The Liodytes pygaea are found in the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States. This is from eastern North Carolina to southern Alabama and throughout Florida.
This specie is aquatic, and they occupy a large range of open aquatic habitats. These habitats include Carolina bays, roadside ditches, sphagnum bogs, sawgrass prairies and the perimeter of heavily vegetated ponds and lakes. These snakes are also very secretive. They are hardly seen even by experienced herpetologists. Sometimes, they are found crossing the road on rainy nights and hiding under debris or vegetation at the water’s edge. Their diet is made of small fish, tadpoles, frogs, salamanders, sirens, amphiumas and invertebrates. They are also ovoviviparous. They give birth to live young directly in shallow water. Their young usually range from 110 – 140 mm in total length.
The Liodytes pygaea are fairly small snakes growing to about 550 mm in total length. While the young back swamp snakes are about 50.8 – 76.2 mm in total length. They are glossy black aquatic snakes that have bright red bellies. The females are a lot longer and heavier-bodied than males. Although the males have longer and thicker tails.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians