The Many Rattlesnakes of Texas
wideopencountry.com gave a nice list of the different rattlesnakes found in Texas. Taking that list, and getting information from Texas Parks and Wildlife website, let's learn what these different rattlesnakes look like, where they are found, and what to do and not to do if we encounter one.
There are two different groups of rattlesnakes in Texas.
There is the Western Massasauge, which are light gray in color with brown oval shapes on their back and smaller shapes on their side. They are usually two feet long and found in grasslands and marshy and swampy areas.
The other type is Desert Massasauge, which are lighter than the above kind and are smaller and more slender. There are found more in the Trans-Pecas, Panhandle and Rio Grande Valley area of Texas.
Texas is also home to a more advanced species of rattlesnake called Crotalus. These are some of those rattlesnakes we will see.
Mottled Rock Rattlesnake
These are about two feet long and slender. They have a light bream or pink background with spaced crossbands and mottled areas between the crossbands. They are found mostly in the mountains of West Texas.
Banded Rock Rattlesnake
These are similar to the Mottled Rock Rattlesnake but have dark green-gray color and are found in far West Texas
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
These guys will get between 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet long. They have diamond shaped markings on their back and alternating black and white rings on the tail. These are the most commonly found rattlesnake in Texas but found less in East Texas than other parts of the state.
They are very similar in look to the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake but are smaller. They are found in West Texas.
These rattlesnakes are more heavyset and about 4 1/2 long. They are either brown or tan with dark crossbands and their tail is black. They are found in wooded areas in wetlands.
Black Tail Rattlesnake
They have a black tail like the Timber Rattlesnake and are either gray or olive green with dark spots on their back. The can get to about 3 1/2 feet long. They are found in Central Texas and in West Texas bushes and rocky ledges.
They are about three feet long and have a greenish or grayish color. They are slender and have round spots on their backs. They are found more in the Western part of Texas.
How can you avoid running into these snakes or any snake for that matter?
- Keep your yard mowed.
- Don't have any brush, wood, rock or other piled up debris in your yard.
- Never put your hands in a pile of debris where you can't see them.
- Watch out when stepping over a falling tree or in areas where rocks are jutting out.
- Keep a lookout around creek banks.
What should you do if you are bitten?
- Identify the snake that bit you, if possible.
- Keep calm to prevent the spread of the venom.
- Wash the bitten area with a disinfectant if available.
- Remove any jewelry or tight fitting clothes as swelling is possible.
- Restrict movement of the bitten area to decrease the spread of the venom.
- And most important of all, get the bit victim to a hospital.
Check out tpwd.texas.gov for even more information about other snakes found in Texas.