Egg-Eating Snakes in Texas

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Texas is home to several Colubrid snake species that include reptile and bird eggs in their diet. These snakes are non-venomous and some of Texas' egg-eating snakes are also egglayers. When eating eggs, snakes swallow the eggs whole, as they do with other prey. While eggs enter their mouths, snakes slip their trachea tub underneath the eggs in order to keep breathing.

Rat Snakes

Rat snakes receive their name from their usual diet, which includes rats and other small rodents. These snakes also eat bird eggs and young hatchlings. In Texas, native elaphe snake species are the black, Slowinski's, Great Plains, corn, Baird's and Texas rat snakes. Texas' rat snakes live in a variety of natural habitats, including grasslands, forests and mountainous regions. These snakes also dwell near human households and farmhouses. The largest Texas rat snake, the corn snake, grows up to 5 feet when it matures. Other rat snakes range from 3 to 4 feet in length.

Hognose Snakes

Hognose snakes are noted for their snouts, which resemble the noses of pigs. When hunting for prey, hognose snakes look for small rodents, amphibians and small birds. Hognose snakes also eat small reptile eggs. In Texas, the four hognose snake species are the eastern, western, Mexican and dusty hognose snakes. Hognose snakes prefer dry climates and topography with sandy soil; these snakes also live in grasslands. The primary region of the state to find hognose snakes is South Texas. Most hognose snakes are less than 2 feet in length.

Kingsnakes

Kingsnakes are called “kingsnakes” since they are known for eating other species of snakes. These snakes are also immune to the venom of venomous snakes, making venomous snakes also a part of their diet. Kingsnakes also eat reptile and bird eggs, small birds, invertebrates, fish and amphibians. Texas' kingsnake species are the gray-banded, prairie and speckled kingsnakes. The primary habitats for kingsnakes are grasslands, forests and semi-aquatic areas, including swamps, marshes and bogs. A kingsnake's average growth is 3 to 4 feet.

Gopher Snakes

Gopher snakes in Texas include the Sonoran gopher snake, bull snake and Louisiana pine snake. These snakes are among the longest snake species in Texas with lengths of up to 9 feet at maturity. Gopher snakes are often mistaken for rattlesnakes due to the coloration of their skin. When agitated, these snakes will shake their tail, similarly to rattlesnake behavior. A gopher snake's diet includes bird and reptile eggs, mammals and birds. This snake species is also an egg-laying reptile species, but does not eat its own eggs.

References

About the Author

Skip Davis has been writing professionally since 2005. His work has appeared in "Southern Literary Magazine," on various websites and in graphic panels at the Jackson Zoological Park in Jackson, Miss. Currently living in Southern California, Davis received his Bachelor of Arts in theater at Belhaven College.

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