Southeastern crown snake

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Southeastern crown snake
Southeastern Crown Snake.jpg
Tantilla coronata in Florida
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Tantilla
T. coronata
Binomial name
Tantilla coronata
Baird & Girard, 1853
  • Tantilla coronata Baird & Girard, 1853
  • Homalocranium wagneri Jan, 1862
  • Homalocranium coronatum
    Boulenger, 1896
  • Tantilla coronata Cope, 1900[1][2]

The southeastern crown snake (Tantilla coronata) is a common species of small colubrid snake endemic to the southeastern United States.

Geographic range[edit]

It is found in Alabama, northwestern Florida, Georgia, extreme southern Indiana, western Kentucky, eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and south-central Virginia.[3][4]


It has a black head with a yellowish crossbar on the occiput, followed by a black collar 3 to 5 scales wide. The remainder of the dorsum is reddish brown, and the underside is whitish. It has smooth dorsal scales in 15 rows and a divided anal plate.[1] Adults average 20–25 cm (8-10 inches) in total length.[3]


It feeds on small invertebrates such as termites, worms, centipedes and earth-dwelling insect larvae.[5]


The crown snake is not venomous.


Females lay 1-3 eggs in the summer that hatch in the fall.[6]

Conservation status[edit]

In Indiana, the southeastern crown snake is listed as an endangered species.[7]


  1. ^ a b Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume III., Containing the Colubridæ (Opisthoglyphæ and Proteroglyphæ),... Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, Printers.) London. xiv + 727 pp. + Plates I.- XXV. (Homalocranium coronatum, pp. 218-219.)
  2. ^ Stejneger, L., and T. Barbour. 1917. A Check List of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 125 pp. (Tantilla coronata, p. 105.)
  3. ^ a b Conant, R. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin. Boston. xviii + 429 pp. ISBN 0-395-19979-4 (hardcover), ISBN 0-395-19977-8 (paperback). (Tantilla coronata, pp. 219-220 + Plate33 + Map 163.)
  4. ^ The Reptile Database.
  5. ^ 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. (Tantilla coronata, pp. 270-271, Figure 89.)
  6. ^ "Southeastern Crowned Snake (Tantilla coronata) at Savannah River Ecology Laboratory". Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  7. ^ Indiana Legislative Services Agency (2011), "312 IAC 9-5-4: Endangered species of reptiles and amphibians", Indiana Administrative Code, retrieved April 28, 2012

Further reading[edit]

  • Baird, S.F., and C.F. Girard. 1853. Catalogue of the North American Reptiles in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Part I.—Serpents. Smithsonian Institution. Washington, District of Columbia. xvi + 172 pp. (Tantilla coronata, p. 131.)
  • Conant, R., and W. Bridges. 1939. What Snake Is That? A Field Guide to the Snakes of the United States East of the Rocky Mountains. D. Appleton-Century. New York and London. Frontispiece map + viii + 163 pp. + Plates A-C, 1-32. (Tantilla coronata, pp. 129–130 + Plate C, Figure 13 + Plate 25, Figure 75.)
  • Smith, H.M., and E.D. Brodie, Jr. 1982. Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Golden Press. New York. ISBN 0-307-13666-3 (paperback). (Tantilla coronata, pp. 170–171.)
  • Wright, A.H., and A.A. Wright. 1957. Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Comstock. Ithaca and London. 1,105 pp. (in 2 volumes) (Tantilla coronata, pp. 728–737, Figures 213. & 214., Map 56.)
  • Zim, H.S., and H.M. Smith. 1956. Reptiles and Amphibians: A Guide to Familiar Species. A Golden Nature Guide. Simon and Schuster. New York. 160 pp. (Tantilla coronata, pp. 83–84, 156.)