Snakes With Bands
Bands are defined as rings of different colors almost encircling the snakes body (in all but the coral snake, which do make complete circles).
Click on a picture to see a larger version.
TEXAS CORAL SNAKE, Micrurus fulvius tener
It is a slender snake averaging 2 feet in length.
This snake has red, yellow, and black bands encircling the body, with the red touching the yellow. Although venomous, these snakes have a hard time injecting venom into a human because of their small head and their short, fixed fangs. Bites usually occur
only on the hand on or between the fingers, and the snake has to chew in order to inject the venom, and most people do not let them hang on for long enough to
do serious damage! They are usually encountered by people gardening or weeding. Wearing thick gloves is the safest way to avoid problems with the coral snake
while gardening. These snakes feed mainly upon other snakes and sometimes lizards, so they are attracted to yards landscaped with timbers or flagstones,
since that tends to attract the other smaller snakes on which they can feed. In other parts of Texas, there are found several other snakes which mimic the coral
snake's colors, but these snakes are not common to this area. In Austin, if it looks like a coral snake, it probably is one, as they are somewhat common to
this area. On the other hand, I have found escaped pet Milksnakes in Austin. There are NO recorded deaths related to Coral snake bites in the state of Texas.
BROAD-BANDED COPPERHEAD, Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus
This snake gets to be 2 to 3 feet long.
It is not common to Austin, but can be found in other areas like Elgin and
Bastrop. These snakes have broad bands in alternating colors of copper and light tan. The juveniles have greenish
yellow tips to their tails, which fades as they get older. These snakes feed on rodents, birds, and amphibians. Preventative
measures are the same for the Copperhead as for the Diamondback Rattlesnake mentioned earlier.
CANEBRAKE RATTLESNAKE, Crotalus horridus
average 3 to 4 feet in length.
Canebrake Rattlesnakes also refered to as the Timber Rattlesnake are generally found in the Central and Eastern piney woods area of
Texas. This is a threatened species protected in Texas. A few have been found in Bastrop County but are extremly rare. The snakes background color is usually a shade of gray, tan or brown. On the snakes back are dark chevrons
or V-shaped bands. An orange stripe of varying shades and width runs from head to tail sometimes fading in the last third portion of
the snake. The tail is black or dark brown. They are a mild mannered snake with potent venom.
WESTERN COTTONMOUTH, Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma
This is a heavy-bodied snake averaging 2 to 3 feet in length.
Adult coloration can be almost all black, with a little bit of brown, or
they can appear as black and brown banded. The juvenile pattern is much more pronounced with the tip of the tail a greenish yellow. This
snake isn't common to the Austin area. I've never seen one here in Travis County, but I get a lot of calls from people who think that
they have seen one, and it has always been a water snake. They have never been recorded in Williamson County.
The Cottonmouth likes slow moving water or quiet ponds without a lot of human activity, they feed on frogs, fish, rodents, and birds. They
like to sit very still and blend into their surroundings. If bothered, they will first try to get away, but if cornered they will be
open their mouth and gape, showing their characteristic white mouth. Most snakes have a white mouth, so this is not a way to identify this snake. When sitting in the water, they float on the top of the water. They
hold their head elevated, with their body and tail also on top of the water..
Juveniles have a distinctive banding pattern and, like copperheads, a bright green tail tip. As they get older, they tend to darken up, losing much of this banding pattern and becoming almost solid colored and losing the green color on the tail.
WESTERN COACHWHIP, Masticophis flagellum testacous
This is a large, slender snake averaging 4 to 6 feet in length.
They range in color from solid brown or solid tan to wide brown and
tan bands. They can move very quickly and feed on reptiles, rodents, and birds. If cornered they can raise the front one-third of
their bodies off the ground and they will bite, although they aren't venomous. They will also 'play dead' sometimes by hiding their head under their coils or under the ground to avoid seeing you. When they are in the tall grass, they tend to hold their head high up above the grass for observation. These snakes are diurnal (active in daytime).
Austin Reptile ID Guides | Snakes with stripes | Snakes with blotches
Snakes with diamonds | Snakes with bands | Solid colored snakes
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