Range includes central and eastern Illinois, most of Indiana and Ohio, and small adjacent areas in southern Michigan, western Pennsylvania, northern Kentucky, and northeastern Missouri.
Primarily found in areas surrounding swamps, marshes, wet prairies, and forested wetlands, but spends little time in the water. Often hides under ground debris or within burrows. It is sometimes found in open, grassy, urban or metropolitan areas like cemeteries, parks, and vacant lots.
A small unique snake averaging only 14-18 inches in length. It has strongly keeled scales on its slender body. It has a black-capped head, cream-colored scales around its mouth and throat, alternating rows of dark spots on a lighter background on its dorsum, and a salmon-pink ventrum bordered by 2 rows of black spots. The spots on its sides are usually more distinct than the ones on the center of the back.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians