Wisconsin status: common
length: 8-10 inches
Have you ever seen a red-bellied snake? These snakes are very common in Wisconsin. On warm, sunny days in the fall, they're often seen in large numbers soaking up the sun on back roads and bike trails.
They are pretty easy to identify, because of their (you guessed it) red or orange belly. Their back is usually reddish-brown to steel gray with a broad light band down the middle of its back with two narrow, darker stripes on each side.
They live in a variety of habitats. You can find them in boreal forests, sphagnum bogs, and northern and southern hardwood forests and adjacent fields. Red-bellied snakes like to eat slugs, earthworms, and beetle larvae (yum).
If you're out biking the trails this fall, keep your eyes open for these little, red-bellied creatures.