National Snake Day was Friday July 16, but it wasn’t until recently that I discovered a very interesting fact. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife FAQ page, Lone Star State, although the exact number of species is difficult to determine, “has 76 amazing species of snakes.” If you include both species and subspecies in that number, that gives you a grand total of 115 or more – the highest number in all of the United States. “
That’s right, there are a ton of snakes in good old Texas. The vast majority of Texas snakes are non-poisonous and completely harmless (at least that’s what Texas Parks & Wildlife wants to claim! Okay, yes, they’re non-poisonous and harmless). Texas Parks & Wildlife says only 15% of the total number are poisonous and should be treated with caution and respect. Poisonous varieties can be grouped into four basic categories:
- Coral snakes
- Cottonmouths (also called water moccasins)
They look a bit like the names of the “Deadly Viper Assassination Squad” from “Kill Bill”. Although, reading more about snakes on the Texas Parks & Wildlife page, the Black Mamba and California Mountain snake does not belong to the viper family; which were the code names for Beatrix Kiddo and Elle Driver. But I digress.
Despite the fact that I think snakes are creepy and frightening, most of the snakes you may encounter are harmless and are an integral part of the ecosystem. Snakes are especially important in rodent control. Bull snakes can be a farmer’s best friend. If you want to learn more about snakes, click here. And remember, “there’s a snake in my boot” isn’t just a quote from Woody, check your boots before you put them on, you never know what scaly friend may be hiding in there!