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

Snakes With Blotches

A blotch is defined as a non-geometrical, irregular patterns on the snake’s back. Click on pictures to see a larger version.

non-venomousTEXAS RAT SNAKE, Elaphe obsoleta lindheimerii
NON-VENOMOUS
The adults are from 4 to 6 feet long, but I have actually caught one near Zilker Park that was 7'1" long!
This is the most common large snake in the Austin area. The snake is often incorrectly called a 'chicken snake', probably became of it's fondness for hen's eggs. It is often misidentified for several reasons. This snake will vibrate its tail, and depending on what the tail is hitting against may make a sound that will make you think that you are dealing with a Rattlesnake, even though they have no rattle! While the juveniles are colored with brown blotches on a gray background, the adult's dark gray to black blotches will be on a red, orange, yellow, or even white background, giving the snake a wide range of possible color combinations. The belly is plain with no patterning.These snakes will eat any kind of rodent, birds, and bird eggs. They are excellent climbers, and will go into attics and under homes in search of prey. These snakes are very aggressive when cornered or captured. But hey, if your main diet consisted of rats, you'd probably have an attitude problem, too. These snakes are constrictors, but not venomous. If you don't have any food for them around your house, they will tend to stay away.

These are one of the most beneficial snakes in the Austin area, because of their ability to keep the rodent population down.
Texas Rat Snake
Steve Schwartzman
Texas Rat Snake
Steve Schwartzman
Juvenile Texas Rat Snake
Adam Dawson
Juvenile Texas Rat Snake
Adam Dawson
Juvenile Texas Rat Snake
Adam Dawson
Texas Rat Snake
John Rivera
Texas Rat Snake climbing
David Elliott
Texas Rat Snake climbing
David Elliott
Texas Rat Snake climbing
David Elliott

non-venomousGREAT PLAINS RAT SNAKE, Elaphe guttata emoryi
NON-VENOMOUS
The adults are 3 to 4 feet long.
This snake has large brown blotches on a gray background. The belly has a checkerboard pattern. They feed on rodents and birds. They are not as agile climbers as the Texas Rat Snake. Generally a much calmer snake.
Great Plains Rat Snake
Steve Schwartzman
Great Plains Rat Snake
Ed Acuña
Great Plains Rat Snake
Ed Acuña
Great Plains Rat Snake
Marty Wamsley

 

non-venomousBLOTCHED WATER SNAKE, Nerodia erythrogaster transversa
NON-VENOMOUS
The adults average 3 feet in length.
The adult snake has a brown body. with faint lines forming a pattern on it's back, while the juvinile has a much more pronounced pattern. Has a pale, solid yellow chin and belly. When sitting in water, they only expose their head, with the rest of their body and tail below the surface

(Refer to the Diamondbacked Water snake for diet and habits since they are the same for both animals.)
Blotched Water Snake
Steve Schwartzman
juvenile Blotched Water Snake
Adam Dawson
juvenile Blotched Water Snake
Adam Dawson
juvenile Blotched Water Snake
Adam Dawson
juvenile Blotched Water Snake
Adam Dawson
Blotched Water Snake Swimming
Tatiana Encheva
Blotched Water Snake
Kevin Dankwardt
Blotched Water Snake
Kevin Dankwardt
Blotched Water Snake
Kevin Dankwardt

non-venomousEASTERN HOGNOSE SNAKE, Heterodon platyrhinos
NON-VENOMOUS
The males average around 2 feet long, females up to 4 feet.
Easily identified by its upturned snout, it is a very stout bodied snake with brown blotches on a background that can various shades of red, grey, green, brown, yellow... This is a very unique snake with unusual defenses. When this NON-VENOMOUS snake is first encountered, it will flare its neck and head so that it somewhat resembles a cobra's hood, and at the same time will hiss very loudly! If this doesn't scare you away, the snake may roll over on its back with its mouth open and 'play dead'. If you roll it back upright, it will flip itself back onto its back, as though insisting that it is dead! They feed almost exclusively on toads.
Eastern Hognose
Adam Dawson
Eastern Hognose
Adam Dawson
Eastern Hognose
Steve Schwartzman
Eastern Hognose
Adam Dawson
Eastern Hognose
Adam Dawson
Eastern Hognose
Ed Acuña
Eastern Hognose
Paul

 

non-venomousBULLSNAKE,Pituophis catenfer sayi|
NON-VENOMOUS
These are large snakes, averaging 4 to 6 feet in length when mature.
This is now the largest species of snake native to Texas. Record is 9ft, 3 inches!
They have brown blotches that are almost square, on a background of light brown to almost yellow in some cases. This snake is capable of hissing very loudly and they constrict their prey, which consists mostly of rodents and birds.
Bullsnake
Steve Schwartzman
Bullsnake
Adam Dawson
Bullsnake
Adam Dawson
Bullsnake
Adam Dawson

 

non-venomousPRAIRIE KINGSNAKE, Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster
NON-VENOMOUS
Adults average 2 to 3 feet long, with coloration that can vary.
Some have dark brown almost oval shaped blotches on a light gray background, while others have a very dark double row of blotches or even stripes. The head of this snake is small, compared to other large snakes, and the Kingsnake is immune to the venom of the pit vipers. They feed on rodents, birds, and other snakes.
Prairie King Snake
Steve Schwartzman
Bullsnake
Adam Dawson

 

non-venomousINTERGRADED KINGSNAKE, Lampropeltis getula hobrooki X splendida
NON-VENOMOUS
This snake is the product of the overlapping ranges of the Desert Kingsnake and the Speckled Kingsnake here in Central Texas. It is a black snake with yellow or orange speckling that often forms a chain or blotch pattern on its back. It has the same small head and prey as the Prairie Kingsnake.
Hatchling Intergrade King Snake
Hatchling Intergrade King Snake

 

non-venomousEASTERN YELLOW BELLY RACER, Coluber constrictor flaviventris
NON-VENOMOUS
The adults average 3 to 4 feet in length.
Adults are olive to light green on top with a yellow belly. Juveniles are blotched patterned with a brown or gray background. They feed on reptiles and sometimes rodents and birds. When they are in the tall grass, they tend to hold their head high up above the grass for observation

Juvenile Eastern Yellow Belly Racer
Steve Schwartzman
Eastern Yellow Belly Racer
Adam Dawson
Eastern Yellow Belly Racer head shot
Adam Dawson
Eastern Yellow Belly Racer belly shot
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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