Austin Reptile Service
Tim Cole
Phone: 512-83-SNAKE
(512-837-6253)
Email: timcole@austinreptileservice.net
Georgetown, Texas

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.

venomousTEXAS CORAL SNAKE, Micrurus fulvius tener
(Venomous)

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.
Texas Coral Snake
Steve Schwartzman
Texas Coral Snake
Adam Dawson

 

venomousBROAD-BANDED COPPERHEAD, Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus
(Venomous)

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.
Broad-Banded Copperhead
Steve Schwartzman
Broad-Banded Copperhead
Steve Schwartzman
Broad-Banded Copperhead
Adam Dawson
Juvenile Broad-Banded Copperhead Tail
Adam Dawson

 

venomousCANEBRAKE RATTLESNAKE, Crotalus horridus
(Venomous)

These snakes 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.
Canebrake Rattlesnake
Adam Dawson
Canebrake Rattlesnake
Adam Dawson
Canebrake Rattlesnake
Adam Dawson
Canebrake Rattlesnake
Adam Dawson

 

venomousWESTERN COTTONMOUTH, Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma
(Venomous)

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 Cottonmouth
Steve Schwartzman
Western Cottonmouth
Steve Schwartzman
Western Cottonmouth
Ed Acuña
Western Cottonmouth
Ed Acuña
Juvenile Western Cottonmouth
Adam Dawson
Western Cottonmouth
Adam Dawson
Western Cottonmouth
Adam Dawson

non-venomousWESTERN COACHWHIP, Masticophis flagellum testacous
NON-VENOMOUS
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).
Western Coachwhip
Steve Schwartzman
Western Coachwhip
Ed Acuña
Western Coachwhip
Ed Acuña
Western Coachwhip
Adam Dawson

 

Austin Reptile ID Guides | Snakes with stripes | Snakes with blotches
Snakes with diamonds | Snakes with bands | Solid colored snakes

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