NON-VENOMOUS

Other common names

Ribbon snake, Blue-striped ribbonsnake, Peninsula ribbonsnake, Common ribbonsnake

Basic description

Most adult eastern ribbonsnakes are about 18-26 inches (46-66 cm) in total length. These are extremely slender snakes with three thin light-colored stripes running the length of the body. Adults have a background color of brown, olive-black or bluish-black with one thin stripe running down the middle of the back and one stripe running along each side. The stripes vary in color and are typically yellow, tannish-brown, blue, or whitish-green. However, stripes are absent in some individuals. The tail is long and thin. The head is only slightly distinct from the neck. The eyes are large and prominent. There is a distinct white spot in front of each eye. The coloration of juveniles is similar to that described for adults.

Range in Florida

Eastern ribbonsnakes are found throughout mainland Florida in every county. Although they are found in the Florida Keys, they appear to be absent in the Middle Keys.

Assessment of risk to people and pets

Non-venomous. Eastern ribbonsnakes are not dangerous to people or pets, and they rarely bite to defend themselves. These docile snakes are not aggressive and avoid direct contact with people and pets. Eastern ribbonsnakes are not dangerous to people or pets, and they rarely bite to defend themselves. These docile snakes are not aggressive and avoid direct contact with people and pets.

Comparison with other species

Common gartersnake
Photo courtesy of Noah Mueller.

Common gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis)


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.