Texas contains a fusion of zones that blend vastly different climates into a hub for poisonous animals. The expansive gulf coastline builds a subtropical vortex for wetland creatures to thrive, which expands into a hot and dry desert atmosphere, creating an inviting geographical landscape for dangerous critters of all shapes and sizes to settle down in. Various species of bugs, reptiles, mammals, and sea creatures inhabit the wide-open range of the Lone Star state and its neighboring gulf.
These dangerous Texas animals are no joke. Just a single encounter with a powerful or venomous creature could cost you your life, so it's best to play it safe when coming face-to-face with them. Check out the deadliest Texan animals below, to arm yourself with knowledge should you ever find yourself in the Lone Star state. Vote up the scariest, most dangerous animals you can encounter in Texas.
Nesting and making its webs across the shed rafters, underneath the cardboard boxes, and between scattered clothes is the brown recluse spider. The spider is often nocturnal and shy, but as such can establish and thrive in manmade areas by "hitchhiking," stowing away in darkplaces including trashcans or boxes then infesting when brought indoors. Unlike other spiders, the brown recluse is distinctive for its six eyes and violin-shaped marking.
The brown recluse spider has an incredibly venomous bite. Their bites affect people in different ways but in rare instances their bites can be fatal. In the worst circumstances, a brown recluse spider bite could create a "volcano lesion" and turn gangrenous or develop necrosis. Other symptoms of a bite may include itching, chills, fever, nausea, sweating and a general feeling of discomfort or sickness.
The western diamondback rattlesnake, AKA the Texas diamondback, is a venomous pit viper that delivers a aggressive and dangerous strike. They are common in the American Southwest and Northern Mexico and can be distinguished from other rattlesnakes by the black and white bands above the snakes rattle.
The western diamondback rattlesnake accounts for more human bites than any other rattlesnake in the American Southwest, and their bites are packed with a slew of serious side-effects. If bitten by a a western diamondback, nausea, dizziness, and convulsions are the least of a person's worries. These rattlesnakes have hemotoxic venom that can cause immediate blood clotting and coagulation. They use their venom to completely immobilize their prey, which are mostly small mammals, reptiles, and birds. When a western diamondback bites a human, however, their venom can causes extensive tissue damage and swelling but can also be fatal.
Western cottonmouth snakes may have a shy temperament but are potentially one of the most deadly animals found in Texas. Also known as water moccasins, the western cottonmouth can potentially be found in any aquatic environment in Northern Central Texas including pools, lakes, rivers, or streams. They can be distinguished by their flat, broad head, their thick body decorated with dark and irregular cross bands, and their slender tail.
When confronted, western cottonmouth snakes would rather run away or completely freeze to blend into its surrounding and will open its mouth, revealing it's namesake, before striking. If it strikes, however, the venom it injects can be potentially deadly. The western cottonmouth's venom is a hemotoxin that prevents the blood from clotting and could cause hemorrhaging in the circulatory system, temporary or permanent tissue damage, and possibly the loss of bodily extremeties depending on where the bite is located.
Seemingly small and harmless, the kissing bug is a vector for the deadly Chagas disease. There are 11 different species of kissing bug found throughout the entire Southern United States, but are found in highest diversity and density in the American Southwest, including Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.
The true kiss of this insect is its vampiric bite, which it delivers when it sucks your blood or that of your animals. After it is done feeding, it leaves behind its fecal matter. The feces contains a tropical parasite that causes Chagas disease, and if rubbed into the bite wound, infection can occur.
While some people can go their entire lives without showing symptoms of Chagas disease, around 20%-30% of infected people will go on to develop debilitating and life threatening medical problems such as heart abnormalities and dilated digestive organs.