Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)
Scarletsnake (Cemophora coccinea)
Photo of Adult Scarletsnake courtesy of Scott Smith
14 - 20 inches. Record - 32½ inches.
- Mimics the color and pattern of the venomous Eastern Coral Snake, however this non-venomous species has black separating the narrow yellow (sometimes white) blotches and broad red blotches (vs. “red with yellow, a dangerous fellow”).
- It has a pointed red snout and a plain white or yellow belly.
- Scales are not keeled.
In or near loose well-drained sandy soils, typically in pine-dominated woods.
Habitat Photo for
courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
How to Find:
A secretive burrowing species that little is known about, it is rarely found during daylight. Look under coarse woody debris in pine woodlands. Most individuals are observed by driving slowly along paved roads through pine woods in late spring and summer. Non-venomous. This is considered rare in the state and is listed as a Watchlist species. If found, please report sightings to the Maryland Wildlife and Heritage Service.
Distribution in Maryland:
Found only on the Coastal Plain.