toxic snake as a pet in Texas?
It is legal to possess poisonous snakes in Texas. However, counting on what snake it’s and where you catch on from, you’ll need a permit to possess one.
All poisonous snakes indigenous to Texas – with the exception of the banded rattlesnake , which is protected – are legal to catch and possess. Capturing one on your personal property , like in your backyard, is legal without a permit.
However, if you would like to catch one on public land, you’ll need a Reptile and Amphibian endorsement stamp, consistent with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Owning a non-native snake requires a Controlled Exotic Snake Permit, which is slightly costlier . this enables you to shop for and keep any venomous snake that’s not native to Texas (or even the United States).
The above permits, however, don’t allow you to sell poisonous snakes to others. it’s also against the law to release non-indigenous snakes within the wild.
Is it illegal to kill a snake in Texas?
If you reside during a a part of Texas where poisonous snakes are often found, you’ll be tempted to kill them on sight – particularly if they’re on your property.
In the state of Texas, killing snakes is legal, unless the snake is on the list of protected species. Some snakes are rare in Texas (or endangered throughout the country), and these species are subject to special laws, meaning that it’s illegal to kill, capture, possess, or sell one. the sole poisonous species on this list is that the banded rattlesnake .
How to Practice Snake Safety in Texas
Living in Texas means there’s an honest chance that you simply will encounter wild snakes on a daily basis. As a number of these are often poisonous, you want to learn to practice proper snake safety.
- Always assume the snake is poisonous. Better to be safe than sorry.
- Stay several feet faraway from the snake in the least times. The larger the snake, the further it’ll need to be to remain out of attack range.
- If you’re within attack range, don’t make any sudden movements. Slowly walk off from the snake until it’s out of reach.
- If the snake is on your property, call a pest management company. they’re going to be ready to remove it safely, with the proper equipment. to form your yard less attractive to snakes, keep the grass trimmed and take away any piles of stones and logs.
If you’re bitten, call 911 immediately. don’t drive yourself to the hospital. While expecting the ambulance, clean the wound with soap and water and keep it elevated above the guts if possible.
Never suck the poison or apply a tourniquet, as this doesn’t help and may make the matter worse. Don’t attempt to capture or kill the snake that bit you, but attempt to remember what it seemed like so you’ll describe it to paramedics. this may help them determine if the snake was poisonous, and if so, what sort of antivenom to administer.