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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Snake I killed in my Garage - Pics, Video and info

Video of the Dead Snake

I had hoped to catch his tail still moving after he was Dead. But, didn't get that. My camera will only do 30 second, silent clips. There are some Pics (above) of the Dead Snake too. And here is some info on the Snake I killed in the Garage, last night. I didn't know for sure if it was Poisonous or not. I thought that it might be a Copper Head. I never can remember what each snake breed looks like. We have so many, here in TX. But, now after looking it up. And comparing the Pics that I took of the snake after I killed it. To some on the Internet. I think that it is a Texas Rat Snake. So, now I'm wondering if it was actually in our Garage, Hunting a Mouse or a Rat? Actually, doing us a favor. We'll never know now. But, that's what happens, when you Surprise me in my Garage at 2AM and I am in my Jammie's!:O Just, going out to get something out of the Freezer to eat, Before Bed!... No, I didn't Battle the Snake in my Jammie's (cotton shorts) and House Shoes! I went back in the House (taking a risk that the Snake could move and hide). And put on some long Jeans and my work Boots. I got out my Dad's old Boy Scout Hunting Knife (with a 6.5 inch Blade and a nice big Wooden Handle). Put on some thick leather Gloves. That I had in my Winter Coat Pockets. And went back out to, get rid of that Snake! I wanted to get a Shovel (that was in the Garage). But, I didn't want to startle the Snake and cause him to move and hide somewhere. So that, I couldn't get at him. He was 4 feet from the Door leading from the House into the Garage and about 4 feet long. Right in front of the Clothes Dryer. Right at the front edge. When I first saw him. I was 2 feet from him, by the time I saw him! And would have walked 6 inches from him. If I hadn't noticed something, out of the corner of my eye. At first I thought, it might be a joke. That someone had left it there for me to find. Cause, he wasn't moving at all and the light was dim to and I couldn't see him well. But, after a closer look and a squint. I realized that He was Real! When I got back out there. All dressed up for Battle, with my Knife and Boots on. He, wasn't there! Where I saw him last. So, I looked around the Dryer, first. And there he was! Behind the Dryer, now. I pondered, what to do now. I wanted to use that long handled Shovel. But, it was too wide to fit behind the Dryer. The Sharp Shooter Shovel, might work But it has a short handle and still might not fit, behind the Dryer, either. At any rate. I didn't want that Snake to get away and hid in my Garage and be able to get one of us later! So, I Stepped on his Head! And Pined him Down, with my Boot. Then, I quickly took my Knife and gave him a big Chop! On the other side of my Boot. Not on the same side that his open Mouth was! That seemed to do nothing to him at all!:O It felt like I was Chopping on a really hard rubber hose. So, I started Sawing at that Snake! Trying to Separate his Head from the Rest of him. He instantly Curled up around my Boot. Sawing, as hard and fast as I might! I couldn't Cut Him in Half! I'm not sure that I Cut Him at all! With that Stupid Dull old Knife! (Note to Self: Sharpen Knife, before next Battle with... Anything!;) During all of this. I saw that I had my Boot set down, both near his Head and that his Tail was trapped under my Boot too. Next, I decided to Try and Crush His Head, with my Boot. So I began, Pressing and Twisting my Foot on His Head. Soon, I realized that He had Straightened out! Then, I realized. That, I only had my Boot on his Tail now!:O Luckily, his Head was pointed away from me and was at the other end - side of the Dryer. But, His Head was free!:O And right after that quick realization. His Tale also, slipped out from under my Boot! But, He just stayed there where he was. Stretched out Behind the Clothes Dryer. Then, I Decided to go and get the Shovel. I couldn't remember exactly where the Sharp Shooter Shovel was. So, I ended up going to the Front of the Garage and only finding the Big Flat Scoop Shovel there. Then, I remembered that the Sharp Shooter, was at the Back of the Garage. And I went back, passing the Dryer and the Snake again. To get that Sharp Shooter. Trying to hurry! Before that Snake crawled behind and under the mass of stacked Boxes next to the Dryer and beyond my reach. Gladly, for me. He stayed still. Right where I left him. Behind that Clothes Dryer. I had to move a Trash Can to get to him, at the side where His Head was (Shovel in hand). But, He stayed put. Of course, when I started Jabbing Him with the Shovel. He came out fast! And went to twitching and curling up. A moving Target! That was a bit difficult to hit. But, I got His Head Separated! And made sure that He was Dead. Of course his Tail kept moving a bit for the next 20 minutes and probably more. Even after I took his Pictures. And I'm sure, after I threw him out into the Back Yard. In case you didn't already know. Snakes have Nervous Systems, that keep them moving and even crawling long after they are Dead. I have seen this in action several times over the years. I now live in the house where I grew up (Mom's house). In a regular neighborhood. With allot of trees and about a half mile from a Big Lake. Plenty of places for Snakes and Critters to live. We regularly have Possums, Deer (that we've seen). Along with their tracks. And I'm sure a few Racoons and Armadillos wandering our Yards at Night. When I was young and had Young Children. I lived way out in the Country. In the Woods and near a Spring Fed Creak (for 13 years). I killed several Snakes out there over the years. My three Dogs were great at Cornering them and keeping them busy. Until I could go get my Shovel (the Big Flat Scoop Shovel) or my 22 Rifle. After Battling a 5 to 6 foot long Snake with that Shovel, one day. I discovered that (even) a 22 Rifle, along with good aim. Was a much better and safer, way (for me) to Kill a Snake. That darn 6 foot snake jumped up at me and came 3 inches from Biting me in the Face!:O I did get him with the Shovel, that day. But, that got me to thinking about a better way to do the job (the 22 Rifle, since I didn't have a Shot Gun). Anyway, back to the Nervous System of a Dead Snake. I once put a Dead Snake (with His Head Cut off) on my Roof. For a little Sun Drying... and that Darn thing Crawled right down from there 4 or 5 times while I was still Out Side watching it! I kept on putting him back up there. And I still found that darn Snake, back down in the yard the next Day! Spooky!:O After that. I just hung them on the Brush, in the front of my Property. So, that my neighbors could see that there are Big Snakes around and so that they would know to watch out and Protect their Kids too...   

