Rattlesnakes are not the only venomous snakes in Texas, though they are by far the most common and tend to strike the most fear in Texans’ hearts.
Next on the list of most feared snakes is the cottonmouth, or water moccasin. Ranging in color from a splotchy gray to nearly black, it is commonly found around swampy, slow-water terrain and habitat.
The copperhead is a small, beautifully colored and patterned snake found mostly in yards and wooded areas of East Texas but also Central Texas. It is common in cities and towns and is known to deliver bites to children playing outside or adults walking on the lawn.
Coral snakes, which deliver neurotoxic venom, are found throughout the eastern half of the state, including Central Texas. They are small, slender snakes and must literally chew on a person to get their venom into the bite.
Coachwhip A slender, mostly light brown to tan snake that will kill and eat rattlesnakes, it doesn’t attack people by whipping their legs, as folklore suggests. It eats birds, small reptiles and almost anything else it can catch and swallow. The Central Texas whipsnake, a member of this family, has a black head and a blackandwhite pattern on the rest of its body.
Texas rat snake Maybe the most common snake in Texas, this acrobatic climber feeds on rats and mice, birds and birds’ eggs. It can grow to be quite large but is not dangerous to humans. It will bite, though, and protect itself with an obnoxious musk.
Hog-nosed snake Most common in East Texas, this little snake has an upturned nose and feeds on insects. It will play dead if threatened. It has a brownish to gray body with broken patterns of brown and black on its back.
Diamondback water snake A brownish snake with yellowish belly, it is common in lakes and ponds through much of Texas, especially the damper eastern half of the state. It eats fish, frogs and other aquatic fauna. It is often mistaken for a water moccasin and killed.
Speckled king snake A large snake, it’s commonly known as a chicken snake for its habit of sneaking into hen houses and devouring eggs and baby chicks—though the rat snake is more likely the culprit in those raids.