|Florida Snakes: Non Venomous Snakes|
The Redbelly Water Snake is a subspecies of a species of non venomous
water snakes generally known as Plainbelly Water Snakes. Plainbelly
Water Snakes are found in the southern United States from Delaware to
Texas, excepting peninsular Florida. Adults are typically 3 to 4 feet in
length. Plainbelly Water Snakes, as the name implies, have bellies that
lack dark markings typical of the other non-venomous water snakes. These
snakes are born with strong dorsal patterns that usually darken with age
and become obscure. Plainbelly Watersnakes are very active and quick.
They often can be found well away from water and can make rapid dashes
across open areas. When cornered, they will flatten their heads and
bodies. The flattened head has a very arrowhead shape.
Redbellied Snake- The ground color of this small snake is gray-brown, gray or black with 3 light spots on the nape of the neck. Except in the very darkest specimens there are 4 stripes along the back, slightly darker than the ground color. Occasionally a person may see a specimen that is almost completely black. As its name declares, the Northern Red-Bellied Snake's belly is red or red-orange. This under-color is uniform and unmarked. Red bellied snakes are found from Nova Scotia to central Florida. This snake eats insects, slugs, earthworms. Redbellied Snakes are secretive and not often seen by the casual observer. Individuals are known to hide under boards and stones, and inside rotten logs. In some local areas the Northern Red-Bellied Snake may be rather common, while in other areas that seem to have the proper habitat it may be totally lacking. Hawks and predatory mammals feed on this snake as they do on many other small snakes.
Scarlet Snake- Scarlet Snakes are small constricting snakes similar to the kingsnakes. They are smooth scaled and colorfully marked. Adult size is considered to be in the range of 14 to 20 inches. Scarlet Snakes are considered to be mimics of the venomous Coral Snake. Scarlet Snakes have plain whithish or yellowish bellies and a red snout instead of a black one, thus, are easily distinguishable from the Coral Snakes. Scarlet snakes do not have the same color pattern as the deadly coral snake (red on yellow, kill a fellow). The scarlet snake likes to burrow and can sometimes be found under trash piles or logs. The scarlet snake is very docile and makes no attempt to bite when handled
Short Tailed Snake- The Short-tailed Snake is the rarest snake species in eastern North America. Few have ever seen this 18" constrictor that apparently occurs only in scrub and sandhills habitats in central Florida. Short-tailed snakes are smooth-scaled, shiny and very slender. They really do have a short tail compared to other snakes. This small snake is usually gray, with dark blotches along its back and sides. The short-tailed snake is thought to be related to the kingsnakes. Short-tailed snakes are burrowers that spend most of their time under ground, but most specimens (fewer than 200 are known to science) have been found crawling on the surface, usually in autumn. Short tailed snakes seem to eat nothing except the black-headed crowned snakes.
Smooth Earth Snake- The Smooth Earth Snake is a small, only 7-10 inches, somewhat heavy-bodied, brown to gray snake with smooth scales and a pointed snout . Most individuals have small black spots scattered on the back and sides. The belly is tan to whitish and is not sharply defined in color from the color of the sides. This species can be found in scattered locations throughout the eastern and central United States. Smooth Earth Snakes are fossorial (live underground) and are most often found hiding beneath logs, leaf litter, or other debris. They feed on earthworms and soft-bodied insects. This species is viviparous, giving live birth to as many as 14 live young in the late summer.
Southern Ringneck Snake- Averaging 6-10 inches in length, the Southern Ringneck Snake is small and slender-bodied with a black body and yellow, cream, or orange ring across the neck. The belly is bright yellow, orange, or red with a single row of half-moon spots down the center. This snake is found throughout Florida and the upper Florida keys, excluding the lower keys. Outside of Florida, it is found throughout the southeastern United States from Alabama to southern New Jersey. The southern ringneck snake is a terrestrial burrower, frequently found in or underneath logs or other debris. It feeds on small earthworms, slugs, frogs, anoles, geckos, skinks, snakes, and salamanders.
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