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Thamnophis sauritus

Common Name: Eastern Ribbon Snake
Thamnophis sauritus
Thamnophis sauritus

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Thamnophis
Species: Thamnophis sauritus

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

Eastern ribbon snakes are slender with keeled scales and can grow to be around 18-40 inches in length. They are black-brown colored with three distinct yellow stripes that run along the rest of its body.

Habitat & Range

Eastern ribbon snakes can be found in wet fields, marches, streams, and near the edges of ponds in southeastern United States. They are found in both land and water and can adapt to either environment.


Eastern ribbon snakes are diurnal and are active during the day. They spend most of their time in or near the water and hunt frogs, salamanders, and fish. When not hunting, they spend their time basking on the shore edge, logs, or rocks. During the winter, ribbon snakes move underground in burrows or mounds.

They do not dive in the water like water snakes, but glide across the surface of the water.

Life Cycle

Eastern ribbon snakes begin mating in the spring, after hibernation. Females give birth to live young in the summer. Young ribbon snakes are fully developed when born and do not receive further parental care, eventually maturing to adulthood after 2 years of age.

Featured image by John Mosesso.


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