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

Snakes With Diamonds

A diamond is defined as a diamond shaped pattern on the back of the snake with the two opposite points of the diamond centered on the snake's spine.
Click on pictures to see a larger version.

venomousWESTERN DIAMONDBACK RATTLESNAKE, Crotalus atrox
(Venomous)

Adults average 3 to 4 feet.
A gray and brown snake with the diamonds being a darker brown. The tail has broad black and white rings just before the rattle. It is rare for the rattle to be completely broken off. These snakes prefer to avoid places with human activity, but if food or water is scarce, they will forage for food anywhere. They primarily eat rodents and birds found on the ground. The Diamondback is usually not a tree or house climber, but is able to cope with a stack of logs or piled rocks.

The best way to prevent these snakes from coming around is by not having places for rodents to live. Logs and lumber should be kept well off the ground and rocks should be stored spread out rather than piled up. Remove all debris from the yard such as stacks of plywood, roofing tin, old fallen buildings, etc., and keep the yard mowed as far from the house as possible. If the yard is 'privacy' or 'chain link' fenced, a barrier such as hardware cloth or fine mesh screen can be installed to physically bar a snake from crawling under or through the fence.
Western Diamondback Rattle Snake
Steve Schwartzman
Western Diamondback Rattle Snake
Adam Dawson
Western Diamondback Rattle Snake
Adam Dawson
Western Diamondback Rattle Snake
Michael Smith

non-venomousDIAMONDBACK WATER SNAKE, Nerodia rhombifer rhombifer
NON-VENOMOUS
The adults average 4-6 feet long.
This is a harmless snake often confused with the venomous Western Cottonmouth because it is found close to or in the water. The snake has a greenish background with a dark diamond pattern on its back. It also has dark green squares on its side and a yellow belly and chin. The snake is common to many of the waterways and ponds in the Austin area. They feed primarily on fish and frogs. These snakes are very shy and will quickly attempt to escape if startled or approached. Water is their preferred escape route and sanctuary.
If the snake is caught, it will first emit a foul smelling musk. If this doesn't work it will bite, but the bite isn't venomous. When sitting still or swimming slowly, the Diamondback Water snake tends to hold it's head and neck level with the water line while allowing the body and tail to be submerged. When these snakes find a backyard goldfish pond, they tend to take up residence there and eat the fish if they are small enough. Larger fish or screening around the pond or at the fence line usually keeps these snakes from entering the yard.
juvenile Diamondback Water Snake
Adam Dawson
juvenile Diamondback Water Snake
Adam Dawson
juvenile Diamondback Water Snake
Adam Dawson
juvenile Diamondback Water Snake
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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