Other common names

Northern Florida Swampsnake, Southern Florida Swampsnake

Basic description

Most adult Black Swampsnakes are about 10-15 inches (25-38 cm) in total length. These small snakes are shiny and black. The belly is bright red with black markings on the edges. Juvenile coloration is similar to adults.

Range in Florida

Black Swampsnakes are found throughout the Florida peninsula and Panhandle west to Blackwater River State Forest in Santa Rosa County. They are not known from the Florida Keys.

Assessment of risk to people and pets

Non-venomous. Black Swampsnakes are not dangerous to people or pets.

Comparison with other species

Red-bellied Mudsnake (Farancia abacura) Non-venomous Red-bellied Mudsnakes are large and glossy black with around 50 red to pink bars that cross the belly and extend up onto the sides of the body.

two images side by side - Image 1: Mud Snake - upside down snake showing red and black patterned belly. Image 2: Black Swampsnake small black snake with an orange belly
Adult Mud Snake, ventral (belly) coloration. Photo courtesy of Todd Pierson.
Black Swampsnake with belly color showing. Photo courtesy of Luke Smith.

Share your observations

You can help scientists better understand the biology and distribution of this species by sharing your observations. Send photos or videos of interesting observations, along with associated information, by emailing the herpetology staff at the Florida Museum for documentation in the Museum’s Herpetology Master Database. You can also post your observations on iNaturalist.

Additional helpful information

Do you have snakes around your house? Learn how to safely co-exist with snakes.

Still have questions about snakes or identifications? Feel free to email the herpetology staff at the Florida Museum with your questions or feedback on this profile.

Banner photo courtesy of Luke Smith. Please credit any photographers on the page and see our copyright policy.