National snake day was on Friday July 16th, but only recently I found out a very interesting fact. According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife FAQ page, the Lone Star State, although the exact number of species is hard to determine, "boasts a stunning 76 species of snakes. If you include both species and subspecies in that number, it gives you a grand total of 115 or more - the highest number in all of the United States."

That's right, there's a ton of snakes in good ol' Texas.  The vast majority of Texas' snakes are non-venomous and completely harmless (or so Texas Parks & Wildlife want to claim! Okay, yes they are non-venomous and harmless). Texas Parks & Wildlife say that only 15% of the total number are venomous and should be treated with caution and respect. The venomous varieties can be grouped into four basic categories:

  • Coral snakes
  • Copperheads
  • Cottonmouths (also known as water moccasins)
  • Rattlesnakes

They kind of sound like the names for the "Deadly Viper Assassination Squad" from "Kill Bill". Although, upon reading more on snakes from the Texas Parks & Wildlife page, the Black Mamba and California Mountain snake do not belong to the viper family; which were the codenames for Beatrix Kiddo and Elle Driver. But I digress.

Despite the fact that I think snakes are creepy and scary, most snakes you may encounter are harmless and an integral part of the ecosystem. Snakes are especially important in the control of rodents. Bull snakes can be a farmer's best friend. If you're interested in learning more about snakes, click here. And remember, "there's a snake in my boot" is not just a Woody quote, check your boots before you put them on, you never know what scaly friend may be hiding in there!

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