Florida's Snakes thumbnail photo of snake identification guide cover

Red-bellied Snake
(Storeria occipitomaculata)


solid color icon

Red-bellied Snake - showing variation

photo of red-bellied snake with gray body, showing red belly, light collar, and light spot under eye

photo of red-bellied snake with reddish brown body, showing light collar and light spot under eye

 Photos by John Jensen (upper photo) and Kenney Krysko (FLMNH, lower photo). These photos may not be used without the express written permission of the photographer


Usually 8–10 in. (max. 16 in.)


Body is grayish or reddish brown to black. Back is marked with speckles. Head is dark; back of head is marked with three light spots that may fuse to form a collar. Belly is red, orange, or yellow-tan. It is similar to the brownsnakes but has a light-colored spot below each eye. It is also similar to the Ring-necked Snake and crowned snakes, but its scales have obvious lengthwise ridges (keels). This snake gives birth to live young (does not lay eggs).


Found in northern Florida and the panhandle in moist hardwood forests, damp pinewoods, and edges of marshes and swamps. It spends most of its time hidden under leaf litter or logs.


Earthworms, slugs

map showing that red-bellied snakes are only found in northern Florida and the panhandle

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

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