The mud snake (Farancia abacura) is a species of nonvenomous, semiaquatic, colubrid snake that is found in the southeastern United States.[1]

Description Edit

Mud snakes grow to an average of 40 to 54 inches (1-1.4 m) in length,[2] with the record being over 80 inches (2 m).[3] They have smooth, glossy, black back scales, with a red underside that extends up the sides to form bars of reddish-pink. They are known to use their sharply pointed tails to prod prey items, leading to the nickname "stinging snake".

Behavior Edit

Mud snakes are mostly aquatic, and nocturnal, inhabiting the edges of streams and cypress swamps, among dense vegetation or under ground debris. Their primary diet consists of amphiumas, but they will also eat a variety of other amphibians, including salamanders, frogs, and sometimes fish.[4] Breeding takes place in the spring, mostly in the months of April and May. Eight weeks after mating, the female lays 4 to 104 eggs in a nest dug out of moist soil. She will remain with her eggs until they hatch in the fall; usually September or October.

Geographic range Edit

The mud snake is found primarily in the southeastern United States, in the states of Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky. [1]

Cultural Significance Edit

The mud snake is one of a few animals which may be the origin of the hoop snake myth. J.D. Wilson Writes: Template:Cquote The hoop snake myth has also been attributed to the Coachwhip snake.

Subspecies Edit

There are two recognized subspecies of F. abacura:


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.D. Willson 2006 Mud Snake (Farancia abacura) Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Accessed April 23, 2011.
  2. Missouri Department of Conservation Western Mud Snake MDC Online. Accessed April 23, 2011
  3. The University of Georgia Mud Snake The University of Georgia: Museum of Natural History. Accessed April 23, 2011.
  4. Dave Nelson Mud Snake in Alabama Outdoor Alabama. Accessed April 23, 2011.

External linksEdit


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