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Texas Snakes

Texas Snakes
A Field Guide

Featuring updates to the distribution maps, taxonomy, and checklist of Texas snakes, this fully illustrated field guide will help both novices and experts identify and appreciate the wide variety of snakes found in Texas.

Series: Texas Natural History Guides™

July 2020
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464 pages | 4.75 x 7.75 |

With species ranging from the legendary, fear-inspiring western diamond-backed rattlesnake to the tiny threadsnake, Texas has a greater diversity of snakes than any other state in the country. This fully illustrated field guide to Texas snakes, written by two of the state’s most respected herpetologists and updated by their student and later colleague, gives you the most current and complete information to identify and understand all 111 species and subspecies.

Texas Snakes: A Field Guide has all the resources you need to identify snakes in the wild and in your own backyard:

  • 113 full-color, close-up photos that show every snake, as well as 39 detailed line drawings
  • 113 range maps
  • Up-to-date species accounts that describe each snake’s appearance, look-alikes, size, and habitats
  • A checklist of all Texas snakes with a key to the species
  • Reliable information on venomous snakes and prevention of or initial treatment for snakebite
  • Concise discussion of conservation, classification, and identification approaches

Drawn from the lead authors’ monumental, definitive Texas Snakes: Identification, Distribution, and Natural History, this field guide is your must-have source for identifying any snakes you see in Texas.

  • Preface to the Revised Edition
  • Preface to the First Edition
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Conservation
  • Venomous Snakes: Their Venom and Bite
  • Snake Classification and Identification
  • Defining the Snake
  • Making an Identification
  • Aberrant Snakes
  • Naming The Snake
  • Taxonomic Issues
  • Organization of Species and Subspecies Accounts
  • Description of Families
  • Arrangement of Species and Subspecies
  • The Maps
  • Citations
  • Checklist of Texas Snakes
  • Key to the Species of Texas Snakes
  • Species and Subspecies Accounts
  • Family Leptotyphlopidae
    • Threadsnakes
    • New Mexico Threadsnake
    • Plains Threadsnake
    • South Texas Threadsnake
    • Trans-Pecos Threadsnake
  • Family Typhlopidae
    • Blindsnakes
    • Brahminy Blindsnake
  • Family Colubridae
    • Colubrids
    • Kansas Glossy Snake
    • Texas Glossy Snake
    • Painted Desert Glossy Snake
    • Trans-Pecos Ratsnake
    • Western Wormsnake
    • Northern Scarlet Snake
    • Texas Scarlet Snake
    • Buttermilk Racer
    • Tan Racer
    • Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer
    • Mexican Racer
    • Southern Black Racer
    • Tamaulipan Black-striped Snake
    • Prairie Ring-necked Snake
    • Regal Ring-necked Snake
    • Mississippi Ring-necked Snake
    • Texas Indigo Snake
    • Speckled Racer
    • Baird’s Ratsnake
    • Great Plains Ratsnake
    • Southwestern Ratsnake
    • Western Ratsnake
    • Slowinski’s Cornsnake
    • Western Mudsnake
    • Tamaulipan Hook-nosed Snake
    • Chihuahuan Hook-nosed Snake
    • Mexican Hog-nosed Snake
    • Plains Hog-nosed Snake
    • Dusty Hog-nosed Snake
    • Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
    • Chihuahuan Nightsnake
    • Gray-banded Kingsnake
    • Prairie Kingsnake
    • Speckled Kingsnake
    • Desert Kingsnake
    • Louisiana Milksnake
    • Mexican Milksnake
    • New Mexico Milksnake
    • Central Plains Milksnake
    • Cat-eyed Snake
    • Eastern Coachwhip
    • Western Coachwhip
    • Schott's Whipsnake
    • Ruthven's Whipsnake
    • Central Texas Whipsnake
    • Gulf Saltmarsh Watersnake
    • Mississippi Green Watersnake
    • Blotched Watersnake
    • Broad-banded Watersnake
    • Florida Watersnake
    • Brazos Watersnake
    • Concho Watersnake
    • Diamond-backed Watersnake
    • Midland Watersnake
    • Rough Greensnake
    • Smooth Greensnake
    • Sonoran Gophersnake
    • Bullsnake
    • Louisiana Pinesnake
    • Graham’s Crayfish Snake
    • Gulf Crayfish Snake
    • Long-nosed Snake
    • Big Bend Patch-nosed Snake
    • Mountain Patch-nosed Snake
    • Texas Patch-nosed Snake
    • Variable Groundsnake
    • Southern Texas Groundsnake
    • Marsh Brownsnake
    • Texas Brownsnake
    • Florida Red-bellied Snake
    • Mexican Black-headed Snake
    • Trans-Pecos Black-headed Snake
    • Flat-headed Snake
    • Smith’s Black-headed Snake
    • Plains Black-headed Snake
    • Western Black-necked Gartersnake
    • Eastern Black-necked Gartersnake
    • Checkered Gartersnake
    • Orange-striped Ribbonsnake
    • Arid Land Ribbonsnake
    • Gulf Coast Ribbonsnake
    • Red-striped Ribbonsnake
    • Plains Gartersnake
    • Eastern Gartersnake
    • Texas Gartersnake
    • Red-sided Gartersnake
    • Texas Lyresnake
    • Northern Lined Snake
    • Central Lined Snake
    • Texas Lined Snake
    • Rough Earthsnake
    • Western Smooth Earthsnake
    • Texas Venomous Snakes
  • Family Elapidae
    • Coralsnakes and Their Allies
    • Texas Coralsnake
  • Family Viperidae
    • Vipers
    • Southern Copperhead
    • Broad-banded Copperhead
    • Trans-Pecos Copperhead
    • Western Cottonmouth
    • Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake
    • Timber Rattlesnake
    • Mottled Rock Rattlesnake
    • Banded Rock Rattlesnake
    • Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake
    • Mohave Rattlesnake
    • Prairie Rattlesnake
    • Desert Massasauga
    • Western Massasauga
    • Western Pygmy Rattlesnake
  • Glossary
  • References
  • Index of Common Names
  • Index of Scientific Names

Michael R. J. Forstner
San Marcos, Texas

The late James R. Dixon was professor emeritus, curator emeritus in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University. The late John E. Werler served as general curator and general manager of the Houston Zoological Gardens for thirty-six years. Michael R. J. Forstner is the Alexander-Stone Chair in Genetics and Regent’s Professor in the Department of Biology at Texas State University.


“[Texas Snakes] gives a good basic education on the habits of snakes and why they are so important to the environment. By far the larger content of the book is given to non-venomous snakes to be found in Texas and illustrated with excellent color plates. Perhaps reading this book might just save your life and a snake's life too.”
Rock Rose


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This book may also be available on the following library platforms; check with your local library:
3M Cloud Library/bibliotheca