Snakes and Lizards
Rat Snake
Broad-banded Water Snake
Ribbon Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Tan Racer Snake
Tan Racer Snake
Texas Brown Snake
Five-lined Skink
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Green Anole Lizard
Tan Racer Snake
Tan Racer,Note that dark/light blotches could be Buttermilk Racer, or Hybrid.
Rat Snake
Eastern Coachwhip Snake
Eastern Coachwhip Snake
Eastern Coachwhip Snake
Ground Skink
Frogs, Turtles & Alligators
Older Five-lined Skink
Cottonmouth
Cottonmouth
Cottonmouth
Texas Brown Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Yellow-bellied Water Snake
Yellow-bellied Water Snake
Ribbon Snake
Juvenile Tan Racer Snake
Cottonmouth
Cottonmouth
Mediterranean Gecko
Broad-banded Water Snake, Adult
Southern Copperhead Snake
Southern Copperhead Snake
Typically found around Water
Newly Born Broad-banded Water Snake
Newly Born Broad-banded Water Snake
Seen often with color variations from near white to deep tan, typically four to seven ft. in length
Venomous Pit Vipers (Family Viperidae), Eyes have Vertical Pupils
Lizards, Skinks, Geckos
Texas Rat Snake, Red shows up when bulged and/or older
Five-lined Skink
Eastern Coachwhip Snake
Eastern Coachwhip Snake
Tan Racer Snake
Cottonmouth
Snakes in Action or @ Rest
Rat Snakes are good climbers
Broad Banded Water Snake, Body on top of Water
Ribbon Snake at rest after a meal in January
Southern Copperhead Snake
Southern Copperhead Snake
How a Coachwhip got its name
Eastern Hognose Snake, On the Hunt
Eastern Hognose Snake on defense
Eastern Hognose Snake expanded to max.
Thought the little one was dinner, but(next photo)
Diamondback Water Snake Mating
Two Coachwhips, One guarding, the Other Shedding(blue eyes)
Colored & Larger Texas Rat Snake
Is the fish too big, DBWSN6
Eastern Fence Lizard
Eastern Fence Lizard(see blue patch on throat)
Six Lined Racerunner, Whiptail Lizard
Diamondback Water Snake
Diamondback Water Snake
Cottonmouth
Rat Snake
Life or Death Tug of War
Broad-banded Water Snake(On land @ night)
Texas Brown Snake(Approx 13 inch)
Rat Snakes, Often called Chicken Snakes (Pantherophis obsoleta spp.)
Rat Snake( approx. 6 ft.)
Rat Snake
Broad-banded Water Snake
Tan Racer Snake
Speckled Kingsnake
Speckled Kingsnake
Speckled Kingsnake
Diamondback Water Snake
                                                                                              Our Observations on Snakes

Out in the Big Thicket, there can be any kind of snake anywhere any time of day. However, there are some characteristics that apply to snake behavior the majority of
the time. When the temperature gets above 65 F in the spring, they come out in a hurry. Rat snakes and ribbon snakes come out first. Racers, Coachwhips, and the
venomous snakes seem to come out when it gets above 75 F. When it gets above 90 F, most of the snakes go nocturnal. What throws a curve in this is the fact the
creeks in the preserve are mostly spring fed with cool water. So, things run on a bit of different cycle.

1)
Broad Banded Water Snakes: They stay around water. They come out to warm up and rest. They can get to be at least five ft. in length. We have seen
them most often in mid-morning, always near water. The bands can be bold or kind of dull.
2)
Diamondback Water Snakes: They hunt in the water and prefer the water. They come out to warm themselves and digest meals. You can find them just
laying on the bank, or laying out on logs, always around water. They can be large, at least six ft. in length. There is no Texas snake that is as big around as
they can be(circumference). They seem to get active right at dark.
3)
Rat Snakes:  These guys can climb and move quick. They like brush piles, wood piles, and piles of anything to hide and semi-open country to hunt.
They can glide from tree to tree by using limbs to get to bird nests, with ease. They can get long, over six ft. and have a variety of color forms, but with       
generally the same shaped top and side blotches. They are most often seen from dawn up to about noon.
4)
Racers and Coachwhips: These snakes like more open country. They are not fond of brush piles. Knee high grasses/weeds with shrubs seems to be the
favorite hunting territory. They like it warm and are out in mid-day to mid evening. They are the fastest moving snakes we have seen. Most of them are
long and lean, built for speed. They cruise around, head slightly raised, looking for skinks, lizards, and frogs. One of the racers was at least seven ft. in length. The
coachwhips seem to be around five ft. These snakes run away when you get close, at a high speed.
