Redbelly Snake
Storeria occipitomaculata

Photo by JD Willson


Description: Redbelly snakes are extremely variable in color and pattern. The back of this snake can be reddish brown, tan, or nearly black. It often has a light stripe running the length of the back. Three faint orange or yellowish spots are usually present at the base of the neck and, as the name implies, the belly is either orange or red. Redbelly snakes have rough (keeled) scales.

Feeding/Diet: Slugs are the primary prey of this species.

Habitat/Range: They are usually found in moist woodlands, often under rotten logs.

Reproduction: They give birth to 2–13 babies in the summer or early fall.

Miscellaneous: Like their cousin the brown snake, these little snakes may flatten their bodies and emit a foul musk when handled. Sometimes when disturbed, the redbelly snake has the strange habit of curling its upper lip, apparently to make itself look more formidable.

Back to Snakes of North Carolina
Back to Herps of North Carolina

The shaded region represents the range of the redbelly snake in North Carolina.

A very dark individual.
Photo by RW Van Devender

The belly of a redbelly snake.
Photo by JD Willson

Photo by JD Willson

Photo by JD Willson

An individual with pale coloration.
Photo by RW Van Devender

This website created by: J. Willson, Y. Kornilev, W. Anderson, G. Connette and E. Eskew.
For comments or questions contact M. Dorcas:
M. Dorcas homepage:
Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina 28035-1719.

Text and maps from: Dorcas, M. E. 2004. A Guide to the Snakes of North Carolina. Davidson College - Herpetology Laboratory, Davidson, NC. – Copyright by Michael E. Dorcas.

Partial Funding for this website provided by a Associate Colleges of the South, National Science Foundation, and Duke Energy.