Snakes & Lizards of the Big Thicket in East Texas
Typically found around Water
Variations showing spots may be juveniles, or Buttermilk Racer Snakes(C.c. anthicus). Typically four to seven ft. in length.
Venomous Pit Vipers (Family Viperidae), Eyes have Vertical Pupils
Lizards, Skinks, Geckos
Snakes in Action or @ Rest
Cottonmouth Snake(Agkistrodon piscivorus ssp.)
Eastern Hognose Snake(Heterodon platirhinos), Variations
Note: Genus changed from Elaphe to Pantherophis, recently, typically four to six ft. in length
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.
Speckled Kingsnake ( Lampropeltis getula holbrooki)
Eastern Coachwhip Snake (Masticophis flagellum flagellum)
Broad-banded Water Snake (Nerodia fasciata confluens)
Cottonmouth
Cottonmouth
Cottonmouth
Cottonmouth
Cottonmouth
Cottonmouth
Cottonmouth
Cottonmouth
Cottonmouth Snake, Large adult shedding
For Later Use
For Later Use
For Later Use
Southern Copperhead Snake
Southern Copperhead Snake
Southern Copperhead Snake
Southern Copperhead Snake
Juvenile Southern Copperhead Snake
Copperhead Snake
Southern Copperhead Snake
Southern Copperhead Snake
Southern Copperhead Snake
Southern Copperhead Snake
Southern Copperhead Snake
For Later Use
Southern Copperhead Snake (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix)
Coral Snake
Coral Snake
Coral Snake
Coral Snake
For Later Use
For Later Use
Rat Snake
Rat Snake
Colored & Larger Texas Rat Snake
Rat Snake
Rat Snake( approx. 6 ft.)
Rat Snake
Rat Snake
Rat Snakes are good climbers
Squirrel for Lunch(taken alive from nest approx. 35 ft. high)
Texas Rat Snake, Red shows up when bulged and/or older
A Rat Snake going straight up, trying to get away from me.
Six ft. Rat Snake on the move.
Juvenile Tan Racer Snake
Tan Racer Snake
Tan Racer Snake
Tan Racer Snake
Tan Racer,Note that dark/light blotches could be Buttermilk Racer, or Hybrid.
Tan Racer Snake
Tan Racer Snake
Tan Racer Snake
Tan Racer Snake
Tan Racer Snake
Tan Racer Snake
For Later Use
Rat Snakes, Often called Chicken Snakes (Pantherophis obsoleta spp.)
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake, On the Hunt
Eastern Hognose Snake on defense
Eastern Hognose Snake expanded to max.
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Hognose Snake
Speckled Kingsnake
Speckled Kingsnake
Speckled Kingsnake
Speckled Kingsnake
Speckled Kingsnake
Speckled Kingsnake
Eastern Coachwhip Snake
Eastern Coachwhip Snake
Eastern Coachwhip Snake
Eastern Coachwhip Snake
Eastern Coachwhip Snake
Juvenile Eastern Coachwhip Snake
Broad-banded Water Snake
Broad-banded Water Snake, Adult
Newly Born Broad-banded Water Snake
Newly Born Broad-banded Water Snake
Broad-banded Water Snake(On land @ night)
Broad-banded Water Snake
Broad-banded Water Snake
Broad-banded Water Snake
Broad-banded Water Snake
For Later Use
For Later Use
For Later Use
Diamondback Water Snake
Diamondback Water Snake
Diamondback Water Snake
Yellow-bellied Water Snake
Yellow-bellied Water Snake
Plain-bellied Water Snake
Nerodia rhombifer
Nerodia rhombifer
Nerodia rhombifer
Nerodia erythrogaster spp.
Nerodia erythrogaster spp.
Nerodia erythrogaster spp.
Yellow-Bellied Water Snake
Yellow-Bellied Water Snake
Yellow-Bellied Water Snake
Possible Mississippi Green Watersnake
For Later Use
For Later Use
Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster
Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster
Nerodia erythrogaster spp.
Nerodia sp.
   
Ribbon Snake
Ribbon Snake
Ribbon Snake
Ribbon Snake
Ribbon Snake
He got it down, eventually
Life or Death Tug of War
Ribbon Snake at rest after a meal in January
For Later Use
For Later Use
For Later Use
For Later Use
Diamondback Water Snake
It took about 45 minutes to get it down.
Catfish to big for the snake to handle
Either Hiding or Hunting, see next photo
Probably hunting
Unknown juvenile, shedding, check eyes
How do snakes get bigger?, next photo
Is the fish too big, DBWSN6
Eat big frogs.
Two Coachwhips, One guarding, the Other Shedding(blue eyes)
Broad Banded Water Snake, Body on top of Water
How a Coachwhip got its name
Thought the little one was dinner, but(next photo)
Diamondback Water Snake Mating
For Later Use
For Later Use
For Later Use
For Later Use
Ground Skink
Five-lined Skink
Five-lined Skink
Older Five-lined Skink
Green Anole Lizard
For Later Use
Scincella lateralis
Eumeces fasciatus
Eumeces fasciatus
Eumeces fasciatus
Anolis carolinensis
 
Eastern Fence Lizard(see blue patch on throat)
Eastern Fence Lizard
Six Lined Racerunner, Whiptail Lizard
Mediterranean Gecko
Mediterranean Gecko
For Later Use
Sceloporus undulatus ssp.
Sceloporus undulatus ssp.
Cnemidophorus sexlineatus
Hemidactylus turcicus
Hemidactylus turcicus
 
Texas Brown Snake
Texas Brown Snake
Texas Brown Snake(Approx 13 inch)
Texas Brown Snake
For Later Use
For Later Use
Storeria dekayi texana
Storeria dekayi texana
Storeria dekayi texana
Storeria dekayi texana
 
 
Typically found on dry land.
Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis proximus ssp.)
Our Observations on Snakes
    Some characteristics of snake behavior are accurate the majority of the time. What throws a curve in this behavior is the fact the creeks in the
    preserve are mostly spring fed with cool water. So, things often run on a cycle different than expected. When the temperature gets above 65 F
    in the spring, snakes 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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    Cottonmouth:  Here in east Texas, if you see one over three ft., you have seen a monster. They hold their ground if you get close, very seldom
    run and will display with a wide open mouth. They hang around close to water, but also like thick brush cover with weeds and 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.
    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.
    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 and
    a white spot in front of the eye. 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.
    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.
Tan Racer Snake ( Coluber constrictor etheridgei)
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