Other common names

Florida Scarletsnake, Northern Scarletsnake, Scarlet Snake

Basic description

Most adult Scarletsnakes are about 14-20 inches (36-51 cm) in total length. These thin-bodied snakes have a whitish-gray dorsal ground color with long red blotches bordered by black down the entire body. Both the red and whitish-gray blotches are separated by black. As a result, the red and whitish-gray blotches do not touch one another. The small, pointed head is barely distinct from the neck and is red with a distinct light-colored band just behind the eyes. The coloration of juveniles is the same as described for adults.

Range in Florida

Scarletsnakes are found throughout Florida and in every county except the Florida Keys.

Assessment of risk to people and pets

Non-venomous. Scarletsnakes are not dangerous to people or pets.

Comparison with other species

Harlequin Coralsnake (Micrurus fulvius) Venomous Harlequin Coralsnakes have alternating red and black rings separated by narrower yellow rings and a round, black snout.

two images side by side - Image 1: Harlequin Coralsnake - thin black, yellow, and red snake. Image 2: Scarlet snake - coiled black, red, and yellow snake.
Harlequin Coralsnake. Photo courtesy of Todd Pierson.
Scarlet snake. Photo courtesy of Todd Pierson.

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 Todd Pierson. Please credit any photographers on the page and see our copyright policy.