About this Species 

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Name:Plainbelly Water Snake
Family:Water Snakes
Scientific Name: Nerodia erythrogaster
Description:Keeled scales. An olive-gray, dark greenish gray, or brownish black body, sometimes with indistinct crossbars on the back. The belly is uniformly yellow, yellowish cream, or light orangish yellow. Young are strongly patterned with large, dark blackish-brown blotches on the back and sides; this pattern fades with age. Adults 30-48 inches in length.
Range:Almost statewide; apparently absent from north- central Ozarks.
Habits and Habitat:This water snake can be found in sluggish water habitats of swamps, oxbow lakes, sloughs, rivers and streams. Active March-November. Like many other snakes, it’s active at night during hot weather. Breeds in spring and gives live birth in late summer to 10-30 young. Eats fish, amphibians and crayfish.
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Suzanne Collins