Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)
Sub-order Serpentes, Family Colubridae
Thamnophis s. sauritus
Photo of Common Ribbon Snake courtesy of John White
18 - 26 inches. Record - 38 inches.
Close-up Photo of Common Ribbon Snake
courtesy of John White
This is a semi-aquatic species, typically found in or near streams, ponds, bogs, swamps, fresh and brackish marshes, and woodlands adjacent to wetlands.
How to Find
Walk wetland edges. Look for them on the ground or on trees, bushes or tall grasses overhanging the water. This agile snake will flee rapidly into thick shoreline vegetation, so you have to be quick! Non-venomous, but difficult to handle due to its nervous nature.
Photo of Habitat for
Common Ribbon Snake
courtesy of Tony Prochaska
Distribution in Maryland
Found statewide but less common in western Maryland.
- Discover Maryland's Herps
- Maryland Herp History
- Maryland Herp Checklist
- Survey Techniques, Collecting Ethics, Safety and the Law
- Problems with Buying Frogs and Tadpoles for Wild Release
- Technical Guide: A Key to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Maryland - 86.3 MB pdf file
- Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas (MARA) Project
- Natural Heritage Program
- Wildlife & Heritage Home
"A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"
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The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.