Texas Rat Snake 2011

Video Link...

More Videos from Orry Martin's YouTube Channel: TX SNAKE HUNTER


Texas Rat Snake (Info and Pics)

Average Size: 42 to 72 inches

Average Size: 42 to 72 inches

Go there and See Pics of other TX Snakes (Great Site!)...

Texas Rat Snake

Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri
The Texas Rat Snake is the largest snake found in Harris County, and can reach lengths of over six feet. When newly hatched they are about 9 to 11 inches long and have a light gray background with brown saddle-shaped blotches running down the back and an arrowhead-shaped pattern on the top of the head. They change color as they grow, however, and the pattern of adults is more subdued. The background color of an adult Texas Rat Snake will range from shades of brown to yellow and even orange, and the blotches are much less distinguishable in adult specimens. The top of the head also changes color - adults' heads are slate gray to black on top and white underneath. This color scheme is an accurate identification method to use, because they are the only large snake in the Harris County area that has a head that is gray-black on top and a lighter colored body that has dark saddle-shaped blotches on the back.
Texas Rat Snakes are an ill-tempered snake if encountered in the wild,and will readily defend themselves. This usually involves coiling up, raising the head, striking out repeatedly at anything that gets too close and vibrating the tail. This vibrating of the tail often causes them to be mistaken for a rattlesnake; however, they do not have rattles on the tail and are NOT rattlesnakes.
As the name implies, the Texas Rat Snake's primary diet is mice and rats, causing them to be commonly seen in any place inhabited by rodents - including human homes. With this in mind, it is easy to see that the key to keeping this type of snake away from or even out of your home is to control the rodent population. I have occasionally released large Texas Rat Snakes into my attic to control field rats that have come in to the house from neighboring woods, and have never seen any of them again. Either they find the rodents, eat them, and crawl out from wherever the rodent came in, or they don't find the rodents and leave because of lack of food. Either way they are a great form of natural rodent control. Also, if you were to encounter a Texas Rat Snake in your attic and it bit you, all that is needed medically is to washed the area thoroughly with antibacterial soap and water - they can hardly break the skin. However, if you had mice or rats in your house, you don't even need to come into direct contact with them for them to make you sick. A rodent could crawl into your kitchen and come into contact with a piece of your food. If you were to eat that food, there are a number of diseases that can be passed from rodents to humans in this way. You decide what's better - rodents or rat snakes!

