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Northern Red-Bellied Snake

A northern red-bellied snake
Todd Plerson
/
Flickr
A northern red-bellied snake

The northern redbelly snake (Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata) is a nonvenomous snake in the family Colubridae, a subspecies of Storeria occipitomaculata. It is sometimes referred to as a fire snake. It is endemic, North America and The Caribbean in some parts in Jamaica, and Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia in the north and south to Florida and Texas.

Adults and young have known dorsal colorations of solid olive-brown, tan-brown, chestnut-brown, grey-brown, grey or even black. They have three yellow spots posterior to the head shields, to which the specific name occipitomaculata (meaning spotted back of the head) refers. Adults grow to about 31 cm (12 in) in total length.

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.