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Zoology/what kind of snake is this


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QUESTION: This snake hung out in the same flower bed near our lake-side home in Central Texas before a nighbor shot it for us. Is it poisonous? Its head seems triangular but the markings are less persuasive. We have seen very similar but larger snakes near the dock this spring but weren't able to kill them. I have pictures of them, too. How scared should we be?

ANSWER: This is (or was) a common water snake. They have no venom. There are a  lot of things you can be afraid of but a water snake is not one of them. Water snakes are important to the ecosystem and should not be killed

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QUESTION: Thank you. I would generally like to leave them be but we have lots of young kids and wanted to be sure. ... Is the shape of the head the main factor, and if so, is it a lot more angular than this?

They shape of the head is one factor but some non poisonous snakes have heads like poisonous  snakes. In fact The Hog nose snake takes on a triangular shape to scare away predators. If that does not work it rolls over on it's back and plays dead. I based my identification of your snake on the pattern


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Walter Hintz


I can answer questions about both vertebrate and invertebrate zoology. I am an expert in animal behavior, especially birds.


I have taught for over 50 years. I teach college biology courses and I have led tours to the Galapagos Islands and the Belize rain forest

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