Yellow-Bellied Watersnake (Yellow-Bellied Water Snake)
Family:Colubridae (nonvenomous snakes) in the order Squamata (lizards and snakes)
This medium-sized watersnake is named for its yellow belly. Its coloration is mainly gray or greenish with little or no pattern. Like other species of watersnakes, yellow-bellied watersnakes give birth to live young.
Size:It is 30 to 48 inches (76-122 cm) long.
Habitat and conservation:This species is found in swamps, sloughs, lakes and ponds where it can be found basking on overhanging branches or logs in the water.
Foods:Food includes fish, amphibians and crayfish.
Distribution in Missouri:Lives throughout southeastern Missouri and north along the Mississippi River floodplain. A subspecies called the blotched watersnake (Nerodia erythrogaster transversa) occurs in southwestern and western Missouri.