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Queen Snake <image courtesy of Dr. Martin J. Rosenberg>

  • Adult body length: 15 - 24 inches, record 36 inches.
  • Length when born: 7½ - inches
  • Breeding period: May to August
  • Young per year: 5 - 23 born alive
  • Typical foods: mostly crayfish


The ground color of this snake is olive-brown, chocolate-brown, or almost black. There is a yellow stripe along the lower part of side. The belly is yellow, with four, boldly distinct, brown stripes. On some individuals there are three indistinct stripes on the back. The scales are smooth, without keels and the anal plate is divided.

Overall Range
Pennsylvania west to southeastern Wisconsin, south through much of the eastern U.S. to the Gulf Coast.
Range in Ohio
The Queen Snake is common and widely distributed in most of the state, except for the extreme southeastern counties.
Queen Snake Ohio Map

Local Habitat
In and around streams with rocky bottoms and margins where it finds it favorite food, crayfish.


The highly aquatic Queen Snake is a very good swimmer. It seems to favor shelter under partially submerged rocks and pieces of wood, along the edge of a stream. The snake is active both during the day and at night. When disturbed it typically will drop into nearby water and swim away. It favors crayfish as food, especially those that are soft-bodied following a recent shedding of the hard, outer skin.


ODNR, Division of Wildlife, "Species A-Z Guide"

University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web

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The Ohio Historical Society (OHS)
Date of last revision: 06/25/2003
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