One of Missouri's most brilliantly colored snakes is extremely rare to find. It is similar in pattern and color to the more common red milksnake but has a red or orange snout and a spotless, white belly.
Missouri's most common species of watersnake is gray to reddish brown with dark brown crossbands. The belly is cream-colored with black and reddish half-moon markings. Watersnakes will bite to defend themselves, but their bites are harmless.
Our subspecies of western ribbonsnake is named for the attractive orange (or yellowish) stripes running the length of its body. A member of the gartersnake group, this species is found statewide, but seldom far from water.
An attractive, medium-sized snake of wet meadows and marshes, the plains gartersnake spends warm summer days basking in the sun or searching for food. Winters are spent underground, probably in abandoned rodent tunnels.
The plains hog-nosed snake differs from the eastern hog-nosed snake by having a sharply upturned snout and black pigment on the underside of the tail. This species has always been quite rare in Missouri and has not been seen for many years; it has probably been extirpated.
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