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Elaphe (Pantherophis)obsoleta lindheimeri
Nonvenomous Status Common in Katy and Cypress Texas Description/Identification Coloration of adults is typically a combination of red, yellow, and black.  Very old adults can be almost solid black and juveniles are a grayish color.  This snake can reach very long adult lengths with 5+ feet adults commonly seen.  Has round pupils and can be found just about anywhere in the area.  As the common name suggests this snake serves as rodent control for many people. Defense The first defense for this snake is to flee.  If unable to flee I find that they put on impressive display by coiling up and making open mouth strikes to try and scare away their aggressor.  While coiled they will shake their tails which strikes nearby leaves producing a rattling sound in an effort to make people think they are a rattlesnake.  If grabbed they can bite but it is typically no worse than a small scratch that heals within a few days.  This snake and others in the genus Pantherophis or Elaphe let of a musk that smells different from other snakes and in my experience is much harder to wash off.
(Texas Rat Snake)