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A Checklist of the Snakes of Jim Wells County, Texas


Gerald Keown

This document was originally part of a more comprehensive paper titled An Annotated Checklist of the Herpetofauna of Jim Wells County, Texas originally published by the author in 1960 with revisions in 1963, 1970 and 1974. This checklist was a result of extensive field work done by the author in Jim Wells County from 1959 through 1974. The taxonomic status of all species listed have also been updated to reflect common and scientific names currently in use.

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 * * *


 *     = Based upon a literature record only.

 * *   = Based upon a single D.O.R. specimen from 4.2 miles south of Alice on
           U.S. Hwy. 281 on June 17, 1961.

 * * * = Venomous species.


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.

Date submitted 02/28/07

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