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Scarlet Snake Cemophora coccinea


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Scarlet Snake
credit: Alessandro Catenazzi

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Family: Colubridae, Colubrid Snakes view all from this family

Description Base light gray, with black bordered red blotches down back. Belly uniform light gray. Blotches can extend down to the sides of the body, appearing somewhat like banding. Single anal plate. 19 rows of, smooth scales.

Dimensions 35.6-82.8cm. (14-32")

Subspecies Florida - Upper lip has 7 scales. Florida peninsular.
Northern - Upper lip has 6 scales. New jersey to Florida, Oklahoma and Texas.
Texas - Black bands above 3rd scale row. Texas.

Breeding 3-8 eggs, 26-35mm (1-1 3/8") long, laid in June. Hatch late summer, hatchlings 15cm (6") long.

Habitat Hardwood or pine forests.

Range New Jersey through to Florida, Oklahoma and Texas.

Discussion Burrows underground or hides under rocks and stones. Active May-September. Diet of small reptiles and eggs. Often mistaken for Coral kingsnake or scarlet Kingsnake. Former is venomous, latter harmless.