Texas Rat Snake (2006) Lake LBJ, Texas

(Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri) Non-poisonous; very aggressive; may bite if cornered, not allowed to escape, and handled; the productive bite of a mature adult may produce painful wounds that bleed freely from the numerous puncture marks caused by its small, sharp teeth; the bite is otherwise inconsequential; this species of snake preys on mice and rats and is very beneficial.
Photos courtesy of Gail K.
Does it appear contradictory for me to assert that this snake is not venomous, but will bite if you mess with it, and though the bite can produce painful, bloody wounds, don't worry, it isn't anything to get upset about?  I must confess, every time one of these snakes bites me, I get upset. I'd be surprised if you didn't react the same way.  The thing is, this is such a "good" snake to have around that its tendency to get ugly when cornered, or threatened with a shovel or a big stick, is best overlooked. Gail, on finding this snake on the patio of her home near Lake LBJ did just that, and the snake soon disappeared, back into the grass where it belonged.
But, you ask, how could Gail overlook a snake that, given a chance, would likely have bitten her?  How can you, for example, do such a thing? Here's the easy answer:  Give it some room, let it go about its business without being molested, and--trust me--everything will work out just fine.  Gail sensed that this snake wasn't interested in biting humans.  Or dogs, or even cats.  Unless it is stalking prey or resting after a good meal, it's first desire is to  escape from sight. If you let it get away, it will be gone before you know it.
If, on the other hand, it is stalking prey (i.e., hunger--the great motivator--has it focused on securing food), or has a full belly from a successful hunt, it may loiter for a few minutes or even a few hours without moving very far.  Some have found these snakes curled around a light fixture, or a joist, on a patio, intent on staying put.  If left alone, they soon disappear. The only time you risk a potentially bloody, but--yes--otherwise inconsequential bite is when you take matters into your own hands to hasten its departure.
It's your choice, of course. Human nature being what it is, few of us can stand the thought of having a rat snake curled around one of our patio joists for very long. That's too bad. Every Texas rat snake left alive kills several times its weight in mice and rats every year.  Because of this service, we don't have to work so hard at rodent management around our homes.  That's important. A serious rat infestation poses a myriad of significant health risks. The only direct risk a rat snake poses is that we might hurt ourselves trying to get away from it or worse, while trying to kill it. Neither of those pursuits is necessary.  Rat snakes won't chase you (contrary to what some believe), and killing one is not a worthy endeavor--a dead rat snake won't keep your rat population in check...
But how can you be sure that a snake you see is one of these "good" guys, and not one of those "bad" guys you've heard about? Nobody wants to let a rattlesnake, coral snake, cottonmouth, or copperhead go free, right?I'm mostly with you on that, though I tend to let even venomous snakes alone in the wild.  At the same time, a rational person should not want to kill a Texas rat snake just because it might be another, perhaps poisonous, species. Fortunately, it isn't that hard to tell the difference.
Notice, for example, the conspicuous round eyes of this specimen.  The photo was taken with a flash, which is why the eye booms in as a bright, round, white spot. The reflection is off the retina, not the iris--the iris is not reflective, but the retina is remarkably so.  Clearly, this snake has a perfectly round pupil. A pit viper (cottonmouth, copperhead, or rattlesnake) has cat's eyes with vertical pupils quite unlike this one. Bull snakes, nerodian water snakes, garter snakes, king snakes, and a host of other non-venomous snakes found in Texas, have eyes just like this specimen.  If you can see that the eye is round, that's generally enough to tell you it isn't dangerous. The only exception to this rule is the Texas coral snake, which also has a round pupil. However, the Texas coral snake never has saddles or blotches on its body, like this snake. Instead, coral snakes have a series of red, yellow, and black bands, in that order ("Red touch yellow, kill a fellow--red touch black, friend of Jack"), or are nearly white or light yellow (genetic amelanistic coral snakes), or totally black (genetic melanistic coral snakes), and coral snake eyes are tiny, not large like these.
This Texas rat snake's tail tapers gently to a point, which is the way most Texas rat snake tails appear. Copperheads and cottonmouths have blunt tails* (juvenile copperheads and cottonmouths also have bright, sulfur-yellow tails), and rattlesnakes have conspicuous rattles (or, for juvenile rattlesnakes, buttons) on their tails.  Of course, a Texas rat snake whose tail has been shortened by the injudicious application of a garden hoe will also have a blunt tail, so it is good to be able to recognize the markings typical of the Texas rat snake, too.  That way, if you meet one with an amputated tail (and you might) you won't use that as your only excuse to end its life.
*I hasten to add that many of our non-venomous Texas snakes have naturally blunt tails, including certain nerodian water snakes and the hog-nosed snakes (both of which keep our toad populations in check). It is always a good idea to know the basic characteristics of those snakes, too, so that, should you come across one, you will be less likely to pronounce it dangerous by mistake and execute it on the spot. For a more complete discussion on snake markings and coloration, click here.
Many thanks to Gail for this photo.  And for later sending the high resolution version used here, so it could be enlarged to show additional details.

The Pattern on the Snake I killed looks allot like this one below (Prairie Kingsnake). But, the head is different...


