Black and Yellow Snake Texas – What Snake Did you Just See?

The animal kingdom has breakable rules when it comes to snake colors and patterns.  And while black and yellow snakes of Texas are largely non-venomous.  There is a lot of mimicry with snakes which enables them to be other than what they are.

Black and Yellow Snake of Texas

Texas has many birds and animals that are native to the state as well as some introduced species. The Lone Star State also has a variety of habitats to provide the ideal home for all the animals, birds and snake species they have.

There ARE Venomous Snakes in Texas

There are about 142 species of animals in Texas, which is also home to more than 105 different species and subspecies of snakes. Texans are glad to know that of these 105 different snakes.  Only about 15 of them are dangerous to humans.

Some of the venomous snakes include:

  • Copperheads
  • Cottonmouth
  • Rattlesnakes
  • Texas Coral Snake

‘Live by the Sword, die by the Sword’ and ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ are old proverbs which apply to how we treat snakes. It is much cleverer to avoid being bitten by a snake than to have to rush to a hospital to have it treated – that’s if they have anti-venom.

There are many tips on the Internet on how to avoid snakebites. Learning to identify the poisonous snakes of Texas is one sure way and then to simply leave them alone.

No Snakes Species known as ‘Yellow and Black Snake’

You’ll find snakes throughout the state of Texas.  And in fact of the 254 counties, there are in Texas, every one of them has snakes.

Yes, a black and yellow snake in Texas is bound to be around somewhere.  And there’ll no doubt be plain black snakes and plain yellow snakes too. So while Texas does have black and yellow snakes, it doesn’t have a snake species known as the ‘Black and Yellow Snake’. The state does have snakes which have both black and yellow colors in them.

◼ Look at the Mojave Rattlesnake, for instance, found in West Texas. It’s a highly venomous pit viper found also in other states such as Arizona, Nevada, and southern New Mexico. It is a pale black/grey color with yellow.


Mojave Rattlesnake

◼ The Timber Rattlesnake has a background color which can be a pale yellow and the tail is black. The range of this snake extends through most of the United States. It’s a venomous snake and, if disturbed, is considered dangerous. In fact, if you were to meet this snake in the wild, you’d be the best leave it alone. Dangerous as these snakes are, they are an important part of the food chain, limiting rodent populations.  It is terrible to think that because humans relentlessly killing them, conservation efforts have had to be implemented.

◼ Then there is the, found in most of the central United States and as far south as Texas. It has a very distinctive yellow stripe from its head to tail, with the rest of its body being a  gray-blackish color. It is a mildly venomous snake with the venom not being toxic to humans.


Plains Garter Snake

◼ There are also Coral snakes in Texas and these are venomous. Apart from the bright yellow and black bands on this snake, there is also a red band.  People often refer to them as black and yellow snakes.

◼ Another yellow and black snake that is found in Texas is the Black Necked Gartersnake. It’s a fascinating looking snake with pitch black blotches with a yellow stripe which separates the blotches. The black-necked garter snake isn’t a protected species in Texas.

Are Black and Yellow Snakes Poisonous?

No, most likely not, not in Texas anyway. There are poisonous black and yellow snakes in other parts of the world.  The Yellow and Black Banded Krait from Thailand is an example, with its yellow and black crossbands.

They’re also shy snakes, mainly nocturnal and don’t wish to encounter humans. It’s a venomous snake with the venom containing neurotoxins. Get bitten by this snake and you’ll have dizziness, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Severe envenomation can lead to respiratory failure and death.

Not every snake in Texas is venomous, and all yellow and black snakes, venomous or not, have an important role in the Texas ecosystem. Envenomation is a defensive mechanism for all snakes who use biting and spitting as last resorts. Snakes don’t look for humans – rather they try to avoid them as much as possible.

