Crayfish snake

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Crayfish snake
Gulf Crayfish Snake.jpg
Gulf crayfish snake (Liodytes r. sinicola)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Liodytes
L. rigida
Binomial name
Liodytes rigida
(Say, 1825)
  • Coluber rigidus Say, 1825
  • Tropidonotus rigidus
    Holbrook, 1842
  • Regina rigida
    Baird & Girard, 1853
  • Natrix rigidaCope, 1892
  • Nerodia rigida
    Conant, 1978
  • Liodytes rigida – Price, 1983

The crayfish snake (Liodytes rigida)[2] is a species of semiaquatic snake endemic to the southeastern United States that preys mainly on crayfish.

Geographic range[edit]

This species is found on the coastal plains of both the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf Coast: in eastern Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, southern Arkansas, Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, northern Florida, southern Georgia, eastern South Carolina, and southeastern North Carolina. There is also a disjunct population in eastern Virginia.[3]


Adults are on average 16 inches (about 41 cm) in total length, and are heavy-bodied.[4] The maximum recorded total length for this species is 31 28 inches (79 cm).[5]

Regina rigida is olive brown dorsally. Additionally, two blackish dorsal stripes may or may not be present. The upper lips (labial scales) are yellow. Ventrally it is yellow with two parallel series of black spots, which merge anteriorly into a single series. The ventral surface of the tail may have a median black line, or it may be unmarked.

The dorsal scales are arranged in 19 rows at midbody. They are strongly keeled, except for the first two rows. The first row (adjacent to the ventrals) is smooth, and the second row is weakly keeled. Ventrals 132-142; anal plate divided; subcaudals 51-71, divided.[6]


The species contains three subspecies:[2]


  1. ^ Hammerson, G.A. 2016. Liodytes rigida. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T63886A90084591. Downloaded on 07 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b Liodytes rigida at the Reptile Database. Accessed 28 July 2017.
  3. ^ Conant, Roger. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 429 pp. (GLOSSY WATER SNAKE Natrix rigida, pp. 150-151, Plate 21, Map 108.)
  4. ^ 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. 365 pp. (STRIPED WATER SNAKE.—Natrix rigida Say, pp. 213-214, Figure 69.)
  5. ^ Smith, H.M. and E.D. Brodie, Jr. 1982. Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Golden Press. New York. 240 pp. (GLOSSY CRAYFISH SNAKE Regina rigida, pp. 158-159.)
  6. ^ Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume I., Containing the Families...Colubridæ Aglyphæ... Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). London. xiii + 448 pp. + 28 Plates. (Tropidonotus rigidus, p. 240)

Further reading[edit]

  • Say, T. 1825. Descriptions of three new species of COLUBER, inhabiting the United States. Journ. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 4 (2): 237-241. (Coluber rigidus, pp. 239–240.)

External links[edit]