Learn how to identify these 8 snakes common in Tomball, Magnolia as snake season approaches


Editor’s note: This story has been updated from the March 2019 print edition to clarify diamondback water snakes are nonvenomous.

Snake season has arrived in the Tomball and Magnolia areas. Snakes cannot tolerate extreme cold and will emerge from hibernation starting in late February or early March in Texas, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Coral snake

  • Venomous
  • Size: 2-3 feet
  • Color: red, yellow and black bands with red and yellow bands touching

Copperhead snake

  • Venomous
  • Size: 2-3 feet
  • Color: brown- or salmon-colored with chestnut or reddish-brown crossbands in an hourglass shape

Cottonmouth snake

  • Venomous
  • Size: 2-3 feet
  • Color: dark brown, olive brown, olive green or black with wide, dark bands; green-yellow colored tail when young

Timber rattlesnake

  • Venomous
  • Size: 3-5 feet
  • Color: brown or tan with wide, dark crossbands and a black tail

Diamondback water snake

  • Nonvenomous
  • Size: 2.5-4 feet
  • Color: black or dark brown with a diamond pattern down the back

Gulf Coast Ribbon snake

  • Nonvenomous
  • Size: 1.5-2.5 feet
  • Color: brown or olive brown with tan or yellow stripes down the back

Texas/Western Rat snake

  • Nonvenomous
  • Size: 5-7 feet
  • Color: gray, dark brown or reddish-brown, blotched patterns down the body

Eastern Hognose snake

  • Nonvenomous
  • Size: 20-30 inches
  • Color: tan to brown, blotched patterns down the body
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1 comment
  1. I can’t remember what day it is half the time let alone half a dozen venomous snakes, if you are a snake you die. Ribbon snakes may get a pass.

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Kara McIntyre
Kara started with Community Impact Newspaper as the summer intern for the south Houston office in June 2018 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She became the Tomball/Magnolia reporter in September 2018. Prior to CI, Kara served as the editor-in-chief of The Wichitan—Midwestern State University's student-run campus newspaper—and interned with both the Wichita Adult Literacy Council and VeepWorks.
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