Florida's Snakes thumbnail photo of snake identification guide cover

Florida Crowned Snake
(Tantilla relicta)


solid color icon

Florida Crowned Snake

photo of Florida crowned snake showing tan body, dark head, and dark collar open at the nape

 Photo by Dr. Steve A. Johnson (UF). This photo may not be used without the express written permission of the photographer


Usually 7–8 in. (max. ~9 in.)


Slender body is tan to reddish brown. Head is brown-black and marked with a pale collar that may be “open” at the back of the neck. Collar may be absent in individuals from north-central Florida. Snout may be cream-tan in individuals found along the Atlantic Coast. Scales are smooth. Florida’s three crowned snake species are very similar in appearance, so be sure to check the range map for help with identification. This snake lays eggs.


Found only in Florida on central ridges in scrubs, sandhills, and pinewoods, and in coastal scrubs and dunes along the central Atlantic and Gulf coasts. This secretive snake spends most of its time burrowed in loose, sandy soils, including mounds created by burrowing animals.


Worms, snails, centipedes, spiders, insects and their larvae

map showing that Florida crowned snakes are found only on central ridges and coastal scrubs in Florida

Map by Monica E. McGarrity - may be used freely for education.

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