Fun Plain-bellied Water Snake Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi
Plain-bellied water snake facts talk about the scales of these snakes.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.1 Min

The plain-bellied watersnake (Nerodia erythrogaster) is a species of snake that is native to the regions of the United States. Their body which is covered with scales, ranges from gray to olive green and even black or brown in color.

Like other North American water snakes, plain bellied watersnakes are ovoviviparous by nature, meaning they give birth to live young. Found mainly in wetlands, the population of plain-bellied watersnakes is currently unknown, but they are listed as 'Least Concern' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Females can lay up to a litter size of 18 offsprings.

The total length of an adult is 24–40 in (76–122 cm), which is almost similar to a yellow-bellied snake. They are docile, unlike other snakes, and do fairly well with human beings.

A bite from this snake is not life-threatening but can cause pain to an individual. However, these snakes only bite when they feel threatened or are under any form of stress.

If you are fascinated by plain-bellied water snakes, then you may want to read the following amazing facts about them. If you want to learn and know more about different animals, you can read up on water snake and western ribbon snake.

Plain-Bellied Water Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a plain-bellied water snake?

The plain-bellied watersnake (Nerodia erythrogaster) is a species of snake that is native to the regions of the United States.

What class of animal does a plain-bellied water snake belong to?

A plain-bellied water snake belongs to the Reptilia class of animals.

How many plain-bellied water snakes are there in the world?

The exact population of the plain-bellied water snake is unknown. They are listed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Species.

Since they tend to move both on land and in water, they have quite a large number of predators like cottonmouths and hawks. As a result, there has been a somewhat decline in their population for this reason.

Where does a plain-bellied water snake live?

A plain-bellied water snake can be found in the southeastern states of the United States, Florida, Virginia, northeastern regions of Carolina, and the western parts of Tennessee.

What is a plain-bellied water snake's habitat?

A plain-bellied water snake can be found in wetlands, rivers, lakes, and ponds.

Who do plain-bellied water snakes live with?

Plain-bellied water snakes are solitary creatures. However, during the time of migration, they may be found in groups basking together.

How long does a plain-bellied water snake live?

The average lifespan of a plain-bellied watersnake (Nerodia erythrogaster) ranges from eight to 15 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

April to mid-June is considered to be the breeding season for this species of snake, and birthing occurs in the months of August to September. Like other North American water snakes, this species is ovoviviparous by nature, meaning females give birth to live young ones.

The gestation period for females lasts for three to four months. Sexual maturity occurs for both a male and female at three to four years of age. The average litter size of a female plain-bellied watersnake is 18.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of plain-bellied water snakes as of now is Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. However, they are considered to be a conservation risk. Apart from being hunted down by land and water predators, habitat loss is also another integral factor behind their decline in their population.

Plain-Bellied Water Snake Fun Facts

What do plain-bellied water snakes look like?

Found in the parts of Florida, the plainbelly water snake is a large-sized water snake, and its body colors are black, gray, olive green, or black. As their name suggests, this species of snake has an even colored appearance on its underside with no markings.

This physical characteristic of its body helps them to distinguish itself from other water snakes. The undersides of this species of snake are generally red or yellow in color. They have a body size that is similar to yellow-bellied snakes.

Plain-bellied water snakes are ovoviviparous.

* Please note this is an image of a snake, the parent breed of plain-bellied water snakes. If you have an image of a plain-bellied water snake please let us know at

How cute are they?

They are not at all cute and do not have any unique characteristics in their appearance that will make them beautiful to look at.

How do they communicate?

Although no specific type of communication has yet been noticed in this species of snakes, like all other snakes, this species communicates with each other through pheromones. During the mating season, certain behavior like flicking of the tongue or females being followed by males can be seen in this species of snake.

How big is a plain-bellied water snake?

A plain-bellied water snake is a large snake, and the total length of the body of an adult plain-bellied watersnake may range from 24–40 in (76–122 cm), similar to that of a yellow-bellied snake. The longest ever snake of this species was recorded to be 64 in (163.6 cm). They are larger in length than cottonmouths.

How fast can a plain-bellied water snake move?

The exact speed of plain-bellied watersnakes is not yet known, but they can move quite fast. When they are chased down by other predators, they flee from their water habitat towards the land to save themselves.

They are considered to be active during the hot seasons of the year when they are active both during the day and the night.

How much does a plain-bellied water snake weigh?

The weight of plain-bellied watersnakes differs from males to females, with females being heavier than males. The weight of an average female is 1.137 lb (516 g), while that of a male is 0.630 lb (286 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no gender-specific names for this species of snake. A male is called a male plain-bellied water snake, while a female is called a female plain-bellied water snake.

What would you call a baby plain-bellied water snake?

A baby juvenile plain-bellied water snake is called a 'snakelet'.

What do they eat?

Plain-bellied watersnakes are carnivorous by nature. They spend their time both on the land and the water and feed on a large group of animals.

Their primary diet includes aquatic species like fish, salamanders, and frogs. While on land, they may feed on amphibians as well. They generally hunt other species of snakes, however, they can be found sitting idly in an aquatic place, patiently waiting for their prey to approach them instead.

Are they poisonous?

No, a plain-belly water snake is not poisonous and does not cause any life-threatening injury to humans. However, when they feel under threat, they may attack or bite the person standing in front of them as a sign of defense.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, water snakes, in general, are very docile creatures and do fairly well with humans. A plain-bellied water snake is not poisonous and can be kept as a pet in households.

They also do not require much maintenance. However, they must be handled carefully because, under stress, they may attack the human in front of them. With proper precaution and care, plain-bellied water snakes can be kept as a pet in the household.

Did you know...

Found in Florida, among many other regions, one of the most unique characteristics of a plain-bellied water snake is that, when they feel threatened, they flee towards the land instead of diving into the water. This behavior is quite uncommon and cannot be seen in any other common water snake.

This species of snakes are good climbers and can be found on branches basking under the sun.

'Peterson Field Guide To Reptiles And Amphibians Of Eastern And Central North America' is one of the many books that provides great insight into the evolution and current data on the lives of different types of amphibians and reptiles, including this species.

Can you keep plain-bellied water snakes?

Although, according to the age-old myth that snakes are extremely venomous and not at all meant to be kept as a pet, this species defies that myth. A plain-bellied water snake is extremely docile and is not at all venomous and, for this reason, is relatively safe around children.

They do not even require much maintenance.

However, if they feel stressed, nervous, or threatened, they may bite the person standing in front of them or holding them. With proper measures and arrangement, one can easily keep this snake as a pet.

What is the difference between a water snake and a water moccasin?

Apart from physical characteristics, plain-bellied water snakes and water moccasins or cottonmouths can also be differentiated on the basis of their behavior. Water moccasins, also known as cottonmouths, are shorter in length with cat-like pupils, while plain-bellied water snakes are much larger in length and have round pupils.

When encountered by any approaching danger, the first instinct of a plain-bellied water is to flee from that place, however, a water moccasin will stand its ground and face the threat by hissing or vibrating its tail.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including corn snake, or kingsnake.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Plain-Bellied Water 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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Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi

Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Oluwapelumi Iwayemi picture

Oluwapelumi IwayemiBachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Iwayemi is a creative content writer and editor studying for a Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos. He is skilled in research and has experience writing and editing content for different organizations.

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