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"Red Belly Snake" redirects here. It is not to be confused with the red-bellied black snake
Storeria dekayi texana.jpg
Texas brown snake, Storeria dekayi texana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Natricinae
Genus: Storeria
Baird & Girard, 1853

Coluber, Ischnognathe, Ischnognathus, Tropidonotus[1]

North American brown snake
A brown snake in Clarksville, Tennessee

Storeria is a genus of colubrid snakes, endemic to North America and Central America. The genus consists of four species, three of which are known as brown snakes, and the other of which is known as the redbelly snake.

Geographic range[edit]

Species in the genus Storeria are found in the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada and range south through Mexico and northern Central America.[2]


The genus is named in honor of American physician and naturalist David Humphreys Storer (1804–1891).[2][3]


As their common name implies, most snakes of the genus Storeria are a variant of brown in color. The brown can vary depending on locale, to be almost a brick red in color, to nearly black. They sometimes have a lighter colored stripe down the center of the back, and small black blotches along the body, and just behind the head. Their underside is usually lighter brown colored, yellow, or in the case of redbelly snakes, reddish in color. They rarely grow beyond 12 inches in length. One of the best means of identification is by its scales. Snakes in the genus Storeria have keeled scales. The head has no loreal scale, and the postnasal scale touches the preocular scale. So, only two scales are between the nasal opening and the eye.


Within their range, brown snakes are a very commonly found species of snake. They are most frequently found under leaf litter or debris piles, and are sometimes turned up during gardening. They consume a variety of invertebrate prey, including, earthworms, snails and slugs. Their only means of defense are flattening of the body and excretion from the anal scent glands.[4][5] Brown snakes give birth to live young.[2]




  1. ^ Wright AH, Wright AA. 1957. Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Ithaca and London: Comstock. 1,105 pp. (in two volumes). (Genus Storeria, pp. 696-697).
  2. ^ a b c Ernst, Carl H. (2012). "Storeria ". Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (900): 900.1–900.14. 
  3. ^ Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Genus Storeria, p. 255).
  4. ^ Schmidt KP, Davis DD. 1941. Field Book of Snakes of the United States and Canada. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. 365 pp. (Genus Storeria, pp. 227-230).
  5. ^ Conant R. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Second Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. xviii + 429 pp. ISBN 0-395-19979-4 (hardcover), ISBN 0-395-19977-8 (paperback). (Genus Storeria, p. 153).

Further reading[edit]

  • Baird SF, Girard CF. 1853. Catalogue of North American Reptiles in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Part I.—Serpents. Washington, District of Columbia: Smithsonian Institution. xvi + 172 pp. (Storeria, new genus, p. 135).

External links[edit]