Fun Lined Snake Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 10, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Lined snake facts are interesting to read.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.0 Min

Do you like to learn interesting facts about reptiles and amphibians around the world? Then you would definitely love this article.

Often confused with the garter snake, lined snakes are a species of small fossorial snakes. Information regarding the natural history of this species is very limited. Their natural history is even more limited in the northern edge of its distribution, compared to the other parts of its distribution. Scattered through parts of South Dakota, New Mexico, Texas, Eastern Colorado, Central Illinois, Southeast Iowa.

There are four subspecies of these snakes, namely - northern lined snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum lineatum), central lined snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum annectens), Texas lined snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum texanum), andMerten's lined snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum mertensi).

As far as their physique is concerned, these animals look like garter snakes. They have heads rarely wide than their body. Their body color varies in color from gray to olive-green to brown. They have several lines on their body, which give them their name. Along with two stripes going down their back, their belly is white. They also come with two black half-moon-shaped scales, arranged in rows.

To learn about more reptiles and amphibians like the garter snake living around the world, check out smooth green snake and restripe ribbon snake.

Lined Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a lined snake?

Just as the name suggests, the lined snakes (Tropidoclonion lineatum) is a species of small fossorial snake.

What class of animal does a lined snake belong to?

Lined snakes belong to the Reptilia class of the animal kingdom.

How many lined snakes are there in the world?

Although the exact number of lined snakes in the world is not known, it can be said that they are indeed not one of the endangered species living on the planet. Even their geographic range is extending. There are four subspecies of the lined snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum).

Where does a lined snake live?

Scattered through the Great Plains states, the lined snakes can be found in South Dakota, Texas. This species has four subspecies, namely - northern lined snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum lineatum), central lined snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum annectens), Texas lined snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum texanum), Merten's lined snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum mertensi). The disjointed population of subspecies is also found in New Mexico, Eastern Colorado, Central Illinois, Southeast Iowa. Also, even though this species is mostly found in open woodlands and grasslands, in recent years they have been spotted in the urban area of Minnesota.

What is a lined snake's habitat?

Their natural habitat consists of edges of woodlands, open prairies, and sparsely wooded areas. However, they have also been spotted in the urban area of Minnesota. They can be found in residential areas and vacant lots.

Who does lined snake live with?

As opposed to popular belief that snakes are found in pairs, this small species of lined snakes do not live in groups or pairs. The individuals roam around on their own.

How long does a lined snake live?

The average life span of the lined snakes falls between 3-10 years, which is a moderate life span of the snakes.

How do they reproduce?

Very little information is available regarding the reproduction procedure of the lined snakes, and how the young are born. During spring i.e April, they become active. The females do not become sexually active until they turn two-year-old, whereas the males become sexually active soon as they turn one year old. The mating season takes place in autumn. The adults are not very sexually active during early spring. It is during the autumn that the sexually active adults mate. However, fertilization doesn't take place until late spring. After the mating, the females lay a single litter, containing 2-12 young. The eggs hatch in July and August and the live young lined snakes are born.

What is their conservation status?

According to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the conservation status of the lined snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum) is Least Concern. Thus, it can be safely said that this species is not endangered and thus won't just vanish from the face of the planet for a long time.

Lined Snake Fun Facts

What does a lined snake look like?

Tropidoclonion lineatum (lined snake)

The Tropidoclonion lineatum (lined snake) is a slender reptile. Their head is only slightly wider than their body. The scales on their body vary in color from gray to olive-green to brown. They have two light stripes going down along their back, that vary from a whitish tone to orangish. Along with that, they have two more stripes down the sides. The scales on their belly are mostly white, with two rows of black half-moon-shaped markings.

How cute are they?

Although these reptiles are small, they can barely be called cute. However, as far as their behavior is concerned, lined snakes are not really aggressive. Even if humans try to catch lined snakes, they are most likely to emit a musk, rather than actually bite humans.

How do they communicate?

Lined snakes, similar to other snakes, depend upon a bunch of sensory organs to perceive and communicate with their environment. Apart from vision, taste, smell, a common communication phenomenon among the species of snakes is through emitting, analyzing, and collecting pheromones. While females release pheromones to excite their male counterparts during the mating season, the males secrete a plug to inhibit their courtship behavior mostly during spring.

How big is a lined snake?

Tropidoclonion lineatum (lined snake) can grow up to 8.7-15 in (22-38 cm) in length. They are among the smallest species of non-venomous snakes. They are almost three times smaller in length than the corn snakes, which is another species of non-venomous snakes and can grow 24-70 in (61-108 cm) in length.

How fast can a lined snake move?

The exact speed of lined snakes is not known.

How much does a lined snake weigh?

Though the exact weight of this species of snakes is not known, we can make an estimate from their subfamily, Natricinae. Snakes in these subfamilies have a weight of 3.2-5.3 oz or 90-150 g.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female lined snakes do not have any specific name. Thus, both males and females are known as lined snakes.

What would you call a baby lined snake?

The young and newborns of the lined snake species, like all young snakes, are known as snakelets.  

What do they eat?

Most earthworms fall prey to the lined snakes. These nocturnal reptiles roam around at night when it's dark, which is when the earthworms are also most active, and thus they fall prey to adults. But apart from earthworms their diet also consists of sowbugs, snails, slugs, soft insects, and amphibians. That being said, these predators also fall prey to kingsnakes and other predatory birds.

Are they poisonous?

Lined snakes are a species of non-venomous snakes. Humans tend to overanalyze their threats. However, in reality, these nocturnal creatures, roaming in dark, do not pose any harm to humans. They don't even tend to bite. If someone tries to catch them, they are more likely to emit an odor.

Would they make a good pet?

Although the lined snakes are not venomous, it is a debatable matter that whether or not it is a good choice to keep snakes as pets. Also, not to forget that snakes tend to live longer in captivity.

That being said, lined snakes are relatively small and easy to handle, but do have a strong odor. It is not a bad idea to have these interesting creatures as pets.

Did you know...

The lined snakes do not exactly migrate to the urban areas on their own. They were forced to leave their natural habitat, which includes woodlands edges, including sparse woods and open prairies.

What is the deadliest snake in the United States?

The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is perceived to be the deadliest snake in the United States. The death rate due to the rattlesnake's bite is really high in the United States. They are found in northern America and authorities believe that these snakes cause the most amount of deaths.

However, when it comes to the deadliest snake on the planet, the saw-scaled viper tops the list. Although it is still a matter of debate, scientists believe it to be the most venomous snake since it has caused more human deaths than any other snake. But it is not only about the venom that makes them so deadly. These snakes are very aggressive. They move fast and tend to bite more often than any other snake.

Which country has no snakes in the world?

New Zealand has no snakes in its territory. It is known to be a snake-free country. It is interesting as  Australia is scattered with some of the most venomous and endangered species of snakes on the planet, and is the country with the highest number of snakes in the world.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these snapper turtle facts and giant garter snake facts pages.

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

Lined Snake Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Earthworms, sowbugs, snails, slugs, soft-bodied insects

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

3.2-5.3 oz (90-150 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

woodland edges, open prairies, sparse woodlands, residential areas, vacant lots

Where Do They Live?

south dakota, new mexico, texas, eastern colorado, central illinois, southeast iowa

How Long Were They?

8.7-15 in (22-38 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Tropidoclonion lineatum

What Do They Look Like?

Olive greenish, gray, brownish, yellow

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

human activities

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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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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