7 Snakes Near Dallas in North Texas

The Copperhead’s scales are keeled, and their eyes have vertical pupils that make them resemble cat’s eyes.
© Creeping Things/Shutterstock.com

Written by Brandi Allred

Updated: July 31, 2023

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Key Points:
  • Snakes near Dallas are most active during the spring, summer, and early fall months.
  • Near Dallas, there are about 30 different types of snakes.
  • The Texas rat snake is the most prevalent snake in the Dallas area.

If you live near Dallas, Texas, or plan to visit the area anytime soon, you may be wondering: Are there snakes near Dallas? For this North Texas city, the answer is a resounding yes. Like most parts of the United States, Dallas has its fair share of scaly, legless reptiles.

You might see snakes near Dallas anywhere from the great outdoors, to rivers and lakes, or even in your own backyard. With many snakes in so many places, it’s important to understand which are harmless, and which should be avoided.

Here, we’ll learn about the snakes native to North Texas, particularly the Dallas area. We’ll start by going over the various times of day, and year, that you’re most likely to encounter snakes.

Then, we’ll take a look at the three most common non-venomous snakes near Dallas. After that, we’ll go over the four types of venomous snakes found in the Dallas area. 

Let’s get started!

When Do Snakes Come Out in Dallas?

The skin of the Texas Rat Snake can come in multiple colors, including green, reddish-brown, or yellow with gray bellies and heads.

Unlike humans and other warm-blooded animals, snakes can’t self-regulate their body temperature.

©Silent Shoot/Shutterstock.com

Snakes near Dallas are most active during the spring, summer, and early fall months. During the cold winter season, most go into a state of brumation. Brumation is the cold-blooded equivalent of hibernation, in which the snake’s metabolism slows, and they become stuporous and slow. 

Snakes near Dallas are most active in the daytime when temperatures reach about 65 degrees. They come out to warm their bodies, and to hunt. As the summer turns hot, they become more crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk), and even nocturnal, to avoid the intense heat. So, if you’re watching out for snakes, keep the temperature and time of year in mind.

Non-Venomous Snakes Near Dallas

An overview of 7 Snakes Near Dallas in North Texas.

There are more than 30 species of snakes near Dallas. Out of those, only a few are venomous. The most common snakes you might see in the area, by far, are Texas rat snakes, western ribbon snakes, and Texas brown snakes. If you see a snake in the water, chances are very good that it’s either a diamondback water snake or a blotched water snake, both of which are non-venomous.

Let’s take a closer look at the three most common non-venomous snakes near Dallas.

Texas Rat Snake

Texas rat snake blending in with rock

Texas rat snake bears a superficial resemblance to the deadly western diamondback

rattlesnake

.

©Silent Shoot/Shutterstock.com

The most common snake near Dallas is the Texas rat snake. This snake is tan with olive green or brown blotches. It can reach lengths over five feet long, and prey primarily on rodents.

Unfortunately, despite their non-aggressive nature, they’re often killed by fearful humans who mistake them for venomous snakes. In fact, Texas rat snakes are essential for rodent control, and can be found anywhere there is a large rodent population.

Western Ribbon Snake

Western Ribbon Snake

They might be small, but western ribbon snakes are one of the most common snakes near Dallas.

©Ryan M. Bolton/Shutterstock.com

Western ribbon snakes are small, slender snakes native to North Texas. They grow to a maximum length of around four feet and eat mostly earthworms. They’re easy to recognize by the black and yellow stripes that run from head to tail. These snakes are easygoing and very unlikely to bite humans. 

Texas Brown Snake

Snakes That Look Like Copperheads-Texas Brown Snake

Like the western ribbon snake, the Texas brown snake is very small and slender-bodied.

©Matt Jeppson/Shutterstock.com

Texas brown snakes (Storeria spp.) in Dallas live anywhere they can find insects, particularly earthworms, to eat. They grow to a maximum length of four feet, though most top out around 2.5 feet.

They have light brown bodies with regular dark brown markings and a dark brown head. Like the western ribbon snake, they’re very gentle and pose no threat to humans.

Venomous Snakes Near Dallas

Dallas, and the surrounding area, are home to at least 30 species of snake. Among these are four (with some subspecies) species of venomous snake. 

Let’s take a closer look at the venomous snakes near Dallas you might encounter.

Texas Coral Snake

A Harlequin Snake on a white background

Uniquely, Texas coral snakes eat mostly other snakes, and sometimes lizards.

©Scott Delony/Shutterstock.com

Texas coral snakes are not one of the most common snakes near Dallas. They’re characterized by alternating bands of red, black, and yellow stripes and can grow up to four feet long. These venomous snakes are very shy and tend to come out mostly at night, so your chances of encountering one are slim.

Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin)

Moccasin Snake

Famous for the cotton-colored insides of their mouths, it’s easy to see where cottonmouths get their name.

©Nathan A Shepard/Shutterstock.com

These snakes near Dallas are most likely to be encountered in or near a source of water. They’re dull brown, with irregular light and dark stripes, and can grow up to five feet long. Cottonmouths have a highly venomous bite and are known to stand their ground when threatened, rather than fleeing. If you encounter a cottonmouth in the wild, it’s always best to let it be.

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

coiled western diamondback rattlesnake

Perhaps the most famous of the venomous snakes near Dallas is the western diamondback rattlesnake.

©Audrey Snider-Bell/Shutterstock.com

Western diamondback rattlesnakes are most likely to be seen in hot, dry areas with plenty of brush or rocky outcroppings. They can grow up to five feet long, and come equipped with the famous rattle. They eat mostly rodents and only bite when threatened. As with the other species of venomous snakes near Dallas, it’s best to leave these impressive creatures alone.

Copperhead

copperhead vs rattlesnake

Copperheads carry a distinctive red-brown color with variegated dark blotches.

©Scott Delony/Shutterstock.com

There are several subspecies of copperhead around Dallas. These include the southern copperhead in East Dallas and the broad-banded copperhead in West Dallas. Copperheads grow to around three feet long and can deliver a painful, venom-filled bite. Most bites to humans occur either when the snake is accidentally stepped on, or when people try to handle or kill them. If you encounter a copperhead, remember that it’s a dangerous wild animal, and should not be approached or touched.

Summary of 7 Snakes Near Dallas in North Texas

Here’s a recap of the 7 snakes present near Dallas that we took a close look at:

NumberSnakeType
1Texas Rat SnakeNon-Venomous
2Western Ribbon SnakeNon-Venomous
3Texas Brown SnakeNon-Venomous
4Texas Coral SnakeVenomous
5Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin)Venomous
6Western Diamondback RattlesnakeVenomous
7CopperheadVenomous

Other Reptiles Found in Dallas, North Texas

Types of pond turtles - Box Turtle

The Western

Box Turtle

, which can be found in Dallas, does not have webbed feet and doesn’t go into deep water.

©iStock.com/SteveByland

There are many different species of reptiles that live in the area, each with its own distinctive traits and environments. Although many people may be familiar with the snakes that can be found in Dallas, the city is also home to a variety of other reptile species.

The reptile population in Dallas, which includes lizards, turtles, and even geckos, provides information about the distinctive ecosystems of North Texas.

Here are 10 common reptiles found in Dallas:

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About the Author

Brandi is a professional writer by day and a fiction writer by night. Her nonfiction work focuses on animals, nature, and conservation. She holds degrees in English and Anthropology, and spends her free time writing horror, scifi, and fantasy stories.

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