Green Anole

5”-8” They eat insects. They prefer trees and shrubs with occasional shade and moisture. This common lizard can change its color to blend with its surroundings but is not a true chameleon. Males display a reddish dewlap.

Anolis carolinensis

Photo by Texas Monthly
Broad-headed Skink 6”-13” Forest dwellers, generally arboreal. They feed on grasshoppers, butterflies cockroaches, other lizards and small mammals. Skinks have very short legs.  Eumeces laticeps
Five-lined Skink 5”-8.5”  They are found in moist wooded areas The body is generally dark with 5 white or yellowish stripes-2 down each side and one laterally snout to tail. Stripes lighten with age until disappearing in older males. Juveniles have blue tails. Skinks have very short legs.  Eumeces fasciatus
Ground Skink 3”-5” They have a broad brown stripe down their backs. These animals live in the forest leaf litter feasting on invertebrates They are prey for predators such as snakes, birds, small mammals and even some spiders. Skinks have very short legs.  Scincella lateralis
Broad-headed SkinkFive-lined SkinkGround Skink
Photo by colliet pest controlPhoto by Animalia.bioPhoto by

Venomous Snakes

Broad-banded Copperhead 24”-36” These snakes are carnivorous and eat a mixed diet consisting of many things from small mammals to insects. They prefer wooded lowlands near water. Their bite is toxic and quite painful. Medical treatment should be sought right a way.  Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus
Western Cottonmouth 30”-42” This dark snake gets its name from its open bright white mouth. Cottonmouths avoid people however, it is toxic so if bitten medical treatment should be sought at once. They prefer lowland areas near water. When swimming, their body is on top of the water. They can bite underwater.  Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma  
Broad-banded CopperheadWestern Cottonmouth
 Photo by Kevin RudyPhoto by Kevin Rudy

Non-Venomous Snakes

Plain-bellied Water Snake 2’-3’ Adults are often mistaken for Western Cottonmouth due to their coloration. Their diet consists primarily of frogs.  They are prey for mammals and snapping turtles. Females give birth to live young.    Nerodia erythrogaster
Photo by gosangelo
Broad-banded Water Snake 2’-4’ This species only occurs in the eastern section of DFW. They are active at night. Their diet is comprised of frogs, toads and fish. They are short tempered and can be vicious. Females give birth to live young.Nerodia fasciata confluens
Photo by Kevin Rudy
Diamondback Water Snake 2’-3’ Hangs over the water looking for fish or other prey. If handled gives a vicious bite. Its teeth are sharp and meant to hold onto fish. Females give birth to live young.Nerodia r. rhombifer
Eastern Hognose Snake 20”-33” These snakes are active during the day. Their diet consists of toads, frogs, small mammals, birds, and invertebrates. Their upturned snout allows them to burrow into the earth. They are known for playing dead when confrontedHeterodon platirhinos

Photo by Kevin Rudy
Eastern Yellowbelly Racer 30-48” Their diet is generally rodents, lizards and frogs. They are found in grasslands, prairie, and open woods.Coluber constrictor flaviventris
Photo by Kevin Rudy
Rough Earth Snake 7”-10” They live in forests where there are plenty of logs and rocks to hide under. Females give birth to live young in mid-summer.Haldea striatula
Photo by Kevin Rudy 
Rough Green Snake 22”-32” Sometimes called a grass snake. Preferred habitat is moist woodlands near water. It is a good swimmer. Diet comprised of insects and sometimes frogs.Opheodrys aestivus
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Dekay’sBrown Snake 12”-19” Their habitat is moist woodlands under logs and bark. Their diet consists of slugs, earthworms, insects and frogs.Storeria dekayi   

Photo by Kevin Rudy
Texas Garter Snake 15”-28” Their preferred habitat is near water under wood, underground and in plants. Diet consists of almost anything they can overpower such as slugs, lizards, amphibians, minnows and rodents.Thamnophis sirtalis annectens

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Texas Lined Snake 12”-14” Habitat is prairies under rocks, logs, and leaf litter. Their diet is earthworms.Tropidoclonium lineatum texanum

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Texas Rat Snake 4’-5’ Their defensive behavior is ‘rattling’ its tail against something to make a rattling sound (like a rattlesnake). They are agile climbers and consume rodents and birds.Pantherophis obsoletus

Photo by Kevin Rudy
Western Ribbon Snake 20”-30” Their habitat is in the woodlands near water. Diet is primarily amphibians but fish and lizards are included.Thamnophis p. proximus

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Western Coachwhip 42”-60” These snakes can move at 3.5 miles. Their habitat includes open areas. Diet for these snakes is rodents, bird eggs and snakes, including venomous snakes.Coluber flagellum testaceus

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Common Musk Turtle “stinkpot” 2”-5” These turtles have the ability to release a foul musky odor from scent glands on the edge of their shells.  
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Sternotherus odoratus
Common Snapping Turtle 8”-14”These turtles are quite combative when out of the water with their powerful jaws and agile head and neck. These are long lived animals.
  o Photo by
Chelydra serpentina
Eastern River Cooter 14”-16.5” These herbivores remain in the water, often lined up on logs, except to lay their eggs.   Photo by Pseudemys concinna
Yellow Mud Turtle 3”-4” Mud turtles prefer clean spring-fed streams. They will hibernate by burrowing in the mud.   Photo by Kinosternon flavescens
Ornate Box Turtle These turtles require prairie grass to eat, soil in which females can nest and overwinter, and burying sites to protect from the temperature.   Photo byTerrapene o ornate
Red-eared Slider   15”-20” Named for their red ear locations and their ability to rapidly slide off rocks and logs. They typically live 20-30 years.
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Trachemys scripta elegans
Pallid Spiny Softshell 7”-19” So named due to its soft or tender shell which has spines on it. They have some ability to perform oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange by breathing air or while breathing underwater.
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Apalone spinifera pallida
Three-toed Box Turtle 4.5”-5” These turtles are named for the 3 toes on their back feet. Often this turtle interbreeds with other box turtles. They are popular in the pet trade.
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Terrapene carolina triunguis