With their unique patterns, colors, and behaviors, snakes are very interesting animals. While many of us think of snakes as having solid colors or complicated patterns, some species have simple stripes. From the common garter snake to the venomous coral snake, these snakes with stripes can be found all over North America.
In this article, we’ll learn about some of them and take a look at some pictures of them.
18 Snakes with stripes
Some of these species have stripes that run the length of their bodies, like garter snakes. Other snake species have stripes that go around their bodies, but many of them. One example of this type of striped snake is a California kingsnake, or a coral snake.
1. Common garter snake
- Scientific Name: Thamnophis sirtalis
The Common garter snakes are non-venomous, medium-sized snakes that live in the Southeast and most of North America. They’re one of the most common snakes throughout their range and can typically be found in meadows, forests, and other habitats that are located near bodies of water.
These snakes have dark bodies with a pattern of three yellow stripes on their back and sides. Their stripes can also be blue, green, or brown, depending on the species.
2. Dekay’s brown snake
- Scientific Name: Storeria dekayi
The Dekay’s brown snake is a type of snake that’s native to most of the eastern half of the United States and southern Ontario and Quebec. They’re one of the species that have stripes and can be found in the terrestrial and wetland habitats that are found east of the Great Plains.
This animal’s color ranges from gray to brown, and it has a light stripe on its back that’s surrounded by black. Adults can be up to 12 inches long, and they mostly eat slugs, snails, and earthworms.
3. Scarlet kingsnake
- Scientific Name: Lampropeltis elapsoides
The Scarlet kingsnake is a type of non-venomous snake that you can find all over the United States. Because of their similarity, these snakes are often mistaken for the venomous eastern coral snake.
The body of a scarlet kingsnake is bright red, and it has black and yellow bands around it. They’re also often found in pine flatwoods, savannas, cultivated fields, suburban areas, and even swimming pools, especially in the spring.
4. Western patch-nosed snake
- Scientific Name: Salvadora hexalepis
The Western patch-nosed snake is a beautiful animal that lives in the southwestern United States, northwest Mexico, and Baja California. Their bodies are a light gray color, and they have a wide stripe of yellow or beige with a black border on their backs and a black stripe on each side of their bodies.
These animals move quickly and hunt for lizards, mice, other small mammals, and the eggs of reptiles and birds.
5. Striped whipsnake
- Scientific Name: Masticophis taeniatus
The Striped whipsnake is a non-venomous snake that’s closely related to the striped racer. They can grow up to 72 inches long and have a dark stripe running down the middle of their dorsal scales and a white stripe on their sides, separated by a solid or dashed black line.
During the day, these creatures can be spotted roaming the open grasslands, shrublands, canyons, woodlands, and pine-oak forests. At night, they retreat to the safety of small mammal burrows or rocky outcrops.
6. Desert rosy boa
- Scientific Name: Lichanura trivirgata
The Desert rosy boa is a small, non-venomous snake that lives in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Many herpetologists are interested in this species because it has beautiful colors that depend on where it lives.
Their underside is pink or salmon, and their back and sides have three long stripes that can be straight, broken, or have a lot of contrast with the spaces between them. These stripes can also be orange, maroon, rust, brown, or black.
7. Lined snake
- Scientific Name: Tropidoclonion lineatum
A Lined snake is a small, thin snake that can only grow to be 15 inches long. This animal is easy to spot because its body is olive to gray-brown, and it has a light white to orange stripe on its back. Additionally, each of their sides has two stripes that are the same color.
They’re often seen in open prairies, wooded areas, empty lots, and even residential areas. Lined snakes hunt at night and prefer to eat earthworms.
8. Baird’s rat snake
- Scientific Name: Elaphe bairdi
The Baird’s rat snake is a type of snake that lives in the western parts of Texas and Mexico. They can grow up to 55 inches long and are usually orange-yellow to bright yellow with four stripes that go from the neck to the tail.
Even though these snakes tend to run away when they feel threatened, they’ll still bite if they have to. Baird’s rat snakes can also scare off predators by shaking their tails like a rattlesnake.
9. Timber rattlesnake
- Scientific Name: Crotalus horridus
The Timber rattlesnake is a large venomous snake that lives in deciduous forests. They’re usually 36 to 40 inches long and have a light yellow, gray, or greenish-white body with much darker crossbands.
