Red-Bellied Snakes

2016 May 7

Today, instead of insects or plants, we have – a bucket of snakes!


The girls found these on July 8, 2015. They aren’t actually that big, the largest was only about 6 inches long. They are about the size of the really big “nightcrawler” earthworms.

small snake

I realize now that I missed something: I didn’t flip them over so that you could see their very distinctive coppery-red bellies. So anyway, here’s a closer shot of the big ones.


Edited to add: Later on, the girls caught another one and I tried to get a picture of its belly. Unfortunately it was pretty squirmy and so I didn’t get a good, well-focused shot, but at least you can see the color clearly in these next two pictures:



They were very easy to catch. We have these black rubber car floor mats lying on the ground out in the back yard. These heat up in the sun, and so the snakes like to crawl under them to warm up. I think the snakes are also attracted to the worms and bugs under these mats, which they eat.

Anyway, these are Northern Red-Bellied Snakes, Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata. They seem to be our most common local snake by a large margin, we probably see a dozen or more of these every summer for every garter snake or northern ring-necked snake that we see. Perfectly harmless, of course. They’ve got no venom, and even if they did they’d have a hard time biting with their tiny little mouths. They are usually remarkably calm about being picked up, too, and don’t dump stink all over you the way that garter snakes do.

One Response
  1. May 9, 2016

    This post combined with your URL suggests that you might have some serious problems on your hands. Or, rather, in your hair.

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