PLAINBELLY WATER SNAKE
Photo © by Suzanne L. Collins
Used by permission
Length in Kansas up to 55 1/2 inches.
Found from Doniphan County in northeastern Kansas southwestward to the southern
High Plains in Seward County.
Harmless. Strongly keeled scales; uniform cream or yellowish belly with indistinct
dark shading on edges of scales; underside of tail uniform cream or yellowish; head, body
and tail either a uniform dark gray, olive or brown (old adults) or with 3040
blotches of similar color separated by very indistinct light bands (young adults). Young
strikingly marked with dark brown bands and/or blotches separated by light bands.
Inhabits swamps, marshes, ponds and slowmoving portions of streams; least
aquatic of Kansas water snakes; wanders great distances from water during summer. Active
from March to October. During day, basks near water on driftwood, low-hanging branches,
stumps or brush. At night, forages for food. Litters vary from 4-30 young born in late
July, August and September. Adults feed on frogs; young prefer small 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
Text: Joseph T. Collins & Suzanne L. Collins
Photos: Suzanne L. Collins & Bob Gress
Range Maps & Web Design: Jim Mason