Prairie Kingsnake

Average Size: 3 to 5 feet

Texas Snakes on the Crawl

Texas Cottonmouth

Texas Banded Water Snake

Texas Cottonmouth

Texas snakes are out in force this time of year and many of us that love the outdoors often come in contact with them. Usually if you leave them alone they will do likewise. If you have to take one out make sure it is one of the bad ones and not one of the good guys. Watch where you step, Wild Ed


More on the Texas Rat Snake

I recently got an email with pictures from someone telling me of all the cottonmouth water moccasins they had killed at the family place while at their fishing pond. Laid out on the ground were a number of non poisonous water snakes. About two weeks later a friend told be he killed a copperhead snake on his back porch. He was thrilled to get it before it bit his dog or one of the grand kids. The dead snake he was holding in the picture was a very large, very dead rat snake.
Texas Rat Snake
A lot of good snakes end up dead because of mistaken identities. There are lots of books on snakes and how to identify them. One of the easiest ways is watch for the obvious such as a rattle on the tail, this is the easy one. Next easiest is the coral snake because of the bands of color. If the red and yellow are touching leave it alone, remember red and black friend of Jack, red and yellow kill a fellow.

Texas Coral Snake

The copper head has a unique color and pattern and if you mix that up with a rat snake or some other species look at the eye. If the pupil of the eye is round it is a good snake. All the poisonous Texas snakes have an vertical catlike slit pupil of the eye except the coral snake. All the nonpoisonous snakes have a round eye pupil.

Texas Copperhead

Texas Copperhead

Here is a chart on Water Moccasin and Water snake identification.

Cottonmouth: The eyes cannot be seen from the top of the head.

Water snake: The eyes can be seen from the top of the head.

Cottonmouth: The pupil of the eye is a catlike vertical slit, and there is a pit on the side of the head between the eye and the nostril.

Water snake: The pupil of the eye is round, and there is no pit on the side of the head between the eye and the nostril.

Cottonmouth: The top of the head is relatively flat.

Water snake: The top of the head is relatively rounded.

Snake Pictures (from

New Snake Guides! Snakes of North Texas, Central Texas and Southeast Texas
field identification guides written by Clint Pustejovsky, owner of Texas Snakes & More
Most of these snakes of Texas pictures have been sent to us by our website readers. If you don't see a pictures of your snake here, and would like it identified, try to get a good picture of its head from a front and side angle and email it to us.You will be sent a reply email to the address you provided. Please add to your address book or list of allowed recipients in your spam filter to ensure this email is not blocked BEFORE sending your email.
Please let us know what part of Texas you live in. To be safe, keep a distance of at least twice the length of the snake. Keep checking this site, as we update the pictures often.
If you have found this website and/or Clint's advice through email helpful and would like to make a donation to Texas Snakes & More to help maintain the service, you can use Paypal. Thanks so much!
Click on a picture for a larger image.

Eastern Hognose
Texas Brown Snake
Rough Earth Snake

Texas Rat Snake

Juvenile Texas Rat Snake

Diamond Backed Water Snake

Broad Banded Water Snake

Juvenile Yellow Bellied Racer

Yellow Bellied Racer in Transition

Adult Yellow Bellied Racer

Yellow Bellied Water Snake

Speckled Kingsnake
*Note: This snake is in our logo at the top of the page!*

Gulf Coast Ribbon
Great Plains Rat Snake

Buttermilk Racer

Prairie Kingsnake

Blotched Water Snake

Eastern Coachwhip

Western Coachwhip

Rough Green Snake

Bull Snake

Schott's Whipsnake

Gray Banded King Snake

Gulf Salt Marsh Snake

Graham's Crayfish Snake

Desert King Snake

Mud Snake

Louisiana Milk Snake

Texas Night Snake

Trans Pecos Rat Snake

Texas Patchnose Snake
Black-Necked Garter

Checkered Garter

Red Striped Ribbon

West and Southwest Texas Ranchers/landowners.... Mr. Clint would like to see the snakes on the property you have access to. He will help you with rattlesnake problems, identification, education and provide you with methods to help keep snakes from the living quarters. In return, Mr. Clint would like to look for specific species of snakes on the property. The Texas counties include: Val Verde, Terrell, Brewster, Presidio, Jeff Davis and Hudspeth. Contact

Skipping on Down...

