A small snake measuring 10 inches (25 cm) in body length. The dorsal coloration is reddish brown or bluish gray. Two dorsolateral dark stripes may be visible. The species displays two color phases: a brown phase (top) and a gray phase (bottom). Both can occur in the same locality. A whitish “collar” is found in both color phases. The belly is red.
Viviparous, with 1 to 21 young born live in a single litter during the summer. The newborns are often dark with a well-defined white or yellowish white ring around the neck.
Found in woodland habitat and sometimes near bogs.
Soft-bodied invertebrates, especially slugs.
Distributed throughout much of the northeastern United States, from Arkansas to Virginia, north to Nova Scotia, west to Wisconsin. Distribution is spotty throughout the midwestern states within this range. In Connecticut it is restricted to the northern counties of the state.
Not federally protected. Not as common in Connecticut as its congener, the Northern Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi).
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.