Diamondback Water Snake
Photo by Suzanne L. Collins
Used by permission

Diamondback Water Snake
Nerodia rhombifer
  • Size:   Length in Kansas up to 55 1/2 inches.

Kansas range map for the Diamondback Water Snake

Range:   Found from Leavenworth County in northeastern Kansas southwestward to the southern High Plains in Meade County; abundant at Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Description:   Harmless. Strongly keeled scales; dark spots shaped like half-moons scattered irregularly on yellow belly; 30–65 narrow dark brown, black or gray bands on a light gray or yellowish gray body. Young same as adults.
  • Habits:    Inhabits permanent lakes, marshes and swamps and backwaters of rivers. Active from March to September; basks during the day on brush, logs and grassy banks along edge of water. In summer, searches for food at night. Large litters, ranging from 13-62 young are usually born from August to early October. Feeds primarily on slow-moving or dead fishes.

    Click here for information on precautions against being bitten by snakes
    and what to do if you have been bitten by one.

    Other Kansas water snakes

Northern Water Snake Plainbelly Water Snake

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Text: Joseph T. Collins & Suzanne L. Collins
Photos: Suzanne L. Collins & Bob Gress
Range Maps & Web Design: Jim Mason