Striped crayfish snake

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Striped crayfish snake
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Liodytes
L. alleni
Binomial name
Liodytes alleni
(Garman, 1874)
Synonyms [2][3][4]

The striped crayfish snake (Liodytes alleni) is a species of semiaquatic North American snake that derives its common name from its principal prey, crayfish. This snake is also called Allen's snake, the striped swamp snake, the striped swampsnake, or simply the swamp snake. It is endemic to peninsular Florida.[5]

Although rarely seen due to its secretive behavior, it can be found in large numbers in wet areas, with densities approaching 1,300 snakes per hectare (525 snakes per acre).[6]


The specific name, alleni, is in honor of zoologist Joel Asaph Allen,[7] who collected the type specimen.


It is of "small medium"[8] size, 33–50 centimetres (13–20 in) in total length (including tail),[9] with a heavy body. The stripes which contribute to its common name are indistinct and located on the dark dorsal side. The ventral side is yellow with some dark spots. The dorsal scales, which are arranged in 19 rows at midbody, are smooth on the body, with some keeled scales in the anal region.[10] There is a clear sexual dimorphism with the females being the larger sex.

Habitat and geographic range[edit]

The striped crayfish snake is a semiaquatic snake and is regularly found in swamps and bogs, including cypress swamps as well as roadside ditches. The northern range limit is near the Florida-Georgia border.


Besides crayfish, it also eats shrimp and dragonfly larvae.


It is a live-bearer, and the females produce six or more young.


  1. ^ Hammerson, G.A. 2016. Liodytes alleni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T63884A90083974. Downloaded on 06 October 2018.
  2. ^ Staiger, Jennifer (February 2010). Krysko, Kenneth L.; King, F. Wayne (eds.). "Striped Crayfish Snake". Online Guide to Florida Snakes. Florida Museum of Natural History. Retrieved June 14, 2010.CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  3. ^ Stejneger L, Barbour T (1917). A Check List of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. 125 pp. (Liodytes alleni, p. 100).
  4. ^ "Liodytes alleni ". The Reptile Database.
  5. ^ Smith HM, Brodie ED Jr (1982). Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. New York: Golden Press. ISBN 0-307-13666-3. 240 pp. (STRIPED SWAMP SNAKE, pp. 158-159).
  6. ^ Godley JS (1980). "Foraging ecology of the striped swamp snake, Regina alleni, in Southern Florida". Ecological Monographs 50: 411-436.
  7. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Regina alleni, p. 5).
  8. ^ Wright AH, Wright AA (1957). Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Two Volumes. Ithaca and London: Comstock Publishing Associates, a division of Cornell University Press. 1,105 pp. (Size of adults, p. 7; Liodytes alleni, pp. 419-423, Figure 128, Map 35).
  9. ^ Conant, Roger (1975). A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Second Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. xviii + 429 pp. + Plates 1-48. ISBN 0-395-19979-4 (hardcover), ISBN 0-395-19977-8 (paperback). (STRIPED SWAMP SNAKE Liodytes alleni, p. 152 + Plate 22 + Map 111).
  10. ^ Behler, John L.; King, F. Wayne (1979). The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 743 pp. ISBN 0-394-50824-6. (Striped Crayfish Snake, Regina alleni, p. 646 + Plate 510).

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger GA (1893). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume I., Containing the Families ... Colubridæ Aglyphæ, part. London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiii + 448 pp. + Plates I-XXVIII. ("Helicops allenii [sic]", p. 275).
  • Conant, Roger; Bridges, William (1939). What Snake Is That? A Field Guide to the Snakes of the United States East of the Rocky Mountains. (with 108 drawings by Edmond Malnate). New York and London: D. Appleton-Century Company. Frontispiece map + viii + 163 pp. + Plates A-C, 1-32. (ALLEN'S SNAKE, Swamp Snake, Liodytes alleni, p. 115 + Plate 22, figure 64).
  • Garman SW (1874). "Description of a New Species of North American Serpent". Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 17: 92-94. (Helicops alleni, new species).
  • Powell R, Conant R, Collins JT (2016). Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Fourth Edition. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. xiv + 494 pp. ISBN 978-0-544-12997-9. (STRIPED SWAMPSNAKE Liodytes alleni, pp. 412–413 + Plate 41).
  • Zim HS, Smith HM (1956). Reptiles and Amphibians: A Guide to Familiar American Species: A Golden Nature Guide. New York: Simon and Schuster. 160 pp. (STRIPED SWAMP SNAKE, Liodytes alleni, pp. 79–80, 156).