A colorful juvenile Texas rat snake (Pantherophis obsoletus lindheimeri) from last night. I spotted this snake by sound as I do with most diurnal colubrids and elapids. It was cruising along at dusk looking for a comfortable refuge for the night. These beautifully splotch-patterned snakes are unfortunately commonly confused with western diamondback rattlesnakes (Crotalus atrox) or massasaugas (Sistrurus catenatus) due to a superficially similar coloration, and because local people often refuse to coexist with these creatures they may end up being killed. The misguided notion that a snake will “attack” without provocation is one that I wish could be dispelled from the world, and in every instance it’s best to just walk away from an uncomfortable encounter with a snake.
Photographed after disturbance