Fun Mud Snake Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Interesting mud snake facts that will make you love them more.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.1 Min

These red and black snakes are a very large species of non-venomous snakes inhabiting the marshes, swamps, and edges of water in the Southeastern part of the United States.

They are semi-aquatic and prefer to spend most of their time in the water, in the land, though, they bury themselves in the ground hence, earning themselves the name of mud snakes.

There are two major subspecies found throughout its region. The Eastern mud snakes are native to Florida with the scientific name Farancia abacura abacura, and the Western mud snakes with the scientific name Farancia abacura reinwardtii.

They sometimes push their tail tip into the bodies of their attacker to defend themselves, but, they do not really bite.

Want to know more interesting facts about these red and black snakes? We suggest you keep reading on.

If you like reading fun facts about snakes, check out puff adder facts and mangrove snake facts.

Mud Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a mud snake?

As evident by their name, the mud snake is a species of snake that is found around the southeastern part of the United States. They mostly inhabit muddy places, such as stream edges, marshes, under the ground debris filled with dense vegetation, as well as swamps, hence earning them the name of mud snakes.

What class of animal does a mud snake belong to?

Like all snakes, they are reptiles, belonging to class Reptilia, and are known to lay eggs instead of giving birth to live babies.

This species is known to have a unique color pattern throughout their body with shiny black scales on the upper portion and a red and black color pattern running through their belly to the underside of their tail.

How many mud snakes are there in the world?

It is hard to say just how many mud snakes are crawling through their natural habitat in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and the rest of the Southeastern region of the United States, but, since they are listed as a species of Least Concern in the IUCN red list of threatened species, it can be assumed that as of now their population is thriving in the wild.

Where does a mud snake live?

Commonly, there are two main subspecies of mud snakes, the eastern mud snake, and the western mud snake, and they are found around the southeastern region of the United States. Western mud snakes are found throughout the range of western Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana, where they are also called the Louisiana mud snake.

The eastern mud snakes are found throughout Florida and the coastal plains of Virginia.

What is a mud snake's habitat?

Both the eastern and western mud snake is known to inhabit muddy areas where they can bury themselves in the wet soil. They prefer stream edges, marshes, under the ground debris filled with dense vegetation and rotten logs and leaves, as well as swamps.

Who do mud snakes live with?

This non-venomous snake is mostly solitary in nature, however, the mother snakes stay tightly coiled around the eggs until they are hatched. After that, the hatchlings are completely self-sufficient and are left to fend for themselves.

How long does a mud snake live?

The Farancia abacura is known to live for about 12-15 years in the wild, but, in captivity, they can live up to 19 years if taken care of properly. Interestingly, they are also called hoop snakes because of the myth that they tend to bite their tail and roll after people to chase them.

How do they reproduce?

The eastern mud snake is known to breed through March and April, while the western mud snake breed through July and September. The gestation period lasts for about 50-56 days, and the eggs are hatched after 37-60 days.

During this time, the female tends to keep itself coiled tightly around the eggs until they are hatched as a measure to protect them. The females can lay up to 100 eggs per pregnancy, which is pretty high for a snake species.

They are one of the very few snake species that provide some measure of parental care. However, the hatchlings are completely self-sufficient after birth, and, so, the female leaves once the eggs are hatched.

What is their conservation status?

Mud snakes are listed as a species of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of threatened species, so it can be assumed that the population of this nonvenomous snake species is still thriving in their natural habitat, and hence, are not an endangered species.

However, a lot of hatchlings are caught in the spring when they try to enter the wetlands.

Mud Snake Fun Facts

What do mud snakes look like?

Amazing mud snake facts that will make your day.

Mud snakes are very bright in color with almost a checkerboard pattern of scales running through their belly to the tip of their spiny tail.

The scales are a shiny black color on the upper side or backs, while a red, or salmon pink and black checkerboard pattern is noticed to be running through the underside that is visible on their sides as well.

Their dorsal scales are divided into 19 rows at the middle part of their body, and their throats and chin are orangeish with dark spots peppered through them. These dark spots are also visible on their relatively lighter lower and upper lips.

Their tail is spiny and they are known to sometimes push their tail spine into their attacker's body, earning them the name of horn snakes.

Their head is flat and their eyes and tongues are small which helps them to burrow deeply in the mud.

Although, thinner and smaller the young look like miniature versions of the adults in appearance with the red and black color pattern running through their belly and sides and the spiny tail.

How cute are they?

These snakes are pretty cute with their red and black color pattern running through their belly and sides. They are very large yet pretty docile in nature. They tend to push their tail tip into their attacker's bodies to defend themselves, but they rarely bite. The young look like miniature versions of the adults.

How do they communicate?

The farancia abacura is known to communicate through both chemical trails and tactile means. The females tend to release pheromones to indicate their availability to males, which the males follow to find them. The males often engage in combats where they try to push the other's head to the ground.

How big is a mud snake?

Both the Eastern and Western mud snake is a large animal ranging at about 36-48 in (91.4-122 cm) in length. Some individuals however have been known to grow as large as 81 in (205.7 cm). They are about two times shorter than a cape file snake and about the same size as a black swan.

How fast can a mud snake move?

It is hard to say just how fast the Farancia abacura can move, but as they have to catch their slippery fast-escaping prey, it can be assumed that they can move pretty fast.

They are sometimes called the hoop snake because of the myth that they tend to bite their tail and chase humans, that is of course just a myth and not at all true.

How much does a mud snake weigh?

It is hard to say just how much they weigh as they are very shy and even witnessing them in the wild is pretty hard let alone studying them at length. However, they are large snakes so it can be assumed that their weight is quite heavy as well.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Snakes in general do not have sex-specific names for their male and female counterparts and the mud snakes are no different. The male is just called a male mud snake and the female is just called a female mud snake. Farancia abacura is their common scientific name.

What would you call a baby mud snake?

The babies of mud snakes are called hatchlings. They are completely independent at birth and can hunt from the get-go. They look like miniature versions of the adults although with thinner and smaller bodies. They do, however, have red and black markings on their belly and sides as well as the spiny tail.

What do they eat?

Like all snakes, both the eastern and western mud snakes are carnivorous, and their primary diet consists of salamanders, fish, and other amphibians. It mostly depends on what kind of prey is most available around their habitats.

The young, however, are mostly dependant on tadpoles, small frogs as well as salamanders larvae. The mud snakes have enlarged teeth in the back portion of their jaws which helps them firmly grip their slippery prey.

They are mostly nocturnal and come out of their burrows to hunt at night. Although in the spring they have been known to be active during the day as well.

Are they poisonous?

Mud snakes are non-venomous, they are also called hoop snakes because of the myth that they bite their tail and roll after humans to chase them. They're not considered dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

Mud snakes do not make good pets although they possess the traits that tend to make good pets. The main reason for that is that they are extremely choosy eaters and in captivity, they can refuse to eat anything at all, which is, of course, harmful and inevitably leads to their death.

Did you know...

They are sometimes called hoop snakes because of the myth that they bite their tails and chase humans.

The babies are pretty developed at birth and look like miniature versions of the adults.

Different types of mud snake

There are two main subspecies of mud snakes, the eastern mud snakes found in Florida with the scientific name Farancia abacura abacura and the western mud snake found in Mississippi and Louisiana with the scientific name Farancia abacura reinwardtii. They are quite similar in their red and black color pattern. The main difference is found in their breeding season.

Behavior of mud snakes

These nocturnal snakes are actually pretty docile and do not bite unless provoked extremely.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our Burmese python facts and cobra facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable mud snake coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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