Fun Glossy Crayfish Snake Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Glossy Crayfish Snake Facts For Kids

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The glossy crayfish snake is a brown slender highly aquatic snake found in the southeastern United States. Scientifically known as Liodytes rigida, this non-venomous snake averages 14-24 inches in length and goes between brown, to olive green with a yellow belly. It is primarily found in the slow-moving waterways like canals and swamps, from eastern North Carolina down to Eastern Texas. Often described as very stiff, the glossy crayfish snake is also known as the stiff snake. Other popular names include the glossy swampsnake, eastern glossy swampsnake, Gulf swampsnake, brown-banded leather snake, brown water snake, rigid queen snake, green queen snake, and striped moccasin.

If you like this article, check out our articles on the bushmaster snake and the golden tree snake.

Fun Glossy Crayfish Snake Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?

Crayfish, frogs, salamanders, small fish and dragonfly larva

Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

14-24 inches

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Dark Brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Habitat Destruction

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Wetlands And Swamps


North America









Glossy Crayfish Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Glossy Crayfish Snake?

The glossy crayfish snake is a nonvenomous snake that is part of the  Colubridae family of snakes.  

What class of animal does a Glossy Crayfish Snake belong to?

The glossy crayfish snake (also known as Liodytes rigida rigida) is part of the Reptilia class of animals.

How many Glossy Crayfish Snakes are there in the world?

glossy crayfish snakes are native to North America and can be found in parts of North Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Virginia. Little is known about its distribution status in these regions

Where does a Glossy Crayfish Snake live?

Glossy crayfish snakes are native to North America. They can be found in the coastal plain areas of the USA, from eastern North Carolina down to eastern Texas, with an isolated population in Virginia. However, they are notably absent in Southern Florida. Within these regions, you will find these highly aquatic snakes in typical wetland habitats. They are aquatic reptiles that seek refuge in gentle waterways like slow-moving rivers, swamps, bays, ponds, and lakes.

What is a Glossy Crayfish Snake's habitat?

Glossy crayfish snakes are found in wetland habitats with high-density aquatic vegetation where crayfish, their primary prey, are abundant. They are very secretive and spend a lot of time in mucky substrates like crayfish burrows, under logs, and other underground debris.

Who do Glossy Crayfish Snakes live with?

Due to the secretive nature of this snake, it is difficult to determine its exact living situations. However, from a few incidental observations, glossy crayfish snakes have been found alone beneath objects in wetlands.

How long does a Glossy Crayfish Snake live?

In suitable conditions, glossy crayfish snakes, like most snakes, will live from 15 to 30 years. Natural predators and human encroachment are their biggest threats which significantly reduces the averages number of years snakes live.

How do they reproduce?

The glossy crayfish snakes (Regina rigida) do not lay eggs. In late summer, a female glossy crayfish snake gives birth to up to 10 live young.

What is their conservation status?

Very little is known about the glossy crayfish snake's distribution. However, in the state of Georgia, this species is protected. Due to the fact that they are a very secretive and nocturnal species, the exact number and definite distribution of glossy crayfish snakes remain unknown, however, their population remains stable and they are their conservation status is of Least Concern.

Glossy Crayfish Snake Fun Facts

What do Glossy Crayfish Snakes look like?

Close up of a Glossy Crayfish Snake hidden in leaves

Glossy crayfish snakes are small, slender, predominantly brown snakes that have uniquely keeled scales. Their bodies are typically 14 to 24 inches in length, with usually brown (sometimes olive green-brown) backs, a yellow underside, short head, and relatively large eyes. For some snakes in this species, you may see narrow stripes may be seen running along the length of this snake's body.

How cute are they?

Due to their petite size, baby glossy crayfish snakes are pretty cute. However, as adults, these snakes are a lot larger and more predatory in nature (to their prey, not humans) making them significantly less cute.

How do they communicate?

Like most snakes, glossy crayfish snakes communicate through pheromones. These are collected, left, and analyzed to communicate age, gender, and reproduction conditions with other snakes in their habitat.

How big is a Glossy Crayfish Snake?

The glossy crayfish snake is usually around 1-2 ft (30-60cm) in length.

How fast can a Glossy Crayfish Snake move?

The exact speed of the glossy crayfish snake is unknown. However, snakes, in general, have evolved to be incredibly quick especially when striking their prey. It has been recorded in a recent test that a snake can lunge forward about half a foot in only 70 milliseconds (in comparison average blinking of the human eye takes 200 milliseconds).

How much does a Glossy Crayfish Snake weigh?

The exact weight of a glossy crayfish snake is unknown however they are described as having heavy bodies, with proportionality short heads and large eyes.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The names for male and female glossy crayfish Snakes are simply female and male glossy crayfish snakes.

What would you call a baby Glossy Crayfish Snake?

Baby glossy crayfish snakes are called snakelets.

What do they eat?

As predicted by their name, Glossy crayfish snakes primarily feed on crayfish that are native to their aquatic habitats. Other animals in their diet include fish, frogs, small salamanders as well as insects. Regina rigida are able to feed on hard-shelled animals (like crayfish) with their chisel-shaped teeth. When catching their prey, the snake will constrict the crayfish in a coil eating it alive from its tail. This eating habit is substantially different from typical snakes, who usually attack the head of their prey first. However, consuming from the tail allows the glossy crayfish snake to avoid internal damage from the sharp edges of the crayfish shell.

Predators include other snakes like cottonmouth snakes and kingsnakes.

Are they poisonous?

Glossy crayfish snakes (also known as Liodytes rigida) are non-venomous and are not dangerous to people or pets.

Would they make a good pet?

As they are not dangerous to humans or pets, in theory, glossy crayfish snakes would make great pets. However, due to their nocturnal nature, a diet of crayfish, and their preference for slow-moving and murky waterways, it would be most suitable to leave these snakes in their natural habitat.

Did you know...

The glossy crayfish snake has been mistaken for a venomous cottonmouth snake. In comparison, they have round pupils and are substantially smaller and thinner in size. They are a very secretive species of snake which are rarely seen, even by experienced herpetologists (zoologists who study reptiles).

Do Glossy Crayfish Snakes bite?

Typically, glossy crayfish snakes (Regina rigida) do not bite. If approached, they will flee into the waterways. As Regina rigida are non-venomous they are not dangerous to humans or pets, although when captured they may release a foul-smelling musk from their tail.

Are Glossy Crayfish Snakes slimy?

Glossy crayfish snakes (Regina rigida) are not slimy but more scaly. The scales on the body of a Regina rigida have a prominent raised ridge. The glossy exterior of these snakes is from the brown to olive-brown scales.

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 Burmese python facts or blue racer facts.

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

Written By
Hannah Bowyer

Hannah is a lover of all things fitness, she is a qualified personal trainer and is currently training to be a yoga instructor. She is also knowledgeable about mindfulness and meditation and is passionate about helping people find their best selves. Hannah has travelled extensively and has spent the last four years working and living in many different countries across Asia and the Americas and loves writing about her travels. At any moment you might catch her running for a plane or a PB!

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