Red-bellied Snakes come in two colors, either brown or dark gray. They have three off-white spots, one on the back of the neck and one on each side of the neck. Sometimes the spots can be joined into a ring. The underside is red. They are usually about 1 foot long (the longest documented in Vermont is 13 inches), and have keeled scales.
Red-bellied snakes inhabit woodlands with small openings and lots of cover. They are widespread in woodlands at mid- to high elevations.
This species has a state natural heritage rank of S5 (common). Red-bellied snakes are quite common, but very secretive. Please report sightings of this species in Vermont if you have not reported them within the last five years from a given location. Any natural history observations (feeding, migrations, road crossing areas, early or late season appearance, abnormalities, etc.) are appreciated. Photographs are always helpful, particularly if your report is the first report of this species from a town.
Species summary written by Kaile Burgess.