Texas Snake Identification


Venemous Snakes of the San Antonio Area

There are 5 species of venemous snakes that may be found in San Antonio. To see images and descriptions of them

List of Texas Snakes:

For a list of catagorized snakes of the southwestern United States provided by the South Western Center For Herpetological Research click here. For a similar list of snakes from the Austin and San Antonio areas provided by the Austin Reptile Service click here.

Snake Identification Tool

Our snake identification tool will allow you to narrow down and identify a snake you have seen based on entered characteristics. Enter as many attributes as you can to narrow down the results. For a broader search enter only a few attributes. Note that this tool is currently only set up for snakes of San Antonio and the surrounding area (about 50 miles), however many species found in San Antonio are in other parts of the state. There are also occasional oddities that will not adhere to our predefined characterstics, but these are rareties.

After hitting submit the resultant listed species will link to species profiles located on the South Western Center For Herpetological Reserch website. The image adjacent to the species name will show the most common pattern and coloration of the listed species, but many snakes vary widly, don't rule out a species because it does not look exactly like your specimen.

* All drawn visual aids are from Texas Snakes Identification, Distribution, and Natural History by John E. Werler and James R. Dixon. The drawings are by Regina Levoy.

Texas can be divided into 6 "biological provinces." Each is characterized by "peculiarities of vegetation type, ecological climax, flora, fauna, climate, physiography, and soil. For our purposes, these provinces will help narrow down your search. Simply select the province where you found the specimen.
Austroriparian

Texan

Tamaulipan

Balconian

Kansan

Chihuahuan

All of the following colors can be found on different species of Texas snakes. Select the ones that match the particular snakes dorsal section (do not select colors on the belly of the snake). The colors do not have to be explicitly represented on the specimen but if you are unsure of a color it is best to leave it out to prevent excluding possible species.
Blacks
Blacks
Browns
Browns
Tans
Tans
Grays
Grays
Whites
White
Reds
Reds
Yellows
Yellows
Greens
Greens
Pinks
Pinks
Oranges
Oranges
Blues
Blues
Most snakes will have a single predominant pattern type. Select the one that best represents your specimens dorsal pattern. Note, a spot ranges in size from the size of a speckle to a few scales in diameter, but is smaller than a blotch.
Unicolor

Unicolor Pattern
Stripes

Striped Pattern
Blotches

Blotched Pattern
Spots

Spotted Pattern
Rings/Bands/Saddles

Ringed Pattern
Cross Banded Pattern
Diamonds

Diamond Pattern
Select the approximate size of the specimen. Do not exagerate.
<1 Foot
1-2 Feet
2-3 Feet
4 Feet
4+ Feet
Snakes scales are either very smooth or have ridges running down the centers of each scale. The ridges can very in degree and sometimes can only be found along the upper back and anterior dorsal sections of the snake. A snake with ridged scales will feel rough to the touch. If you are unsure as to wither your specimen has ridged scales, do not select anything.
Keeled Scales

Keeled Scales
Smooth Scales

Smooth Scales
Snakes heads can very from being completly streamline to almost perfect triangles. For our purposes, a triangular head is one that protrudes from the neck at about a 100 degree angle. Most snakes with triangular heads are venemous, the venom sacs on either side of their head give it the shape. An inline head will appear more diamond shaped or streamline.
Triangular Head

Triangular Head Shape
Inline Head

Inline Head Shape
The "Black Head" attribute applies only to those snakes who's head is black and of a different color than the main body.
Black Head
Rattles can very in size and a rattlesnake may not always rattle. But if you see a rattle on the tip of the tale of your specimen it is definitly a species of rattlesnake. Make sure that you see a rattle, many snakes mimmick rattlesnakes by rapidly vibrating their tales against the ground.
Rattle
Most snakes have circular shaped pupils, but some, particularly the venemous species, have vertical eliptical pupils.
Vertical Pupil

Vertical Pupil
Many snakes have markings on their bellies, unless your specimen's belly is completly devoid of pattern do not select the solid belly attribute. The belly colors can apply to snakes with and without belly patterns. The color attributes represent background colors, not an occasional fleck.
Solid Belly
Red Belly
Yellow Belly
Cream Belly