DEEP: Eastern Ribbon Snake

Eastern Ribbon Snake

(Thamnophis s. sauritus)

{Eastern Ribbon Snake}

IDENTIFICATION: A medium-size, very thin, brown snake with keeled dorsal scales. Three distinct longitudinal yellow stripes from the head to the tail tip, the lateral stripes are confined to the third and fourth dorsal scale rows. The venter ranges from yellow to red brown, the tail is very long. The head is distinctly bicolored, the area below the eyes and under the chin bright white. Females are considerably larger than males, adult total length 510-810 mm.

Ribbon snakes are found statewide, but their distribution is very spotty. They are undergoing a long-term decline in the Connecticut. This may be correlated with a reduction of their preferred habitat, open-canopy wet sedge meadows in Connecticut over the last fifty to seventy-five years. This reduction is a result of both draining wet meadows and impounding marshy areas to make ponds and reservoirs. In many parts of the state red maple swamps have replaced open wet meadows, though the recolonization of Connecticut by beaver may help restore the cycle of wet meadow formation. The eastern ribbon snake is considered a "Special Concern" species in Connecticut, and under Connecticut Code (Sec. 26-55-3-F) possession is limited to a single specimen.

Snakes | Amphibians and Reptiles in Connecticut