Queen Snake Regina septemvittata

Adult Female from Ripley County
Adult from Decatur County

Identification: Despite their regal name, queen snakes are relatively drab and non-descript. They are uniformly brown with a lighter, tan-yellow underbelly adorned with four dark stripes. There are also three dark stripes on its back that are most visible in neonates. Most adults are relatively small at one to two feet (30 - 60 cm) long, but some may grow to nearly three feet (90 cm) long.

Similar Species: Given that this snake is relatively non-descript when viewed from above, it could be confused with other small, brown snakes. Northern watersnakes are the most likely snake to be found alongside this species, but grow larger and have prominent brown blotches. Eastern gartersnakes are also commonly encountered alongside this species, but have notable dorsal and lateral stripes and are usually lighter-colored.

Distribution: Queen snakes are unique in that they feed almost exclusively on recently molted crayfish. Though they are most abundant in the rocky limestone streams of southeastern Indiana, their range extends into central Indiana and northwest into the canyons and gorges along Sugar Creek. They are locally abundant at scattered localities in far northern Indiana.

Rocky Stream in Montgomery County
Whitewater River in Franklin County

Distribution Map
Distribution map of Queen Snake (Regina septemvittata)
Photographs