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16 Species of Green Snakes in Texas (Pictures)

Texas has a lot of different kinds of habitats, from the hill country to the oak prairie, brush country, and the coast. A wide species of snakes are just one example of the incredible variety of plants and animals that you can find in these various habitats. Among them, the green snakes in Texas stand out as one of the most interesting and unique animals.

In the following article we’ll learn more about the green, or partially green, snakes in the state of Texas.

16 Green (and greenish) snakes in Texas

1. Rough green snake

Rough green snake
Rough green snake | Photo by Peter Paplanus via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Opheodrys aestivus

If you’re in central Texas and find a bright green snake, it’s probably a rough green snake. Apart from being a bright shade of green, this species is also non-venomous and has rough scales.

Rough green snakes only grow to be around 22 to 32 inches in length. They sometimes go down to the ground to bask in the sun or look for food. Their diet consists mainly of insects such as crickets and spiders, but they will also eat lizards and small mammals.

It’s also possible for humans to get quite close to these snakes without fear of being bitten, as they’re docile creatures. Because of their arboreal lifestyle, you can frequently find them in trees, and they’re very good at climbing.

2. Smooth green snake

Smooth green snake
Smooth green snake | image by Peter Paplanus via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Opheodrys vernalis

The smooth green snake is one of the reptiles that live in Texas. It normally inhabits thorn scrub thickets, rocky wooded hillsides, and swamps.

They’re relatively small and slender reptiles, reaching a maximum length of only 20 inches when fully grown. The color of their backs changes depending on where they live, but in the southeastern part of the state of Texas, you’ll most likely see them in a shade of light brown with an olive tint to it.

The smooth green snake is non-aggressive and gentle by nature and is not considered a threat to humans. While they’re known to be relatively docile creatures, they may coil their bodies and strike at their aggressor if they are threatened.

3. Green rock rattlesnake

Green rock rattlesnake
Green rock rattlesnake
  • Scientific Name: Crotalus lepidus klauberi

The green rock rattlesnake is one of the venomous snakes that can be found in Texas.  These rattlesnakes can have colors ranging from green to purple in certain regions, but those living in the Franklin Mountain range of El Paso County have a pearly silver color and dark crossbands on their bodies.

This species is known to hide in cracks and crevices in the rock, and their natural habitats include canyons, scree slopes, and even road cuts made by humans.

4. Green water snake

Green water snake
Green water snake | image by Glenn Bartolotti via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Scientific Name: Nerodia cyclopion  

The Green water snakes are non-venomous reptiles found in various wet environments, including bayous, lakes, marshes, ponds, slow-moving streams, and swamps. From Port Aransas eastward to the Louisiana state line, these snakes are a common sight, where they prey on crayfish, frogs, and fish.

The lower Sabine River, which flows along the border between Texas and Louisiana, is also where you can find these animals.

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5. Banded water snake

Banded water snake resting
Banded water snake resting
  • Scientific Name: Nerodia fasciata

The Banded water snakes are a reptile species endemic to the Midwest and the Southeastern United States. You’ll find them in the eastern and southeastern parts of Texas, and you’ll be able to recognize them by the greenish-gray or brown color of their bodies, which has dark crossbands.

Lakes, marshes, ponds, and streams are typical habitats for this species, where you can find it eating frogs, fish, and salamanders.

6. Texas garter snake

Texas garter snake
Texas garter snake | image by Dawson at English Wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 2.5
  • Scientific Name: Thamnophis sirtalis annectens

There are many subspecies of garter snakes in the state of Texas, and one of them is the Texas garter snake. They have a greenish-black color overall, with a bright orange stripe in the middle of their backs and yellowish stripes on their sides.

Although its name includes the state’s name, this animal is only found in central Texas and is rarely seen. They prefer environments that are near water sources, but they can also be found living in plants, under metal or wood, or underground.

7. Diamondback water snake

Diamondback Water Snake
Diamondback Water Snake | k.draper | Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Nerodia rhombifer

Another type of true water snake located in Texas is the diamondback water snake. It’s a common species of non-venomous snake that you can find in areas close to slow-moving bodies of water such as streams, rivers, ponds, or swamps.

The diamondback water snake has dark net-like patterns on its back and is generally brown or dark olive green in color. Adults can reach a length of up to 4 feet, but some species have been documented reaching almost 6 feet in length.

8. Eastern yellow-bellied racer

Eastern yellow-bellied racer
Eastern yellow-bellied racer | image by smashtonlee05 via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Coluber constrictor flaviventris 

The Eastern yellow-bellied racers are slender snakes that have the potential to grow to a length of up to five feet. They have olive-gray-green backs and yellowish undersides, but as juveniles, they may have a body color that’s brown with dark blotches, and this coloration will change as these animals mature. These racers are quick, and they’re also active hunters who will bite if they feel threatened.

