Graham's Crayfish Snake
A medium-sized, dull-colored, semiaquatic snake known from prairie streams, marshes, and ponds. The ground color is brown or yellowish brown above, with a yellow stripe along the lower sides that may be bordered by a thin, dark brown line. There may be a faint tan stripe along the middle of the back. The belly is cream colored or light yellow, with a faint central row of gray or light brown dots and a zigzag pattern of dark brown along both edges. If captured, these snakes generally do not bite but usually release a foul-smelling musk mixed with feces.
Similar species: This and other snakes that live around water are often confused with the venomous western cottonmouth. The true cottonmouth is more heavy-bodied with a larger, chunky head; has a facial pit between the nostril and eye on either side of the head; is darker; and has a light line from each eye to the corner of the mouth. Also, no western cottonmouths are known to occur north of the Missouri River in our state.