Texas is home to different species of snakes. It’s inevitable to see one, even if you’re just walking on the road or in the park. By now, you’re probably wondering if there are unique species, such as snakes with yellow bellies.
There is indeed a Texas snake with yellow belly, but it’s hard to find. That’s because the species with the yellow bellies are elusive. In addition, they often hibernate, especially during the colder season. As such, the best time to look for snakes with yellow bellies is during the warmer season because it’s when they travel more often.
There are over 105 species of snakes in Texas. However, only a handful have unique distinctions, such as yellow bellies. Although yellow-bellied snakes are uncommon, their population is enormous. For example, Plain-bellied Water Snakes are common in the swamps of Texas.
The following are the yellow belly snakes that you can find in the state:
- Yellow-bellied Kingsnake
- Garter Snake
- Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer
- Plain-bellied Water Snake
- Northern Ringneck Snake
These snakes differ in size, behavior, and habitat. One thing they have in common is that they’re not venomous. They only bite, but only at times when they need to defend themselves.
Yellow-bellied Kingsnakes, also known as Prairie Kingsnakes, are commonly found in agricultural fields, suburban areas, and other open habitats. Additionally, they have green bodies with yellow bellies. Adult Yellow-bellied Kingsnakes can grow up to three feet long.
This species isn’t venomous, and they’re not aggressive either. Moreover, these snakes only feed on smaller snakes and reptiles. You can typically find them from April to November, although they’re very elusive, so they’re harder to come by.
Garter Snakes are endemic to the United States. They usually reside near bodies of water or damp areas. Furthermore, their bodies have a green tinge with yellow stripes running down the middle of the back; they also have yellow bellies. Moreover, they grow up to two feet.
These snakes are harmless but tend to bite whenever they’re frightened. They aren’t venomous; their saliva only comes out when they bite. They enjoy burrowing in natural cavities and rock piles. In addition, they’re active from May to September because they hibernate during the winter season.
Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer is a thin snake whose length can reach up to five feet. These snakes have olive bodies with yellow bellies. In addition, they live in dry areas such as woods, pastures, and grasslands.
Racers move fast—they can easily catch up to their prey and can quickly hide when a predator pursues them. They’re aggressive when stressed, to the extent that they bite viciously. Eastern Yellow-bellied Racers are active during the daytime, and you can find them from March to November.
From the name itself, Plain-bellied Water Snakes are aquatic snakes endemic to the United States. Their bodies are a solid color with yellow bellies. Even though they’re aquatic snakes, they also venture on land, hence why they reside in areas with a permanent water source, such as lakes, swamps, and rivers. Adult Plain-bellied Water Snakes grow up to three feet.
They’re most active during the summer, and you can find them swimming or traveling on land. Unlike other species, Plain-bellied Water Snakes feed on crayfish, frogs, and other amphibians they can find on the water. Furthermore, they’re not venomous but release a smelly odor as a defense mechanism.
Ring-necked Snakes are nocturnal snakes that grow up to two feet long. They have a solid-colored body, with a ring-like line interlaced into their neck. Moreover, these rings are frequently the same color as their bellies, which is yellow. They seek refuge in rocks, logs, and other moist areas.
In addition, they have venom that they use in subduing their prey. However, it’s not potent enough to affect a human. They usually pursue reptiles, such as lizards, but they also eat insects.
Generally, you can find snakes anywhere in Texas. However, finding yellow bellies is difficult because most of them are always burrowing, and they’re very secretive. But there are specific locations in Texas where they commonly live, which means the chances of sighting one are higher.
Central Texas is the area that holds the largest number of snake species. As such, you can find yellow-bellied snakes here, particularly Ringneck Snakes, Eastern Yellow-bellied Racers, and Yellow-bellied Kingsnakes.
There’s an abundance of Ringneck Snakes near the Buchanan Dam. Moreover, there are sightings of Garter Snakes in Kempner. On the other hand, many people saw Eastern Yellow-bellied Racers throughout Austin. Most of the time, they’re hiding under rocks or the soil. It also depends on the season if they’ll travel or not.
South Texas is an excellent place where you can find a variety of snakes because there are more than 39 species in the area. You can also locate Eastern Yellow-bellied Racers in Southeast Texas.
People saw the snake in Houston, specifically at Lakewood Forest, Cypress Park, and the Addicks Reservoir. More Eastern Yellow-bellied Racers are scattered in the location, but the areas mentioned have plenty.
East Texas is an area that has a significant number of wetlands. As such, this is where Plain-Bellied Water Snakes reside. There’s a high chance you’ll find the said species in any wetland in the deeper part of East Texas.
It’s because the area has many rivers, creeks, and swamps, which are the perfect habitat for Plain-Bellied Water Snakes.
Yellow Snakes FAQs
Can I see snakes with yellow bellies only in Texas?
The species mentioned aren’t native to Texas. The snakes come from different areas, but they’ve managed to reach the state because they travel a lot. Even though there are a bunch of Plain-Bellied Water Snakes in East Texas, you can still find them in other locations, such as Florida.
Is there a reason why a Texas snake with a yellow belly has such color?
The only reason why the snakes have yellow bellies is that it’s in their genes. There’s a high chance that it resulted from a random mutation from other snakes.