Jim Wells County, located in the Coastal Bend region of south Texas encompasses 845 square miles of level to rolling terrain dominated by mesquite brush and grassy pasture lands with sandy to dark soils. The Nueces River borders the extreme northeastern corner of the county. The county is between 100 and 400 feet above sea level and has an average annual rainfall of approximately 27 inches.
The following checklist contains 27 species that are known to occur and unless otherwise noted have been collected in the county by the author. In addition to those listed in this paper, there are an additional 13 species that are known to occur in adjacent counties and that could be expected to possibly occur in Jim Wells County. One species found in the county is protected by current state law.
South Texas Blind Snake, Leptotyphlops dulcis rubellum
Diamondback Water Snake, Nerodia rhombifer rhombifer
Broad-banded Water Snake, Nerodia fasciata confluens *
Checkered Garter Snake, Thamnophis marcianus marcianus
Gulf Coast Ribbon Snake, Thamnophis proximus orarius
Arid Land Ribbon Snake, Thamnophis proximus diabolicus
Texas Brown Snake, Storeria dekayi texana
Mexican Hooknose Snake, Ficimia streckeri
Eastern Hognose Snake, Heterodon platirhinos
Rough Green Snake, Opheodrys aestivus
Western Coachwhip, Masticophis flagellum testaceus
Schott's Whipsnake, Masticophis schotti schotti
Texas Indigo Snake, Drymarchon melanurus erebennus (Protected Species)
Texas Patchnose Snake, Salvadora grahamiae lineata
Texas Glossy Snake, Arizona elegans arenicola
Bull Snake, Pituophis catenifer sayi
Western Rat Snake, Pantherophis obsoletus
Southern Plains Rat Snake, Pantherophis emoryi meahllmorum
Mexican Milk Snake, Lampropeltis triangulum annulata
Prairie Kingsnake, Lampropletis calligaster calligaster * *
Desert Kingsnake, Lampropeltis getula splendida
South Texas Ground Snake, Sonora semiannulata taylori
Texas Longnose Snake, Rhinocheilus lecontei tessellatus
Flathead Snake, Tantilla gracilis
Plains Blackhead Snake, Tantilla nigriceps
Texas Coral Snake, Micrurus tener tener * * *
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox * * *
Brown, Bryce C. 1950. An Annotated Check List of the Reptiles and Amphibians of Texas. Baylor University Press, Waco.
Conant, R. 1958. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of the United States and Canada East of the 100th Meridian, 1st edition. Houghton Mifflin, Co., Boston.
Dixon, James R. 2000. Amphibians and Reptiles of Texas, 2nd edition. Texas A & M Press, College Station.
Werler, John E., and James R. Dixon. 2000. Texas Snakes, Identification, Distribution and Natural History. University of Texas Press, Austin.