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Biological Survey

Herping the Siouxland

Redbelly Snake: These tiny snakes are fairly common but seldom seen. They come in a variety of colors ranging from black, gray, brown and gold. All have bright crimson red bellies and a light colored stripe running down the center of the back.      The Latin name is nearly as long as the snake itself:  (Storeria occipitomaculata) Adults are not much longer than 12 inches and may even be mistaken for big Nightcrawlers. They eat Worms, Slugs and other small soft bodied insects. (Gardeners will especially like to have these around.    I have kept specimens that ate Nothing but Slugs!) Babies are born live (like Garter Snakes) in late Summer or early Fall and are only 3-4 inches long at birth. When picked up these snakes usually remain motionless for up to a minute...then begin thrashing about wildly in an attempt to get away. Even fully grown adults seem incapable of biting...their teeth are so tiny that it wouldn't even break the skin if they tried. Most of these are seen in late Fall (or "Indian Summer") after the first frost of the season when they migrate to higher ground for the Winter. 


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