Identification: This small, grayish brown snake may be encountered in backyard gardens and city parks throughout the state. The head is darker than the body and one or two dark spots are usually present beneath and behind the eye. They are otherwise relatively drab, but have a faint stripe bordered by small dark spots down the back. Some adult brownsnakes grow to just over a foot (30 cm) in length, but most are smaller.
Similar Species: Red-bellied snakes are similar at first glance, but brownsnakes lack the distinctive red belly of their close relative. Juvenile eastern gartersnakes and other Thamnophis are also similar, but have more distinctive dorsal stripes.
Distribution: These snakes are found throughout Indiana in a wide variety of habitats, but are most abundant in moist, open areas such as meadows, wetland margins, and forest edges. They adapt well to disturbance and are often found in abandoned urban lots, suburban yards, and railroad right of ways.