East central United States, from northern Iowa to the Gulf coast of Texas and Louisiana, and from western Oklahoma to eastern Illinois and Mississippi.
Primarily found along the edges of muddy marshes, rivers, lakes, and streams where crawfish are plentiful. They are very fond of roadside ditches, and like to hide under rocks, logs, vegetation, and inside crawfish burrows.
A medium-sized semi-aquatic snake averaging 18-28 inches in length, but can reach 4 feet. It has moderately keeled, matte scales. Its back and dorsal sides are dark olive to brown, with very faint black longitudinal lines running through this dark area. The ventral sides and ventrum of the snake are cream colored, with a thin black zig-zag line on each side of the ventrum at the intersection of lateral and ventral scales. A single row of faint black spots runs down the center of the ventrum. It has a smallish narrow head with large round eyes.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians