Perhaps one of the most common snakes that you will find in Texas are the kingsnakes. This is a group of snakes found in different parts of Tecas. They are very majestic creatures and you should ensure that you have an idea of what they are before you can embark on your exploration.

Features of a Kingsnake

The kingsnake is a common snake in Texas and it is often characterized by speckles. It is often called the salt and pepper snake because of the scales. 

They are a nonvenomous group of snakes that are found in North and South America and these species have four major species and over forty subspecies. One of the outstanding features about it is that they can live in any environment hence they are very adaptable creatures. 

They are beautiful snakes and you will enjoy seeing them during your trip to the region. While kingsnakes are less dangerous to larger mammals such as human beings, it is essential to note that they can be overly dangerous to smaller creatures. However, it is imperative to note that these snakes are capable of consuming other smaller snakes. 

Learn more: Dangerous animals in Texas

Therefore, there is a high chance that it might consume venomous snakes and this will in turn result in the moving of the bacteria from the infected species to humans. Here are some of the top kingsnakes that are found in the state of Texas. 

Prairie Kingsnake

Just as indicated earlier, the state of Texas is vast and it features different ecological regions. The prairies of central and southern Texas form one of the fundamental places where you are going to find the prairie kingsnake. They are characterized by a large tongue and they can be found in animal burrows and abandoned fields

The natural habitat of these snakes means that they are known to consume a wide array of species from rodents, and amphibians to other snakes. They usually spend most of their time underground or buried in rocks and this is where they thrive.

It is important to understand that these snakes are nonvenomous, however, they can consume venomous snakes hence they can cause infection by transferring a wide array of bacteria from one part to another. 

Learn more: Texas blind snakes

They can grow up to 3 feet in length and their colors vary depending on the environment. Some are usually dark brown while others are gray with yellow bellies. The adult prairie kingsnakes have distinct patterns which are different from their smaller counterparts.

Northern Kingsnake

The northern kingsnake is a legendary snake that is mostly found in the northern parts of Texas. The northern king snake can grow up to 6 feet long and you will find some at 3 feet to 6 feet. 

Some of the places where you are going to find these snakes include open woodlands, meadows, and grasslands. They can migrate thousands of miles.

Mexican Milksnake

Since the state of Texas borders several Mexican states, you are likely to encounter the Mexican milksnake as well. They are harmless snakes that are known to mimic their coral counterparts and they have a black head with bands of different colors such as red, black, yellow, or cream running over their bodies.

These kingsnakes are mostly found in Mexico, however, they can be found in different areas of Texas such as the southwestern region. Since they are exceptional at mimicking their counterparts, the coral snakes, many people fear them.

Many people are often bitten by this snake because they tend to attack it thinking that it is venomous and, in the process, the snake will fight back thereby biting you.

Speckled Kingsnake

The speckled kingsnake is named after their speckels. These kingsnakes are characterized by their dark background color coupled with white or yellow speckles down the body. Some of these snakes might be lighter in color.

They are nocturnal snakes and you will rarely see them during the day unless it is very early in the morning. Some of the places that you are likely to find them include the edge of the forests, grasslands, and riverbanks.

Since they are elusive in nature chances of you interacting with them can be very minimal. They have a variety of diets from amphibians, to rodents to even other snakes.

Gray-Banded Kingsnake

The grey-banded kingsnake is another kingsnake that you are going to find thriving in the vast lands of Texas. It is one of the most beautiful snakes that you are going to find in Texas. They are characterized by unique gray and red bands, which in turn gives it the perfect coloration that it can camouflage in the diverse ecosystem.

These snakes are unique because they can grow up to 3 feet long and the width of the snake will depend on the morph of each creature. However, it is important to understand that some of the species of this snake will lack bands completely hence you should watch out for them. 

These species usually thrive on the hilly sides of the state and they often like elevations ranging from 1500 to 7000 feet above sea level. They are nocturnal creatures and you will only find them at night.

Western Milksnake

The western milk snake is yet another one of the kingsnakes that you are going to encounter in the state of Texas. They are harmless and they tend to mimic their counterparts whenever they are threatened or feel challenged. However, it is imperative to understand that they have very dull colors and this makes it easier for you to differentiate them from the rest of the snakes. 

They are characterized by different colors such as black, grey, and red and you will find them in the wetlands and the borders of the Louisiana state. They have bands that extend to their bellies and are characterized by their black snouts

They usually prefer to live in grassland areas and they at times can be found in suburban regions. Unlike their counterparts in the category, they have a wide variety of diets, and these range from amphibians to rodents and other snakes.

They will mimic the rattlesnakes by hissing and shaking the rip of their tail whenever they are threatened. While many people will assume that they are small and hence docile, you should always watch out for them because they carry large amounts of bacteria that can cause infections. 

Eastern Kingsnake

The eastern kingsnake is another snake species that you are going to find in the state of Texas. They are often characterized by their brown color patterns and black crossbands, yellowish or orange-red markings on the base of the head, and black-tipped tail.

You will find this snake species in the eastern part of Texas and they are known to consume a wide array of creatures ranging from snakes, fish, lizards, birds, and frogs, and they spend most of their time hiding under rocks and logs. Habitat loss has led to the reduction of the number of eastern kingsnakes in Texas. 

There is a high chance that you might encounter them. You should not be afraid because they are nonvenomous.

Desert Kingsnake

The desert kingsnake is another iconic kingsnake that you are going to find thriving in the southern part of the state of Texas. These snakes are known to thrive in the arid areas of Texas where its climatic conditions are arid and semi-arid. 

In some cases, you will find people considering them to be subspecies of the common kingsnakes. However, their genetic models have shown that they are a full species because they developed independently. The desert kingsnake is characterized by black and yellow tones on their bodies and you will find that they have unique diamond-like patterns on their bodies.

The snakes can grow up to 7 feet long and you can find them from anything from 4 feet onwards. These snakes are legendary because of their defensive behavior as they flip onto their back and pretend to be dead.

The diet of these snakes’ ranges from lizards, rodents, and amphibians. Besides, they are known to consume other snakes as well.

Gopher Kingsnake

The gopher kingsnake is one of the most evasive kingsnakes that you are going to find in Texas. They are adapted to living in North America and other areas.

You will notice that these snakes are very dangerous because they use constriction as their defensive mechanism and hence can cause severe damage or even in some cases death. They can live up to ten years

Their diet consists of smaller rodents and mammals; they are predatory snakes. The gopher kingsnake is usually active during the spring period and it lays eggs during summer.

Louisiana Milksnake

The Louisiana milk snake is another kingsnake that you are going to find in the state of Texas. These snakes are found in the eastern part of Texas and they are usually harmless in nature. You will likely find these snakes at the border of the state of Texas with that of Louisiana.

While they can seem a little different, they are part of the kingsnake family and you will find them in the prairies across the region. These snakes are unique because they mimic the lifestyle of coral snakes and they are characterized by the black, yellow, red, and red colors hence they can look like the venomous coral snakes. It is therefore important that you are sure of the area that you are visiting to know the kind of snake species that you will find.

They have smaller heads that blend into their bodies and they usually consume rodents, amphibians, and other snakes as well.  These snakes usually have round pupils and if you are not sure if you have seen a real coral snake then you will realize that a real coral snake has bands that flow throughout its body. Those that mimic them have the bands up to their stomach region.


In conclusion, the large group of snakes in the state of Texas is largely kingsnakes and they come in different colors, habitats, and behaviors. They are known to feed on a wide array of creatures and to look extra majestic. You should watch for these snakes during your travel to Texas – but not with fear, but with awe.