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A Checklist of the Snakes of Val Verde County, Texas


Gerald Keown

This checklist was originally published by the author in 1982 and has been revised several times since. It is a result of field work done by the author in Val Verde County from 1969 through 2000. It has more recently been updated to include a the results of a review of voucher specimens in the Texas Cooperative Wildlife Collection (TCWC) at Texas A & M University and a review of numerous literature records. The taxonomic status of all species listed have been updated to reflect common and scientific names currently in use.

Val Verde County is located along the Rio Grande River which seperates the county from the Mexican state of Coahuila. It is on the eastern edge of what is known as the Trans-Pecos Region of Texas. Both the Pecos and the Devil's River flow through the county. The county, which is also home of Amistad Lake National Recreation Area, encompasses 3,241 square miles. The terrain of the county is best described as rolling, hilly and brushy with limestone and alluvial soils. The region is semi-arid and receives an average annual rainfall of approximately 17 inches.

The following checklist contains 38 species of snakes that are known to occur in Val Verde County. The ranges of a number of subspecies overelap in the county producing intergradation in at least 7 species. There are an additional 7 species that are known to occur in adjacent counties or in the northern portions of the Mexican state of Coahuila that could be expected to possibly occur in Val Verde County. Two species occuring in Val Verde County are protected under current state law.

North Texas Blind Snake, Leptotyphlops dulcis dulcis

Trans-Pecos Blind Snake, Leptotyphlops humilis segregus

Diamondback Water Snake, Nerodia rhombifer rhombifer

Blotched Water Snake, Nerodia erythrogaster transversa

Checkered Garter Snake, Thamnophis marcianus marcianus

Eastern Blackneck Garter Snake, Thamnophis cyrtopsis ocellatus

Arid Land Ribbon Snake, Thamnophis proximus diabolicus

Mexican Hognose Snake, Heterodon nasicus kennerlyi

Western Hooknose Snake, Gyalopion canum

Rough Green Snake, Opheodrys aestivus

Western Coachwhip, Masticophis flagellum testaceus

Schott's Whipsnake, Masticophis schotti schotti

Central Texas Whipsnake, Masticophis taeniatus girardi

Mexican Racer, Coluber constrictor oaxaca

Texas Indigo Snake, Drymarchon melanurus erebennus  (Protected Species)

Texas Patchnose Snake x Mountain Patchnose Snake, Salvadora grahamiae lineata x Salvadora grahamiae grahamiae

Kansas Glossy Snake, Arizona elegans elegans

Bull Snake x Sonoran Gopher Snake, Pituophis catenifer sayi x Pituophis catenifer affinis

Trans-Pecos Rat Snake, Bogertophis subocularis subocularis

Northern Plains Rat Snake x Southern Plains Ratsnake, Pantherophis emoryi emoryi x Pantherophis emoryi meahllmorum

Baird's Rat Snake, Elaphe bairdi

Gray-Banded Kingsnake, Lampropeltis alterna

Mexican Milk Snake x New Mexico Milk Snake, Lampropeltis triangulum annulata x Lampropeltis triangulum celaenops

Desert Kingsnake, Lampropeltis getula splendida

Prairie Ringneck Snake x Regal Ringneck Snake, Diadophis punctatus arnyi x Diadophis punctatus regalis

Ground Snake x South Texas Ground Snake, Sonora semiannulata semiannulata x Sonora semiannulata taylori

Rough Earth Snake, Virginia striatula

Texas Longnose Snake, Rhinocheilus lecontei tessellatus

Flathead Snake, Tantilla gracilis

Big Bend Blackhead Snake, Tantilla cucullata  (Protected Species)

Plains Blackhead Snake, Tantilla nigriceps

Southwestern Blackhead Snake, Tantilla hobartsmithi

Texas Night Snake, Hypsiglena torquata jani

Texas Coral Snake, Micrurus tener tener * *

Trans-Pecos Copperhead x Broad-Banded Copperhead, Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster x Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus * *

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox * *

Northern Black-Tailed Rattlesnake, Crotalus molossus molossus * *

Mottled Rock Rattlesnake, Crotalus lepidus lepidus * *


 * *   = Venomous species.


Brown, Bryce C. 1950. An Annotated Check List of the Reptiles and Amphibians of Texas. Baylor University Press, Waco.

Conant, R. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, 2nd 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 11/13/07

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