5)
Cottonmouth:  If someone tells you they saw a six ft. water moccassin, they probably didn't. Here in east Texas, if you see one over three ft. you have seen a
monster. They hold their ground if you get close, and very seldom run. They hang around close to water, but also like thick brush cover with briars, or thorny bushes.
The majority of the ones we have seen are right at sunrise or sunset. Look close at the head and eyes, thats the key to identifying them.
6)
Copperheads: Three ft. is about the maximum length on these, but they can get a big girth. Some are aggressive, others are not. They like to eat toads.
They hunt in medium grass and short brush country and the majority of the ones we have seen are at sunrise and sunset. They also like heavy leaf litter, no
doubt due to the fact that you can't spot them if they stay stationary. Some will run from you, others will not. They will vibrate their tail if spooked.
7)
Ribbon Snakes: There are several sub-species of these. We have seen the base color from a dull grey-green to almost a flourescent green.
They are the best frog hunters we have seen. They can move very fast if needed and have no problem with water. They seem to like to cruise around on
banks of creeks, hunting. They are about three ft. maximum in length, but around two ft. is a lot more common. They can be skinny or a little heavy. We
have also seen them a long way from any water. Try to check for the white spot on the top of the head. This seems to be there, regardless of base color.
We have found them at all times of the day, until the summer heat moves in.
8)
Texas Brown Snake: These are usually short, about 18 inches maximum. Some are shorter and fat, others are longer and skinny. They hide under leaf litter and
rock piles. They can get mad if you try to pick them up, and will strike at you. They can be seen anytime.
Southern Copperhead Snake
He got it down, eventually
Juvenile Eastern Coachwhip Snake
Cottonmouth
Plain-bellied Water Snake
A Rat Snake going straight up, trying to get away from me.
Nerodia rhombifer
Nerodia rhombifer
Nerodia rhombifer
Nerodia erythrogaster spp.
Nerodia erythrogaster spp.
Nerodia erythrogaster spp.
Thamnophis proximus ssp.
Thamnophis proximus ssp.
Storeria dekayi texana
Storeria dekayi texana
Storeria dekayi texana
Cottonmouth Snake(Agkistrodon piscivorus ssp.)
Southern Copperhead Snake (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix)
Scincella lateralis
Eumeces fasciatus
Eumeces fasciatus
Eumeces fasciatus
Anolis carolinensis
Hemidactylus turcicus
Sceloporus undulatus ssp.
Sceloporus undulatus ssp.
Cnemidophorus sexlineatus
Juvenile Southern Copperhead Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake(Heterodon platirhinos), Variations
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Speckled Kingsnake
Mediterranean Gecko
Hemidactylus turcicus
Yellow-Bellied Water Snake
Yellow-Bellied Water Snake
Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster (large adult)
Note: Genus changed from Elaphe to Pantherophis, recently, typically four to six ft. in length
Rat Snake
Diamondback Water Snake
It took about 45 minutes to get it down.
Squirrel for Lunch(taken alive from nest approx. 35 ft. high)
Unknown juvenile, shedding, check eyes
Either Hiding or Hunting, see next photo
Probably hunting
Six ft. Rat Snake on the move.
How do snakes get bigger?, next photo
Eat big frogs.
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Southern Copperhead Snake
Yellow-Bellied Water Snake
Nerodia erythrogaster spp.
Cottonmouth Snake, Large adult shedding
Venomous Coral Snakes (Family Elapidae)
It is generally accepted that two species of Coral Snakes occur in east Texas, the Eastern Coral Snake(Micrurus fulvius) and the Texas
Coral Snake(Micrurus tener). It is difficult, if not impossible to distinguish between the two species without catching and studying them.
Coral Snake
Coral Snake
Coral Snake
Coral Snake
Tan Racer Snake ( Coluber constrictor etheridgei)
Tan Racer Snake
Tan Racer Snake
Typically found on dry land.
Southern Copperhead Snake
Southern Copperhead Snake
Speckled Kingsnake ( Lampropeltis getula holbrooki)
Eastern Coachwhip Snake (Masticophis flagellum flagellum)
Speckled Kingsnake
Speckled Kingsnake
Catfish to big for the snake to handle
Copperhead Snake
Texas Brown Snake
Storeria dekayi texana
Broad-banded Water Snake
Broad-banded Water Snake
Broad-banded Water Snake
Broad-banded Water Snake (Nerodia fasciata confluens)