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9 Non-Venomous Snakes in Texas

There are dozens of snake species that call Texas home, and many of them are non-venomous. Most of these snakes are harmless, and will not bite people unless intentionally messed with. Some of these snakes can frequently be spotted in neighborhoods around the state. These 9 non-venomous snakes are the most common ones found in Texas.

Photo collage non venomous snakes in Texas

9 Non-Venomous 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
  • Coloring: bright green
  • Range: Central Texas
  • Other names: grass snake, green snake

The Rough green snakes are most common in areas of Central Texas, and they are easily identified by their unique coloring and slender body shape. They are bright green, and adults can reach up to three feet long.

Rough green snakes prefer to prey on small insects, especially crickets and grasshoppers. For the most part, they can be found living in areas with a lot of brush for them to hide on. This type of snake is starting to be seen less often in the state.

2. Rough Earth Snake

Rough earth snake
Rough earth snake | image by Peter Paplanus via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Haldea striatula
  • Coloring: brown
  • Range: all of Texas
  • Other names: earth snake

Just like the Rough Green Snake, the Rough Earth Snake is also commonly seen in the state of Texas. They are one of the smallest snake species in the state, reaching just 10 inches long as adults.

Rough Earth Snakes like to live in suburban areas and can be found frequently roaming yards and gardens. They eat small insects, in addition to grubs and worms. While found in neighborhoods often, they are completely harmless to people and pets.

3. Western Rat Snake

Western Rat Snake on a tree
Western Rat Snake on a tree | image by Peter Paplanus via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Pantherophis obsoletus
  • Coloring: brown and tan with dark markings
  • Range: all over Texas
  • Other names: chicken snake, Texas rat snake

The Western Rat Snakes are commonly called chicken snakes and Texas rat snakes. It is one of the most common of all snakes found in Texas and is frequently discovered in chicken coops. This is because they will eat the eggs laid by the chickens.

On average adults will be around six feet long, but some have been known to grow longer. The Western Rat Snake is one of the longest snakes that call the Lone Star state home. Even though these snakes like to eat birds and eggs, they also prey on rats, squirrels, and mice.

4. Eastern Hognose

Eastern Hognose
Eastern Hognose | credit: Hunter Desportes | Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Heterodon platirhinos
  • Coloring: tan with dark brown marks
  • Range: all over Texas
  • Other names: Hognose snake

The Eastern Hognose snakes have a unique defense mechanism where they will roll over, pretending to play dead, if faced with a major threat. Even though these snakes have a small amount of venom in their fangs, they are classified as non-venomous because they don’t have enough to cause any harm.

In some cases, a bite can lead to swelling. Sometimes these snakes are just called Hognoses. They will prey on small mammals but specifically enjoy hunting toads. Eastern Hognose snakes live in areas all over the state of Texas.

5. Texas Patchnose

Texas patchnose snake
Texas patchnose snake | image by Dawson via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 2.5
  • Scientific name: Salvadora grahamiae lineata
  • Coloring: brown-striped
  • Range: South Texas
  • Other names: Patchnose snake
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The Texas Patchnose snake is mostly found in South Texas, and they prefer to live in rocky terrains. These snakes will feed on nearly anything they come across that is small enough.

This can include eggs, lizards, smaller snakes, mice, and rats. They can be recognized by a brown striped coloring along their body and an enlarged nose scale. Adult Texas Patchnose snakes can be between 2 and 3 feet long.

6. Blotched Water Snake

Blotched water snake
Blotched water snake | image by Josh Henderson via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific name: Nerodia erythrogaster transversa
  • Coloring: Dark brown with markings
  • Range: south central Texas
  • Other names: water snake

Multiple types of water snakes call Texas home, including the Blotched Water Snake. This type of snake regularly feeds on frogs and fish, and the dark brown coloring and markings make this snake frequently confused for a cottonmouth snake.

A Blotched Water Snake can be highly defensive and may strike out if someone gets too close. It can release a musky odor as well to repel predators. This snake is closely related to the Diamondback Water Snake.

7. Diamondback Water Snake

Diamondback Water Snake
Diamondback Water Snake | k.draper | Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0
  • Scientific name: Nerodia rhombifer
  • Coloring: dark brown with black markings
  • Range: south central Texas
  • Other names: water snake

These Water Snakes are closely related to the Blotched Water Snake, and just like them, they have often been confused for cottonmouth snakes. Their body is dark brown with black rings that resemble Diamonds. They can be found in the waters of south central Texas and will release a foul smell if they feel threatened.

The Diamondback Water Snake is quite defensive, just like the Blotched Water Snake, and is likely to strike out if approached. Snakes and frogs are the main part of this snake’s diet. These non-venomous snakes in Texas are actually much more aggressive than many of the venomous species found in the state.

8. 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
  • Coloring: brown with dark markings
  • Range: entire state
  • Other names: garter snake

One of the most common snakes that can be found across all of Texas is the Checkered Garter Snake. They have slender brown-colored bodies with darker marks along their backs and can be found in neighborhoods and wild areas.

Checkered Garter Snakes can reach up to 2 feet long as adults. They prefer to live near the water and are frequently found in neighborhoods. Their diets consist of insects and small rodents, as well as frogs.

9. Milk Snake

Milk snake resting
Milk snake resting | image by Ashley Wahlberg (Tubbs) via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0
  • Scientific name: Lampropeltis triangulum
  • Coloring: red, black, and yellow markings
  • Range: the entire state
  • Other names: milksnake or milk snake

While the Milk Snake looks like the venomous Coral Snake, it is not venomous and poses no threats to people. They reach an average of 2 feet long but can get up to 3 feet long.

Milk Snakes can be recognized by thin black bands near their red markings. This type of snake also resembles the Scarlet King Snake, which is also non-venomous. Milk Snakes can be found all around the state of Texas.

Conclusion

You can find dozens of species of non-venomous snakes in Texas, but these nine species are some of the most common ones you will come across. These snakes are harmless to humans, even if their bites hurt.