Texas Venomous Snake Pictures

Also see our "Venomous Snakes of Southeast Texas" poster - great for classrooms, scout groups, and anyone who loves the outdoors. *Note: Although there are only 4 species of venomous snakes in Texas, there are several subspecies of these snakes (10 rattlesnakes, 1 cottonmouth, 3 copperheads, 1 coral snake). The Southeast Texas poster displays the subspecies found in that area. Contact us for information about the venomous snakes found in your area.*
1. Texas Coral Snake - Micrurus fulvius tener
2. Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix
3. Broadbanded Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus
4. Trans-Pecos Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster
5. Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma
6. Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii
7. Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus
8. Western Pigmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri
9. Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus
10. Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus virdis virdis
11. Blacktail Rattlesnake - Crotalus molossus molossus
12. Mohave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus
13. Western Diamondback Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox
14. Mottled Rock Rattlesnake - Crotalus lepidus lepidus
15. Banded Rock Rattlesnake - Crotalus lepidus klauberi
Snakes of Central Texas and Snakes of Southeast Texas
guides written by Clint Pustejovsky, owner of Texas Snakes & More
Also see our "Venomous Snakes of Southeast Texas" poster. *Note: Although there are only 4 species of venomous snakes in Texas, there are several subspecies of these snakes (11 rattlesnakes, 1 cottonmouth, 3 copperheads, 1 coral snake). The Southeast Texas poster displays the subspecies found in that area. Contact us for information about the venomous snakes found in your area.*
Read More and See more Pics...

Research on Snake Don killed in Garage Azle TX 07-24-12

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Snake-Don-killed-in-Garage-Azle-TX-07-24-12 similiar images Google Search after uploading my Pic
Texas Rat Snake
Texas Snake Pictures
South Texas Poison Center
snakes in texas - Google Search
How to Identify Snakes in Texas |
Texas Department of State Health Services, Infectious Disease Control Unit > Snake
How to Identify a Rat Snake |
Diamond Backed Water Snake
Prairie Kingsnake
Site Search for rat snake
Texas Rat Snake
Wild Ed's Texas Outdoors: Texas Snakes on the Crawl
Texas Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri) 2006 Lake LBJ Texas Gail K
prairie kingsnake displaying rattlesnake mimicry - YouTube
Prairie Kingnake
Lampropeltis calligaster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
File:Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Texas Rat Snake 2011 - YouTube
Austin Area Snake Identification: Snakes With Blotches
Texas Rat Snake
Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
File:Pantherophis obsoletus lindheimeri.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Orry Martin: TX SNAKE HUNTER - YouTube
Orry Martin: TX SNAKE HUNTER - YouTube

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Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri (Texas Rat Snake)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Texas rat snake
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Elaphe
Species: E. obsoleta
Subspecies: E. o. lindheimeri
Trinomial name
Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri
(Baird & Girard, 1853)
Scotophis lindheimerii
Baird & Girard, 1853
The Texas rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri) is a subspecies of rat snake, a nonvenomous colubrid found in the United States, primarily within the state of Texas, but its range extends into Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.[1] It intergrades with other subspecies of Elaphe obsoleta, so exact range boundaries are impossible to distinguish.[2] The epithet lindheimeri is to honor the German-American naturalist Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer, who collected the first specimen in New Braunfels, Texas.[3]



The Texas rat snake is a fairly large snake, capable of attaining lengths past six feet.[2] They vary greatly in color and patterning throughout their range, but they are typically yellow or tan in color, with brown to olive-green, irregular blotching from head to tail. Specimens from the southern area of their range tend to have more yellow, while those from the northern range tend to be darker. One way to distinguish them from other rat snakes is they are the only ones with a solid grey head. Some specimens have red or orange speckling. The belly is typically a solid gray or white in color. The several naturally occurring color variations include albinos, high orange or hypomelanistic, and a few specimens which display leucism which have become regularly captive-bred and are popular in the pet trade.


The Texas rat snake has a voracious appetite, consuming large numbers of rodents and birds, and sometimes lizards and frogs which they subdue with constriction. They are generalists, found in a wide range of habitats from swamps, to forests to grasslands, even in urban areas. They are agile climbers, able to reach bird nests with relative ease.[2] They are often found around farmland, and will sometimes consume fledgeling chickens and eggs, which leads them to be erroneously called the chicken snake. They are known for their attitude, and will typically bite if handled, though their bite is harmless.[2]


Many sources continue to refer to the Texas rat snake by its scientific name, Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri, though all North American rat snake species were suggested for reclassification to the genus Pantherophis. A further revision of Pantherophis obsoletus has recommended the elimination of the various subspecies entirely, considering them all to be merely locality variations. However, the ICZN has rejected the renaming, and thus Elaphe remains the genus name.



  1. ^ "Hibbits, Troy, "Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri (Texas Rat Snake)," (accessed May 7, 2010).
  2. ^ a b c d "Elaphe obsoleta," Herpes of Texas (accessed May 7, 2010).
  3. ^ Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer
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