Florida's Snakes thumbnail photo of snake identification guide cover

Dekay's Brownsnake
(Storeria dekayi)


solid color icon

Dekay's Brownsnake

photo of Dekay's brownsnake showing spots alongside light stripe down spine

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


Usually 9–12 in. (max. 16 in.)


Body is grayish to brown. Back is usually marked with a faint lighter stripe down the spine bordered by dark spots that may connect as lines across the back if the stripe is absent. Crown of the head is brown-black. Neck may be marked with a light collar or spots. It is similar to the Florida Brownsnake found in the peninsula, which has a dark 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 only in the panhandle of Florida in and around hardwood hammocks, pinewoods, ponds, marshes, swamps and canals. It is usually found in uplands near water, hiding under logs, boards, and other debris.


Earthworms, slugs, insects, tiny fish, tiny frogs, small salamanders

map showing that Dekay's brownsnakes are found only in the panhandle in Florida

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

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