Northern Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus septentrionalis)

Description: A very slender black or brown snake with three bright yellow or white stripes down the back. The head is black, though the scales above and below the mouth are white. The belly is white or light yellow. Adult length: 18 to 38 inches.

Northern Ribbon Snake
Photo © Jim Harding

Habitat and Habits: Ribbon Snakes inhabit marshes and the edges of lakes, ponds, and streams. They are very alert and active, and swim well (but rarely dive). Their diet includes frogs, tadpoles, salamanders, and small fish.

Reproduction: From 3 to 26 young are born in late summer. They are 7 to 9 inches long and colored like the adults.

Range and Status: The snake can be found throughout the Lower Peninsula, and is locally common where suitable wetland habitat exists.

Related Documents
Northern Ribbon Snake Occurrences Map PDF icon