This wide-ranging species is quite variable in color, but it is typically olive-green suffused with golden yellow. The antennae and many body parts are trimmed with bright red. A dark band crosses the head just in front of the cervical groove, and another crosses the carapace at its junction with the abdomen.
This medium-sized, dull-colored, semiaquatic snake is known from prairie streams, marshes, and ponds. Like most other snakes associated with water, it is often misidentified as a cottonmouth and needlessly killed.
Olive to yellow sides and back with scattered red spots and vertical blotches often arranged in a V or W pattern. Breeding males have bright blue-green on head and lower fins and green vertical bars. Second largest Missouri darter in size next to the logperch.
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