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Kirtland’s Snake

The Kirtland’s Snake, blessed with a relatively better vision than other snakes, is the only one belonging to the Clonophis genus. It has keeled skin and males are shorter than females. Mostly fond of staying inside burrows, the snake flattens themselves completely in order to deceive its predators. From the ending of March to the beginning of November, it remains the most active. Die to its gentle nature, many snake enthusiasts consider this as a pet.



    Kingdom Animalia
    Phylum Chordata
    Clade Tetrapodomorpha
    Class Reptilia
    Order Squamata
    Suborder Serpentes
    Family Colubridae
    Genus Clonophis
    Scientific Name Clonophis kirtlandii


    Other names Kirtland’s red snake, Ohio Valley water snake, Kirtland’s water snake, spreadhead, little red snake, and Cora Kennicott’s snake
    Size 30-62 cm
    Color Grayish black body, two series of black sports on both back and sides and alternate small spots on both sides, red ventral scale with black border
    Distribution Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, southern Michigan, northern Kentucky, Illinois
    Habitat Wet meadows, swamps, forested woodlands, marshes and sometimes near parks and fields, and cemeteries
    Diet Salamander, slug, toad, earthworms, and crayfish
    Hibernation period During winter and summer in crayfish burrows
    Predators Fox, owl, cat, hawks, skunks, weasels, and raccoons
    Venom fact Non-venomous
    Breeding season May
    Perturition period First of August-late September
    Litter size 4-22
    Mode of reproduction Ovoviviparous
    Reproductive age 2 years
    Average lifespan 5 years
    IUCN Conservation Status Near Threatened

    Kirtland’s Snake Pictures Gallery

    Published on November 2nd 2018 by under Snakes. Article was last reviewed on 2nd November 2018.

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