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Local Snakes

There are 30 plus species of snakes found in the Dallas area.  The vast majority are perfectly harmless, nonvenomous snakes.

Venomous Snakes of Collin County

Snakes are not inherently bad or something to be feared. They play a vital role in the local ecosystem helping to control the rodent population. Additionally, these animal are not intentionally looking to be aggressive towards humans. Often times, snakes bite when they are accidentally stepped on or feel threatened. The best course of action is to simply let the snake be and it will leave on its own. The last thing a snake wants to do is tangle with a human.

The table below lists some of the common venomous snakes found in Lucas along with information around their habitats and defensive mechanisms.

Broad-banded Copperhead

Southern Copperhead

  • Copperheads prefer well wooded and shaded areas and often make their homes in piles of wood, brush, or large stones.
  • These snakes are most active at dawn and dusk, and are usually encountered on bike and foot
  • Copperheads are the ones that inflict the most bites on humans due to the fact that they are very common throughout their range and they frequent habitats where people are likely to encounter them.
  • When threatened, copperheads will often freeze in place when approached rather than flee due to confidence in their camouflage.
  • Fortunately, the bite of this snake is usually the least serious of all those listed here. Copperheads have the least potent venom of any snake in Texas. They also have a tendency to dry bite—to inject little or no venom—when striking a non-prey animal. These factors combined with the copperhead’s small fangs (3/8 inch) help to reduce the danger presented by these snakes.
  • Click here to learn more about Copperheads
Western Cottonmouth (aka Water Moccasin)

  • These snakes usually keep to swampy locations that most people are apt to avoid. This is not always the case, however, and cottonmouths have been encountered in dry areas far from any standing body of water.
  • Although these snakes account for very few bites each year, their venom is very potent. Across the United States cottonmouths are responsible for an average of about one death per year.
  • When encountered, Western Cottonmouths will go to great lengths to alert you to their presence in order to avoid having to bite. When alarmed or threatened, these snakes will hiss loudly and open their mouths to reveal the white namesake interior as a warning. They will shake the tip of their tail in in dried detritus in order to create a rattling sound.
  • If time allows, cottonmouths will coil up, pulling their head back into the center so that only the white of their open mouth is exposed. It can be quite alarming to discover a cottonmouth behaving this way, but it is a strictly defensive posture. When given ample room, most Western Cottonmouths will retreat at the first opportunity.
  • Click here to learn more about the Western Cottonmouth
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

  • Perhaps the most dangerous of all the snakes on this list. It is very common across all its range, and shows no specific habitat preference. This rattlesnake is active during the day and said to be very bold. All of these factors combine to make encounters with people relatively likely.
  • The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake’s venom is a potent cocktail that includes neurotoxins, pre-digestive enzymes, and hemotoxins. This snake is responsible for the majority of serious hospital treated snakebites in Texas.
  • Click here to learn more about the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Timber Rattlesnake Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)

  • Found in the eastern third of the state of Texas.
  • The preferred habitat is dense underbrush in bottomland forests, and it is said to avoid developed areas. This tendency results in an uneven distribution across its range.
  • This large snake is potentially very dangerous, but it is said to have a mild disposition and usually will provide abundant warning before striking.
  • Click to learn more about the Timber Rattlesnake
Western Pygmy Rattlesnake

  • Sightings of the Western Pygmy Rattlesnake usually occur far to the east of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
  • They frequent places with dense vegetation near reliable water sources.
  • Even though this little rattlesnake is said to be quick to bite, it is not considered very dangerous. The snake’s tiny fangs generally limit its ability to envenomate, and even with a successful bite, the Western Pygmy Rattlesnake does not produce enough venom to deliver a fatal quantity.
  • Click here to learn more about the Western Pygmy Rattlesnake
Texas Coralsnake (A Guide to Snakes of Southeast Texas ... Texas Coral Snake

  • Although very rare, they can be common in areas near human development, but they are secretive and rarely seen.
  • The venom of the coral snake is the most potent of all snakes in North America, and is said to be similar to that of cobras.
  • These snakes tend to avoid confrontation with people and bites are rare—usually the result of deliberate and prolonged handling.
  • Further, the nature of the Texas Coral Snake’s fangs makes it difficult for the snake to effectively envenomate a human.
  • When bites do occur, they should be considered very serious. Only a small amount of coral snake venom can prove to be fatal.
  • Coral snakes can sometimes be confused with other similarly colored, but non venomous snakes, like the milk snake. The arrangement of the color bands is a good differentiator. The operative phrase to remember is, “Red touch yellow, kill a fellow. Red touch black, friend of Jack.”
  • Click here to learn more about the Texas Coral Snake

Non-Venomous Snakes of Collin County

Not all snakes that you may encounter in Lucas are venomous. Although they may be scarry looking, they are harmless and are doing you and the ecosystem a favor by helping to control the rodent population

The table below lists some of the common non-venomous snakes found in Lucas along with information around their habitats and defensive mechanisms.


Texas Rat Snake - A-Z Animals

Texas Rat Snake

  • A common snake in North Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and the most commonly encountered snake in Texas. They are harmless and don't attack people.
  • This species can get rather large (5+ feet long), and is great for rodent control.
  • You can tell a rat snake from a venomous snake by its head shape, which is more rounded and less angular than the chunky heads of pit vipers, such as copperheads, cottonmouths, and rattlesnakes.
  • A large population of rat snakes is a strong indicator of a large population of rodents in the area.
  • Click here to learn more about the Texas Rat Snake
Diamondback Watersnake (A Guide to Snakes of Southeast Texas) · iNaturalist Diamondback Water Snake

  • A non-venomous snake that can be found near bodies of water.
  • The longest U.S. water snake, adults average about five feet in length, with some reaching lengths of about eight feet.
  • Preferring slow-moving water, diamondbacks inhabit a variety of waterways:  ponds, swamps, rivers, drainage ditches and stock tanks.
  • They may bite if they feel threatened.
  • Click to learn more about the Diamondback Water Snake
Don't believe everything you hear about the Blotched Watersnake Blotched Water Snake

Western Ribbon Snake

  • A relatively small, harmless snake
  • A type of Garter Snake growing 17-50" in length
  • Semi-aquatic, it appears in a large variety of habitat's, usually not far from water
  • It feeds on a range of invertebrates (earthworms, crayfish) and small vertebrates (lizards, fishes, and frogs, including tadpoles)
  • Click to learn more about the Western Ribbon Snake
Texas Brown Snake

  • A small, harmless snake, they can be found in moist woodlands under logs and bark. In urban areas they are often found in gardens and flower beds, and also under old pieces of roofing or linoleum in backyards and vacant lots
  • They feed mainly on earthworms and slugs, but also eat insects, spiders and cricket frogs
  • Click to learn more about the Texas Brown Snake
Information courtesy of DFW Urban Wildlife
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