Red Belly Snake

Facts On The Red Belly Snake

The red belly snake lives in North America and it is one type of snake that has adapted to cooler temperatures. They are named the red belly snake because they have a brown to grey patterned top skin and the belly area is actually a deep red color. They have a smaller head and a narrow neck and they are considered small in comparison to other types of snakes. They can be 15 to 30 inches in length.

A younger red belly snake may have slightly different colors than an older snake. Their colors are brighter and more contrasting but as they age this changes. Some of these types of snakes have a few strips that run up the body but some have none of these strips. These different colors can be difficult to see under leaves or on top of the soil. But these color variations can help the snake avoid natural predators.

The chin on this snake is usually a white color but the belly is red for most of these snakes. But in a few snakes the belly color is pink to gray or even yellow. The neck area is also white and the male of this species can be identified by a longer tail.

The red belly snake thrives in a forest setting. They also like prairies, marshes and bogs. They can be found under fallen or dead trees and they usually stay underground. You can find a red belly snake basking on a rock in the heat of the day but they are known to live in places with cooler climates. During the summer months they are nocturnal, which means they will only come out at night to hunt.

These types of snakes hibernate during the winter and they will meet with other snakes at the hibernation site. Otherwise they are alone, except for when they mate. They hibernate in abandoned buildings, discarded animal burrows and in anthills. They do this every year from November to April.

Snails seem to be the favorite meal of the red belly snake. It has jaws and teeth that can remove the snail form the shell in order to eat it. This is similar to a brown snake that can also do this with the jaws. The other things these snakes like to feed on are earthworms, slugs, salamanders and pill bugs. But these snakes are also prey for many animals.

These snakes are not venomous, so many animals prey on this feature. Raccoons, crows, hawk and even domesticated cats like the red belly snake. They do not bite the predator but they do curl their lip up and expose the teeth but this rarely scares any predator. They do have a bad odor when they feel threatened and they are known to smear this odor on the predator. In last chance situations, the red belly snake rolls over and plays dead. This exposes the red under belly and at least some of the time, this technique works. The predator becomes startled and the snake is allowed to retreat without injury.

The red belly snake is in no danger of becoming extinct. They have adapted to cooler weather and they are also known to live close to heavily populated areas. The only threat to these animals is their hibernating habits. When they travel to these hibernating sites they cross highways and roads. Many of these snakes lose their lives by being hit by passing cars. During the migrating season many of these types of snakes are found dead in large numbers and this can eventually make an impact on the red belly snake population.