southeastern crowned snake (Tantilla coronata)


Dorsal surface is light brown to reddish-brown with no markings. Head is black. Light band or collar is present across the back of head bordered by a black band 3 to 5 scales wide. The belly is white, often with a pinkish or yellowish cast. They have a flat, rather blunt head, small eyes, slender body. Adults are usually between 8 and 10 inches long. Females lay between one and six eggs in early summer. The eggs are place in rotting logs, stumps, or other decaying materials. This species is very shy. It stays under logs, bark, rocks or underground almost its entire life.


This species occurs in the southern Piedmont and Coastal Plain from Isle of Wight County west to the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is most often found on dry, wooded and rocky hillsides. It is sometimes found in backyards. An abundance of stones and logs are required to provide cover for these little snakes. They are also occasionally found in moist areas near water.


This species preys mostly on centipedes, insects, and insect larvae.