We are surrounded here in Steiner by creatures.  We need to understand them in order to be able to live in peace and harmony with them.  Snake season begins each year in early spring, through late summer/early fall, however, there are occasions when animals can be found in the off season, but it isn't often.

Off the top of my head, I can think of 16 different species of snakes I've found/caught here in Steiner Ranch.  In no particular order, I've caught:

  • Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
  • Texas Rat Snake
  • Yellow Belly Racer
  • Western Coachwhip
  • Central Texas Whipsnake
  • Eastern Blackneck Garter Snake
  • Checkered Garter Snake
  • Red Striped Ribbon Snake
  • Rough Green Snake
  • Texas Brown Snake
  • Rough Earth Snake
  • Texas Coral Snake
  • Blotched Water Snake
  • Diamondback Water Snake
  • Texas Patchnose Snake
  • Eastern Hognose Snake

 

Of all the snakes listed above, only four are venomous, and of those four, only one is considered truly dangerous here in Steiner Ranch- the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.  The four venomous snakes are, Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Broadbanded Copperhead, Texas Coral Snake and Cottonmouth.(aka Water Moccasin)

Here's why:

  1. The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake is so common that the chances that you live here in Steiner Ranch and not run into one at some point during your stay is unlikely.
  2. It has large fangs, the potential to deliver a large amount of it's venom in a single bite and will stand it's ground when it doesn't feel like is has any other option.
  3. It doesn't take much to illicit a bite from this snake.

Why are the other three snakes in the list not considered to be dangerous?

  • The Broadbanded Copperhead is very seldom seen.  It's a master of disguise, stays off the beaten path and doesn't often cross paths with Steiner's human inhabitants.
  • The Texas Coral Snake is a small, very fast and flighty snake.  It wants nothing to do with us, and they don't usually bite.  In the event of a bite, their fangs are so small, often times, it takes more than one bite for envenomation and/or them to chew in order to penetrate human skin.
  • The Cottonmouth is incredibly elusive.  I've been here over six years looking for one, and I have yet to find one.  A colleague of mine has been here in Central Texas for over 25 years looking for one and has yet to find one, however, they are reported to be here.  I hear of people seeing them all the time out in the area lakes, but I'd be willing to bet that 99.99% of those snakes reported to be Cottonmouths are actually Blotched Water Snakes or Diamondback Water Snakes, which are both very common in our area, and not venomous.