Tuesday, May 5, 2015

SNAKE IDENTIFICATION GUIDE

The size of this snake is hard to know in this picture, could be 8 feet coiled up under the bushes...or it could be what it is, a small snake I found under one of the landscape timbers recently.  Of course, on first reaction, it might as well have been 8 feet long, scared the crap out of me for a brief moment.


So it made me realize we need something to learn the good snakes from the bad snakes.

Snake guide for Texas
Having 11 acres of land, much of it still covered with trees and brush and a large area with a pond/swampy spot, we reluctantly share our space with snakes.  Even though I'm not a big fan of them, I'm also not the type to just kill anything that slithers if it's not dangerous to us.  For example, 'Texas Rat snakes' eat large quantities of rats and mice and if that will help keep the mouse population in check, we're OK to have them there.  

Snakes of Southeast Texas
But like the picture at the top of this post, I still need to know what are the good ones or the bad ones.  Recently, I found this guide on Amazon, it's called Snakes of Southeast Texas.  A slick, glossy, waterproof foldable that has pictures of each of the most common snakes found in our part of the state.  It shows which are venomous, which are safe, which are aggressive and which are not.  It will be nice to have on hand at the farm...

UPDATE:  I forgot to add, since many of you asked, what this snake is.  I ordered the snake guide, and then promptly left it at the farm before I had a chance to look at the picture again.  I will look at it this weekend and see what it shows.  I had intended to leave it in town so we could study it, but forgot.  I'm pretty sure, and with 2nd Family's thoughts, this is a harmless one.

31 comments:

donna baker said...

So which one was yours? We have several venomous snakes where I live. I've already seen 3 this spring. I once tried to pick up a water moccasin with a towel. Now, I know what they look like. And, they stink. While they are very aggressive and will go after you, I find the copperheads don't want to be around humans any more than we want to be around them. But, they do pack a punch. My dogs have been bitten several times. Rattlers will at least warn you. I don't kill any either except for the water moccasins. I am afraid they will bite my dogs or us.

Texan said...

Yes we also purchased a book when we moved out there to identify all the snakes with! Good investment!

Texan said...

oops, that is here not there.

Linda said...

And the answer is.....?

Anonymous said...

Rough Earth Snake?

Anonymous said...

I sent your picture to my son who has been a snake enthusiast since he was a small boy in Houston. He thinks it is a hog-nosed snake. I remember them because they are such clowns. When disturbed they roll on their back and open their mouths and play dead. Totally harmless and eat lots of rodents. None up here in the Dallas area. Most of ours are all seriousness. Julia

Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

Venomous or not, my first reaction is ..."Gahhhh! Snake! RUN!"

laurie said...

I'm with you, they startle me but my first reaction is not to kill them,, they do a lot of good in the garden,,still not a fav, lol, but you're right we need to be educated,,

Gail said...

I think he looks like what we call a ground snake. I just pick these up and move them.

Most venomous snakes here have musky smell they give off when disturbed so sniff while you work. Pit Vipers (a group of poison snakes) have a triangle head.

Just do what I do, jump as if they are all deadly, then identify them! Be careful.

FionaG said...

Eager to learn your snakes identify and if it's harmless or not.

Elephant's Child said...

I don't do snakes well. Most of ours are venomous, and some very, very venomous. In one of our homes we had a snake which lived under the front steps. For about nine months of the year I only used the back door. I don't kill them though.

Colleen said...

My reaction to snakes; run as fast as I could to the house, go in and change my pants

Texas Rose said...

That’s a good guide to have around and study. There are lots of non-venomous snakes and only 4 venomous snakes in Texas: cottonmouth moccasin, copperhead, rattlesnake, and coral snake. The first 3 are pit vipers, having triangular heads. For the coral snake, there’s an easy identification: “Red on yellow, kill a fellow; Red on black, friend of Jack.”
When I see a snake, I freeze and then slowly back away. They eat rats and mice and are important in the balance of nature - so I let it leave - it doesn’t want to be around me anymore than I want to be around it. Live and let live is my motto.

Gary said...

1st,
Your snake would be identified as a “squilious run-back-into-housious”… I do think Anonymous/Julia is on track, since that was what I thought when I first saw the pic. It’s posturing (no aggressive strike coiling) and the protecting of its head leads me to think non-poisonous. “”BUT”” I would not go poking it with my finger. – G

1st Man said...

Yep, we figured we needed to learn our snakes. Better safe than sorry. 2nd Family's dogs have been bit a few times, water moccasins...they do scare me but most I will leave alone.

1st Man said...

Yep, figured we need to keep track of these things. We've personally seen 4 different looking snakes out there over the last few years. It's a wise investment huh? ;-) And hey, for us, if I'm blogging from 'here' it's about the farm out 'there'. Someday, it will all be 'here'.

1st Man said...

We think it's what they call an "earth snake" or a "ground snake", harmless, but I updated the post to say we're going to check (forgot toe bring the guide here so we could check it, I take the pics out there and bring them into town to edit when I make blog posts and then thought the guide was here, oops!).

1st Man said...

We think so, now sure yet. ;-)

1st Man said...

Cool, thank you for that! I will check out some google photos. Anything that eats rodents is good for us. Thanks for stopping by!!!

1st Man said...

You and me both! I did back up a few yards, er, feet....

1st Man said...

Yep, we need to all learn to get along, right? I know many eat all sorts of things we'd rather not have so it is a tradeoff I suppose. Except the 'bad ones. ;-)

1st Man said...

Someone told me that once, just treat them all as if they are all dangerous (not killing them of course) just back away and be safe. I never heard the musky smell, thanks for that...

1st Man said...

Pretty sure it's not a bad one. But still need to check it out. I know it's not like some of the crazy dangerous ones you have down there! ;-)

1st Man said...

I know there are some really really bad ones there huh? I don't like to kill them either. I know there is one under our house but I like to block that out of my mind, ha.

1st Man said...

HA!!!!!!!! That made me laugh out loud!!! ;-)

1st Man said...

We've been told by 2nd Family that there are water moccasins (cottonmouth) and copperheads out there. I am trying to learn their appearance so I know. I back away too, and let it be, but I can't imagine they are as scare of us as we are of them, ha. Live and let live, good words to live by.

1st Man said...

You cracked me up! I love it!!! Interesting observation about the no aggressive posturing and protecting its hear. Thanks for that. And yeah, no poking for sure!!

Sandy said...

1st Man,

Any snake......dead by shovel!!! Or gun!!!
It looks like a rat snake.

Anonymous said...

Let me add one more observation from an amateur. I am 78 and don't take chances but-- It seems to me that the venomous snakes are sluggish from their own venom. I am intimidated by the snake that just sits there and looks at me. I backpedal as quickly as I safely can. The snake that runs away from me has speed as his only defense (though they will all bite as self defense).Don't take this as gospel, just my observations. Julia (again)

Ralphy said...

definitely not a rattlesnake, coralsnake or a copperhead. Copperheads have Hershey's chocolate kisses markings on their skin. cottonmouths are a very dark snake and will open their mouths in a threat posture and reveal their white as "cotton" mouths. So i would say that is a harmless snake in the picture above.

Unknown said...

What kinda snake is in the above picture?? Anyone know