Sstep Ssafely LbNA # 12149
|Placed Date||Nov 13 2004|
|Last Update||Jul 7 2014|
Alive and well 28 MAY 2005.
POISONOUS SNAKES IN TEXAS
Over fifty-percent of all venomous snake bites in the United States come from rattlesnakes, and only one percent from coral snakes. The others include copperheads and water moccasins. Children are bitten more often than adults.
Micrurus fulvius tenere
The coral snake is a rather docile reptile, seldom seen and tending to be very nocturnal. The snake spends much of its life underground in cracks and crevices. It is classed with several Old World species like the neurotoxic cobras, kraits, and mambas. Adults grow only 13 to 22 inches in length with a girth about the size of a pencil. The coral snake does not have to "chew" its victim to inflict a painfully venomous bite. This is the only poisonous snake in North America to lay eggs. The venom twice as powerful as the rattlesnake.
The nose on the coral snake is always black. When disturbed the coral snake often lays its head out of sight and rattles its flattened elevated tail and emits a popping sound with its vent lining.
Rattlesnakes grow to around 60 inches. Specimens exceeding six feet are rare. The young are born alive.Young rattlers are completely independent of the mother. The number of rattles is not a true indicator of age. They are largely defensive and tend to stand their ground if provoked.A rattlesnake is classified as having hemotoxic venom that attacks the blood system of its prey. The rattlesnake does not always rattle before striking. Food is swallowed whole. The diamondback rattlesnake accounts for more serious and fatal snake bites than any other North American reptile.
The Copperhead can vary in color from grayish-brown to light brown or even pinkish. Average length of adult copperheads is 30 inches.The life span of the copperhead is 18 years. The young are born alive and ready to feed. Males have longer tails then females and females grow to greater lengths. Females usually only mate with one male per year. When carrying young, some females will not eat at all because the embryos occupy so much of the body cavity. Some copperheads consume only eight meals in a single growing season. Young copperheads eat mostly insects, especially caterpillars, and use their yellow tipped tails to function as a worm-like lure to attract prey. This is a social snake, which may overwinter in a communal den with other copperheads or other species of snakes including timber rattlesnakes and black rat snakes. They tend to return to the same den year after year. Copperheads will voluntarily enter water and swim. The longer the snake, the longer the fangs. The fangs are replaced periodically with each snake having a series of five to seven replacement fangs in the gums behind and above the current functional fang. Copperheads have fangs that inject its prey with a hemolytic venom which causes the breakdown of red blood cells. The copperhead is the cause of many snakebites yearly but they are rarely fatal. Sometimes when touched, they emit a musk that smells like cucumbers.
Adult size is 30 to 48 inches. Cottonmouths are aggressive and may even approach an intruder. Their venom is stronger than copperhead's and they tend to be larger. The Cottonmouth snake feeds at night on fish, amphibians, birds and reptiles. The cottonmouth has "cat's eye" pupils. This snake latches on during a bite rather than a quick strike and release. Cottonmouths get their name from their defensive habit of gaping their mouths open to expose the white lining of the mouth. These snakes readily vibrate their tails when provoked or approached and can make an impressive 'rattling' sound when placed against leaves, water, or solid objects.
This microbox is part of my "Texans to Avoid" series and is located in Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, 20634 Kenswick Drive, near Humble, Texas. The park is located north of FM 1960 between I-45 and US 59. Admission is free. Bicycles are allowed on most trails on Sundays only. Be sure to obtain a park map from the Nature Center before looking for this microbox. After finding the box, please replace it as found and make sure that it is not visible from the trails. I would appreciate an email letting me know the status of the box when you find it.
To find the box:
This box is located on the short section of trail connecting Grapevine Trail and the Canoe Launch Trail. Look for a large tree on the south side of the trail located 20 paces from the Grapevine Trail intersection, and 80 paces from the Canoe Launch Trail. This large tree will have a skinny tree a couple of feet behind it. The box is located at the base of the large tree on the back side.