Rainbow Snake

Rainbow Snake

Eel moccasin, Horn snake, Red-lined snake, Red-lined horned snake, Red-sided snake, Sand hog, Sand snake, Striped wampum

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Farancia erytrogramma
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
19 yrs
LENGTH
91-168 cm

The Rainbow snake is a large, nonvenomous, highly aquatic snake that is found in the southeastern United States. Dorsally, it has smooth, glossy bluish-black back scales, with three red stripes. It has a short tail, with a spiny tip which it sometimes uses as a probe. Adults may show yellow coloration along the sides and on the head. Females of this species are larger than males.

No

Nocturnal

Ca

Carnivore

Pi

Piscivores

Aq

Aquatic

Pr

Predator

Fo

Fossorial

Pr

Precocial

Na

Natatorial

Te

Terrestrial

Ov

Oviparous

Bu

Burrowing

No

Non-venomous

So

Solitary

No

Not a migrant

R

starts with

Distribution

Geography

Continents
Countries
Biogeographical realms

Rainbow snakes are found from southern Maryland to southeastern Louisiana, including eastern Virginia, southeastern North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, northern Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. They inhabit cypress swamps, marshes, blackwater creeks, slow-moving streams, and sandy coastal plains.

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Rainbow snakes are rarely seen due to their secretive lifestyle. They spend most of their lives in the water, hiding in aquatic vegetation or other forms of cover. They are strong swimmers, and also know how to burrow into mud and sand. Rainbow snakes are solitary and hunt by night. Prey are eaten alive and usually swallowed head first. Rainbow snakes are not aggressive when captured, and do not bite their captors. When feeling threatened they usually freeze and remain still or crawl away to the nearest hiding spot.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Rainbow snakes are carnivores. They feed mainly on eels but also prey on small frogs, tadpoles, and salamanders.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
late spring - early summer
PREGNANCY DURATION
60 to 80 days
BABY CARRYING
10 to 52
INDEPENDENT AGE
at birth
FEMALE NAME
female
MALE NAME
male
BABY NAME
snakelet
BABY CARRYING
20-50 eggs

Rainbow snakes breed in the late spring or early summer. Females usually lay their eggs in July, leaving them underground in sandy soil. A clutch consists of around 20 eggs on average, but large females may lay over 50. The young typically hatch in late summer or fall. They are independent at birth and become reproductively mature between 2 and 3 years of age.

Population

Population threats

Rainbow snakes don't face any major threats at present. Locally, populations suffer from habitat loss due to degradation and urbanization and are often collected for the pet trade.

Population number

According to the IUCN Red List, the adult population size of the Rainbow snake is unknown but presumably exceeds 10,000 and is probably much larger. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.

References

1. Rainbow Snake on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farancia_erytrogramma
2. Rainbow Snake on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/63780/12707838

More Fascinating Animals to Learn About