Florida's Snakes thumbnail photo of snake identification guide cover

Rainbow Snake
(Farancia erytrogramma)


stripes icon

Rainbow Snake

Photo of rainbow snake showing distinctive red and black stripes

 Photo by Dirk Stevenson. This photo may not be used without the express written permission of the photographer


Usually 3–4.5 ft. (max. 5.5 ft.)


Body is iridescent blue-black. Back is marked with three pinkish-red stripes; lower sides are yellow, with a red dot on each scale. Belly is red, with three lines of black spots. Scales are smooth. Tail is tipped with a hard, pointed scale. This snake lays eggs.


Found predominantly in northern Florida in clear springs and streams and less frequently in creeks, lakes, ponds, cypress swamps, marshes, and tidal flats. This secretive snake spends most of its time hiding under debris or in crevices at the water’s edge.


Earthworms, eels, tadpoles, aquatic salamanders

map showing that rainbow snakes are found predominantly in northern Florida

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

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