Florida's Snakes thumbnail photo of snake identification guide cover

Glossy Crayfish Snake
(Regina rigida)


solid color icon

Glossy Crayfish Snake

photo of glossy crayfish snake showing glossy brown back and yellowish belly marked with a double row of half moon shapes

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


Usually 1–2 ft. (max. ~2.5 ft.)


Body is glossy brown to olive, sometimes with faint, darker stripes. Belly and lower sides are yellow-tan; belly is marked with a double row of half-moon shapes. Throat is streaked with dark brown, except in individuals from the western Panhandle. Scales have obvious lengthwise ridges (keels). This snake gives birth to live young (does not lay eggs). This snake could be mistaken for the venomous Cottonmouth but it is much smaller and thinner and has round eye pupils.


Found in the panhandle and northern Florida in wooded freshwater habitats, including bottomland forests, cypress swamps, and sloughs. It may also be found in more open habitats where crayfish are abundant, including wet prairies and ditches. This snake spends much of its time underground in crayfish burrows or under logs and other debris.


Insects, crayfish, fish, frogs, small salamanders

map showing that glossy crayfish snakes are found only in the panhandle and parts of northern and central Florida

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

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