Seminatrix

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swamp snake
Seminatrix pygaea.jpg
swamp snake, Seminatrix pygaea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Natricinae
Genus: Seminatrix
Species: S. pygaea
Binomial name
Seminatrix pygaea
(Cope, 1871)
Synonyms

Contia pygaea Cope, 1871
Tropidonotus pygæus Boulenger, 1893
Seminatrix pygaea Cope, 1895

Seminatrix is a genus of colubrid snakes. There is a single species in the genus, the swamp snake (Seminatrix pygaea) with three subspecies:

Subspecies[edit]

Geographic range[edit]

Swamp snakes are found in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida on the east coast of the United States. They prefer swampland habitat that is heavily vegetated.

Description[edit]

Seminatrix are small, thin snakes, usually 25–38 cm (10-15 in.) long; the record size (reported for S. pygaea) was 55 cm (22 in).[1][2] They are uniformly black, with a bright orange or red belly.

Behavior & diet[edit]

Swamp snakes are almost entirely aquatic. They spend most of their time hiding among dense vegetation in tannic cypress swamps. They feed on small fish, tadpoles, frogs, salamanders, sirens, amphiumas, and invertebrates, such as leeches and earthworms.

Reproduction[edit]

Seminatrix are ovoviviparous, giving birth to live young directly in shallow water. Unlike many snakes, female Seminatrix feed actively while gravid, suggesting that they may pass nutrients directly on to the young. Broods of 11 to 13 have been observed.[3] Newborns are 11–14 cm (4¼-5⅜ in.).[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Conant, Roger. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin. Boston.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Schmidt, K.P. and D.D. Davis. 1941. Field Book of Snakes of the United States and Canada. G.P. Putnam's Sons. New York.
  4. ^ Conant, Roger. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin. Boston.