9. Plain-bellied water snake

Plain-bellied water snake
Plain-bellied water snake | image by Northeast Coastal & Barrier Network via Flickr | CC-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Nerodia erythrogaster

The plain-bellied water snake is one of the true water snake species that can be found in the state. Large and heavy, this reptile is typically found in aquatic environments such as lakes, ponds, rivers, and floodplains, where its greenish coloring helps it blend in with the surrounding water.

They’re also known as the most terrestrial water snake since they spend more time on land than other species of the same genus.

10. Checkered garter snake

Checkered garter snake
Checkered garter snake | image by Ashley Wahlberg (Tubbs) via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Thamnophis marcianus 

The checkered garter snake is a species of snake found in the western parts of Texas. They’re endemic to the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America, and can be found in desert and grassland habitats.

This species is distinguished by its greenish coloration and a black checkerboard pattern on its back. In contrast to other species of garter snakes, recent research has shown that these particular species have mildly neurotoxic venom, and it’s not lethal to humans.

11. Mexican racer

Mexican racer
Mexican racer | image by johnyochum via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 4.0
  • Scientific Name: Coluber constrictor oaxaca 
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The Mexican racer is a reptile species found in various habitats, from fields, meadows, and pastures to woodland edges and brushlands. It has a greenish back and a yellowish underside.

The majority of their diet consists of amphibians and other reptiles, as well as the young of ground-dwelling birds and mammals. As a subspecies of the eastern racer, the Mexican racer is harmless to humans.

12. Great Plains rat snake

Great plains rat snake
Great plains rat snake | image by Peter Paplanus via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Pantherophis emoryi

The Great Plains rat snake is a medium-sized snake, with adults growing to be between three and five feet long. They’re grayish in color with dark gray, brown, or green-gray blotches running down their backs.

Wide-open grasslands, coastal plains, semi-arid regions, and mountainous regions are common places to find them. Even though Great Plains rat snakes are generally calm and non-aggressive creatures, they can still bite if they feel threatened.

13. Eastern garter snake

Eastern garter snake
Eastern garter snake | image by Peter Paplanus via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis

There are many different types of snakes in Texas, but one of the most common is the eastern garter snake. These animals have dark brown, black, or green bodies with a white stripe down the center of their backs and down both sides.

They can be found in parks, gardens, and lawns all over Texas but are most common in the southeast. Without venom, these snakes respond to threats by trying to flee or by emitting an unpleasant odor.

14. Texas-lined snake

Texas-lined snake
Texas-lined snake on defense position | image by Dawson via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 2.5
  • Scientific Name: Tropidoclonion lineatum texanum 

Some snake species are endemic to North America, and Texas-lined snakes are one of those. They’re a close relative of garter snakes, which means that just like garters, they have three stripes running along the length of their bodies.

The length of these slender animals can range from about 8 to 12 inches, and their color can range from olive green to dark brown. Since they’re burrowing animals, Texas-lined snakes prefer sandy and loose soils, such as those found in grasslands and pasturelands.

15. Mojave rattlesnake

Mojave green rattlesnake
Mojave green rattlesnake | image by David~O via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Crotalus scutulatus  

The Mojave rattlesnake is a venomous snake with a greenish body that you might find in Texas. Deserts and other environments with shrubs are their natural habitats, and you can find them all the way from Central Texas to most of West Texas.

The Mojave rattlesnake is known as the most venomous rattlesnake in the world, and you can recognize them by their coloring, which ranges from brown to pale green and features dark diamond patterns along their backs.

16. Green corn snake

Green corn snake
Green Corn Snake | image by Peter Paplanus via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Pantherophis guttatus

The corn snake is a popular pet due to its docile nature and wide array of color morphs. Corn snakes are native to the southeastern United States, where they can be found in a variety of habitats, including Meadowlands, tropical hammocks, abandoned buildings, rocky hillsides, and wooded groves. They typically grow to be 8-12 inches in length and live for an average of 10-12 years.

Corn snakes are non-venomous constrictors that kill their prey by first biting to get a grip on their target, then firmly wrapping their bodies around them and suffocating them.

These snakes are relatively easy to care for and make great pets for first-time snake owners. Corn snakes are opportunistic feeders and strictly carnivorous. They eat a wide variety of prey, including mice, rats, birds, and lizards.

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In the wild, corn snakes play an important role in controlling rodent populations. Due to habitat loss and overcollection for the pet trade, corn snakes have now been considered a conservation-dependent species.

If you’re interested in owning a corn snake, do your research to ensure this is the right pet for you.