|plain-bellied water snake
This species ranges through much of the southeastern United States, from Michigan to Delaware in the north, and Texas to northern Florida in the south, but it is absent from the Florida peninsula and the higher elevations of the Appalachian Mountains.
Adults are 24-40 inches (76-122 cm) in total length, can reach up to 55 inches in some states such as Kansas.
It gets its common name because it has no patterning on its underside. Subspecies can vary in color from brown, to gray, to olive green, with dark-colored blotching down the back, and an underside that is yellow, brown, red, or green.
It is quick to vigorously defend itself by biting repeatedly, and its mouth has a white interior, resulting in it being misidentified frequently as the venomous cottonmouth.
This species bears live young (ovoviviparous) like other North American water snakes and garter snakes. In North Carolina and Georgia, the plain-bellied water snake breeds from April to June, and broods of 5-27 young are born in August to October.
- Nerodia erythrogaster alta (Conant, 1963) - plainbelly water snake
- Nerodia erythrogaster bogerti (Conant, 1953) - Bogert's water snake
- Nerodia erythrogaster erythrogaster (Forster, 1771) - redbelly water snake
- Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster (Conant, 1949) - yellowbelly water snake
- Nerodia erythrogaster neglecta (Conant, 1949) - copperbelly water snake
- Nerodia erythrogaster transversa (Hallowell, 1852) - blotched water snake
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- Forster, J.R. 1771. in Bossu, J.-B. 1771. Travels through that Part of North America Formerly Called Louisiana. Translated by John [sic] Reinhold Forster, F.A.S. ...with Notes Relative Chiefly to Natural History...by the Translator...Vol. I. T. Davies. London. viii + 407 pp. (Coluber erythrogaster, p. 364.)
- 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 0-395-19977-8 (paperback). (Natrix erythrogaster, pp. 142-144 + Plate 20 + Map 103.)
- 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. (Natrix erythrogaster, pp. 224-225.)
- Smith, H.M., and E.D. Brodie, Jr. 1982. Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Golden Press. New York. 240 pp. ISBN 0-307-13666-3 (paperback). (Nerodia erythrogaster, pp. 154-155.)
- Wright, A.H., and A.A. Wright. 1957. Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Comstock. Ithaca and London. 1,050 pp. (in 2 volumes) (Natrix erythrogaster, pp. 477-490, Figures 141.-143., Map 39.)