Black and Yellow Snakes – Essentially Just Looking for Food and Shelter

Black and yellow snakes in general, occur around homes in Texas and in gardens and are essentially just looking for shelter and food – rats and lizards. The Ringneck snake is such a beautiful snake from Texas. And is a mildly venomous snake. It’s a harmless colubrid snake with a number subspecies.


Southern Ringneck Snake

It is fairly easy to identify the Ringneck with its bright underside coloration.  That starts off as bright yellow at the head and becomes reddish at the tail. The bright underside is covered with lots of black spots. When they go into defense mode, they curl up their tails and expose a bright red underside.

If you don’t want yellow-and-black-type snakes coming into your home and garden, keep your garden and home clutter-free. Keep storage areas as clean and neat as possible.

Black and yellow snakes come in all shapes and sizes and they are adept at finding their way through the smallest of openings. Black and yellow snakes are more common in the rural areas of Texas.  People in these areas, simply need to exercise caution as to where they put their hands and feet.

If you see a black and yellow snake and you can’t identify it, there are many professional snake experts in Texas who will gladly come out and remove the snake for you. There is no need to kill it.

Are Texas King Snakes Poisonous?

Texas has a number of King Snake varieties such as the Texas Indigo Snake and the Desert Kingsnake which is native to Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. It’s an attractive looking snake, very dark brown or black with yellow or off-white flecks.  The abdomen of the snake is essentially black with white or pale yellow blotches.

Reaching about 4 feet in length, its diet is made up of rodents as well as other snakes, and that includes Rattlesnakes. Ranchers welcome them onto their properties because they know that the rodent population will be kept in check.

The Texas King Snake is docile, and it is also non-venomous. If they do encounter humans, instead of trying to escape they will twist over onto the backs and make as if they are dead.

Some Snakes use Deception

There are no hard and fast rules for a person to decide whether a snake is venomous or not. You get yellow and black snakes that are poisonous and others that are entirely harmless. The only way to tell if a snake is venomous or not is to look at the snakes’ fangs and venom glands, but of course, that isn’t always possible.

The only other way is to do research on the snakes in your area and to find out which snakes are endemic to the area. With this knowledge, you can know how to deal with the snake.

If you live in Texas, a book such as Texas Snakes: A Field Guide can be of great value and you can also do research on the Internet. You may, for instance, find that there are some harmless black and yellow snakes in Texas that rattle their tails like Rattlesnakes. The Texas Indigo snake is a typical example of a copycat snake. It’s a non-venomous snake found in Texas, and to ward off humans, the snake will release an unpleasant musky smell. If humans ignore this as a warning sign, the snake will flatten its head and shake its tail like a Rattlesnake to make it appear like a venomous snake.

The best defense against venomous snakes is to simply avoid them.  In Texas, there are a couple of deaths that occur each year because of ignorance surrounding the identification of- and habits of these reptiles. It’s impossible to familiarize yourself with all the snakes of Texas, so your best bet is to learn to know what the venomous ones look like.

Get to Know the Venomous Snakes – they’re Outnumbered

Texans are familiar with the fact that snakes are more active during Summer. We’ve already said that Texas is home to many snake species and subspecies, and out of the 115 subspecies and 75 species found slithering around Texas, only 15% are poisonous.

Then again, some of the non-venomous snakes are ‘look-alikes’ of those 15% poisonous snakes. If you live in Texas, it would be wise to get to know the most venomous snakes in Texas – Coral Snakes, whose venom doesn’t affect their victims instantly after being bitten, the Cottonmouth which is a pit viper, the Copperhead, and the Rattlesnake.

Black and yellows snakes of Texas aren’t a threat – they’re mostly harmless. If however, you can’t identify the yellow or black snakes that come into your garden, or even if you recognize a Rattlesnake, don’t be so quick to kill. As it is, bites often happen when people try to move snakes without the necessary skills.

Call a  snake expert in Texas who will safely remove the snake for you so that they can continue to fill their important ecological niche far from human interference.

Please read this article: HOW TO BREED SNAKES

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