Texas is home to more species of snakes than any other state — over 110 species and subspecies, but there are six that are venomous that you should watch out for while camping in your travel trailer or RV at a Texas RV park. When camping in any area, but especially if you camp in the woods or fields on private property, you should watch for snakes. If you are not sure what kind of snake you come across, give it a wide berth. Also, make sure pets don’t tangle with snakes.
Texas Coral Snake: The Texas coral snake has red, black, and yellow rings. The yellow rings separate the red and black rings. This snake’s head is black. Typically, in venomous snakes with this type of pattern, the snake is venomous when the red and yellow bands touch. If the red and black bands touch, the snake is usually non-venomous. A coral snake is usually less than 24 inches long, but they have been known to grow to almost 50 inches. Coral snakes live in areas that are partially wooded. They like areas with a lot of leaves, sticks, and other organic debris lying around. It eats small lizards and other small snakes. It is the most venomous snake in the area.
Western Pygmy Rattlesnake: It is rare to see this snake. It prefers the open and wooded lowlands of the upper Texas coast. It grows to about 20 inches long. It usually hangs out where there is standing water.
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake: This is the most common venomous snake in Texas. It likes arid terrain with sparse vegetation. It is also the second-largest venomous snake in the United States. It usually grows to an adult length of 3 to 4 feet, but Western diamondbacks that are over 7 feet long have been seen. It has a black-and-white-banded tail. This snake’s back has diamond-shaped blotches that have light-colored borders.
Canebrake Rattlesnake: This snake has dark-colored chevron cross bands on its back. The rest of its body ranges from grayish brown to pinkish brown, except for its tail, which is glossy black. It is often referred to as the “velvet tail.” The canebrake can reach lengths of over 6 feet but is usually 3 to 5 feet long. It usually eats small animals and is usually found in lowland forests near rivers and lakes. It is another rare species and is protected by the State of Texas.
Southern Copperhead: This snake is light tan or pale brown and has hourglass-shaped crossbands. The narrow part of the hourglass shape is in the middle of the snake’s back. Though the Southern copperhead can grow to 52 inches, it is usually 24 to 26 inches long. It is generally found in wooded areas near streams or bayous. It is commonly seen in urban parks and wooded lots and likes to hide underbrush.
Western Cottonmouth: The Western cottonmouth, also known as the water moccasin is dark. It does have cross-banding, but it is ill-defined. It has a large flat head that is wider than its neck. The head also has a wide, dark brown stripe that has white borders. This snake grows up to over 5 feet but is generally 24 to 36 inches long. It likes areas with permanent water and is popular in areas with marshes and swamps.