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Share your observations of plants or non-game animals with the Natural Heritage Inventory.

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Rori Paloski

Red-bellied Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata)

Red-bellied Snake photo.
Photo © A.B. Sheldon
  • Family: Colubridae (Non-venomous snakes)
  • Status: Common
  • Size: 8-10 inches

range map

Species range

This small snake has a reddish-brown to steel gray background color with a broad light mid-dorsal stripe and two narrow darker stripes on each side. The underside is a bright red to orange, edged with dark blue-black. Habitats include boreal forests, sphagnum bogs, and northern and southern hardwood forests and adjacent fields. Red-bellied snakes eat slugs, earthworms and beetle larvae. This species is often seen in large numbers on warm sunny days in September or October basking on back roads and bicycle trails.


Red-bellied Snake  Photo

Color variations of the northern red-bellied snake.

Photo by Rori Paloski, WDNR.

Red-bellied Snake  Photo

Photo © A.B. Sheldon.

Last revised: Thursday, August 15, 2019