A small snake with a maximum body length of 20 inches (50 cm). It is grayish brown dorsally with 2 dark stripes, irregular banding or weakly diamond-shaped patterns on the back. A dark-edged white or gray collar is usually visible. Neonates are darker dorsally with a pronounced white collar.
Viviparous, with up to 31 babies born live per litter. They are small (less than 5 inches, or 127 mm), and usually black with white rings around the neck.
Highly tolerant of disturbances, it can often be found under debris in urban areas. Also found in marshy areas and bogs.
Invertebrates, especially earthworms.
Wide distribution in the United States, from Kansas east to the Atlantic coast, from Florida to Maine. Found throughout Connecticut.
Not federally protected. It occurs commonly throughout Connecticut.
Conant, R. and J.T. Collins. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern/Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 450 pp.
Klemens, M.W. 1993. Amphibians and Reptiles of Connecticut and Adjacent Regions. Hartford, CT: State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut Bulletin 112. 318 pp.
Text by Gregory J. Watkins-Colwell.
Photograph © Twan Leenders. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Animal featured on this page is from Connecticut.