25-80 inches. Shiny black above with a red underside crossed with black bands, the red irregularly extending onto the lower sides; tail tip with hardened point; scales smooth and in 19 rows.
Mud snakes favor low, swampy ground and ditches, but may wander abroad during wet weather. They suffer from the mistaken belief that they can sting with their tail and roll into a hoop. Although they may coil in concentric loops while at rest, mud snakes as well as all snakes are incapable of rolling wheel-like down slopes. The spine on the end of the tail is not sharp enough to pierce a person?s skin, nor do these snakes possess any poison glands or stinging apparatus. The spine seems to be used to aid in pinning the eel-like salamanders on which mud snakes feed. Despite their formidable appearance, mud snakes rarely bite, but may thrash about or roll over to expose the bright red belly when molested. They lay from 6-50 eggs, and the female often remains coiled about her clutch.
Found in low, swampy regions throughout the state.