Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)


Family Colubridae

Queen Snake

Common Name:

Queen Snake


Scientific Name:

Regina septemvittata

Photo of Queen Snake courtesy of John White

Photo of Queen Snake courtesy of John White


Size:
13 ½ inches – 23 inches Record: 36 inches.

Appearance:
  • This elegant snake is brown or dark green above with a yellow stripe on the lower half running the length of the body.
  • The belly is yellow to whitish with four dark stripes running lengthwise.
  • The scales are keeled and the anal plate, that scale on the belly just forward of the vent, is divided.
  • Three additional dark stripes run down the back, but are difficult to see except in specimens that have recently shed or in juveniles.

Photo of Queen Snake Detail courtesy of Martin Hurd
Photo of Queen Snake Detail courtesy of Martin Hurd


Habitats:

Found in or near clear water, bogs and other freshwater shallow wetlands, small spring-fed streams, ponds or lakes. There will be crayfish.


How to Find:

These snakes are uncommon. Look for crayfish chimneys around seeps and shallow wetlands. This is the primary food of queen snakes. Non-venomous.

Photo of Habitat for Queen Snake courtesy of Jay Kilian
Photo of Habitat for Queen Snake courtesy of Jay Kilian


Distribution in Maryland:

Most commonly found in the Piedmont and western Maryland, with a few historical sightings reported from the northern Coastal Plain.​

 

Queen Snake - Distribution in Maryland