Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)
Sub-order Serpentes, Family Colubridae
Farancia e. erytrogramma
Photo of Rainbowsnake courtesy of Lance Benedict
36 inches – 44 inches. Record: 60 inches.
|Tail Barb (top)
Anal Plate (bottom)
courtesy of John White
|Habitat for Rainbowsnake courtesy of Matt Sell|
This is a highly aquatic species, preferring swamps, marshes, and slow-moving streams. They tolerate brackish water. They will also be found on dry land, burrowing in moist soil, muck or a sandy substrate.
How to Find
This is a highly rare species in Maryland. These snakes are swimmers and burrowers. Young may be found by looking under boards or other cover near streams. This snake is state listed as Endangered in Maryland. If you find one, please contact the MD DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service.
Distribution in Maryland
Found infrequently on the western portion of the Coastal Plain and possibly in the Potomac valley into Montgomery County.
- 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"
To see older newsletters, please visit the MARA Resource Page.
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.