Striped Swampsnake

Scientific Name
Liodytes alleni
Also Known As
Striped Crayfish Snake
All of Florida, Except the Western Panhandle
Small Amphibians, Fish
Life Expectancy
4 - 6 Years
The Striped Swampsnake

Photo 138780780 © Joshua Doby, CC BY-NC

Striped Swampsnake conservation status - Least Concern

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This Snake is Not Venomous

The Striped Swampsnake in Central Florida

The striped swampsnake (Liodytes alleni) is a small, nonvenomous colubrid species found in wetland habitats across the southeastern United States. In central Florida, striped swampsnakes inhabit freshwater marshes, swamps, streams, and drainage ditches, where they feed on amphibians and small fish.

This guide provides identification tips, biology facts, and information on striped swampsnake habits and habitat preferences in central Florida.

Appearance and Identification

Striped swampsnakes can be identified by the following physical characteristics

A Striped Swampsnake

Photo 14566614 © Nicholus ledbetter, CC BY-NC

Adult Striped Swampsnakes

  • Size: Adults reach 10-18 inches (25-46 cm) in total length.
  • Coloration: Tan, olive or bluish-gray background color with three brown or reddish-brown stripes. Belly is yellowish to white.
  • Tail: Tail is short, accounting for less than 20% of total length. Pointed tip may be lighter in color.
  • Scales: Smooth dorsal scales in 15 rows at midbody. Anal plate is divided.

Juvenile Striped Swampsnakes

  • Size: Hatchlings measure 5-7 inches (12-18 cm) long.
  • Coloration: Tan, grayish or olive background color with three dark brown/black stripes running down the back and sides. Belly is yellowish white.
  • Tail: Short, thin tail comprises 15-20% of total body length.

The small size, divided anal plate, and short tail help distinguish striped swampsnakes from lookalike water snakes and ribbon snakes. They lack the broad, dark collar characteristic of rough green snakes.