During the winter, this species brumates with copperheads and black rat snakes. They have also been seen basking in the sun right before giving birth. Because of their fatal venom and long fangs, timber rattlesnakes are considered one of North America’s most dangerous snakes.
10. Schott’s whipsnake
- Scientific Name: Masticophis schotti
The Schott’s whipsnake is a type of reptile that lives in Texas and Mexico. The snake is a bluish-gray color, and from its head to its tail, it has white stripes on its sides and back.
They can move quickly and climb well, which is why these reptiles are often seen basking in the branches of bushes. Schott’s whipsnakes can also be found in sandy and dry open lots, fields, and woodlands, where they hunt for lizards, small snakes, mice, and nestling birds.
11. California kingsnake
- Scientific Name: Lampropeltis californiae
The California kingsnake is an example of a snake species in North America known for its beautiful patterns. These species can get up to 3.5 feet long and come in many different colors, depending on where they live. However, they’re usually black with white bands or stripes or brown with cream bands.
Depending on the environmental temperature, this particular snake species can be active either during the day or at night. California kingsnakes aren’t venomous, but they’ll shake their tails like rattlesnakes to scare away their predators.
12. Rainbow snake
- Scientific Name: Farancia erytrogramma
The Rainbow snakes are some of the most colorful snakes you might see in North America. They’re mostly black on the back, with three red stripes running down, and their bellies are either red or pink, with two or three rows of black spots.
Adults may also have yellow on their heads and sides, which juveniles don’t have. Rainbow snakes are aquatic animals, so they live in swamps and places with moving water. They’re also very secretive, so only a few people can see them in the wild.
13. Sonoran whipsnake
- Scientific Name: Masticophis bilineatus
The Sonoran whipsnakes are very long snakes that can grow to be up to 5 feet in length. The body is olive or bluish-gray and fades to yellow at the tail, with two or three stripes of a lighter color.
In addition to its native range in Mexico, this snake species has been spotted in both New Mexico and Arizona. The canyons, riparian zones, foothills, and mountains covered in thick vegetation are ideal locations for this species.
14. Eastern coral snake
- Scientific Name: Micrurus fulvius
The Eastern coral snake is a type of venomous snake that lives in the southeastern part of the United States. Its wide red and black bands with thin yellow bands make it easily identifiable among other venomous snakes.
Even though these animals are venomous, they don’t bite very often. Most of the time, they use their venom to paralyze their prey, including lizards, birds, frogs, and other snakes.
15. Striped racer
- Scientific Name: Masticophis lateralis
The Striped racers, also called California whipsnakes, are long and slender snakes that live along the coast, in the desert, and in the foothills of California. They’re fast-moving snakes with a dark brown or black back and a yellowish stripe along their sides.
These snakes are active during the day, and they usually hide before the sun goes down. Even though striped racers don’t have venom, they’ll attack anyone who tries to catch them.
16. Saltmarsh snake
- Scientific Name: Nerodia clarkii
The Saltmarsh snake is a nonvenomous species of snake found in the southeastern United States, from Florida to Texas, and in northern Cuba. They are semiaquatic and are typically found in brackish and saltwater habitats, such as salt marshes and estuaries.
Saltmarsh snakes are characterized by their moderate size and highly variable coloration and pattern, which can range from brown, gray, or black to green or olive, with stripes that are variously broken into blotches. The dorsal ground color is typically pale olive, patterned with a pair of dark brown stripes running down the back and enclosing a pale mid-dorsal stripe.
17. Big bend patchnose snake
- Scientific Name: Salvadora deserticola
The Big bend patchnose snake is a nonvenomous species of snake found in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. They are typically found in arid and semi-arid environments, such as deserts and grasslands.
Big bend patchnose snakes are characterized by their slender body and distinctive scales on the tip of the snout. They are typically light brown or gray in color, with a series of dark brown or black patches or stripes running down the back and sides.
The stripes are often broken or irregular in shape, and the belly is typically a lighter color. Big bend patchnose snakes are active during the day and feed on small lizards, rodents, and insects.
18. Black-striped snake
- Scientific Name: Coniophanes imperialis
The Black-striped snake is a nonvenomous species of snake found in the southwestern United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize. It is characterized by its slender body, which can grow up to 18 inches long, and its distinctive black stripes running down the back and sides.
These stripes are often broken or irregular in shape, and the belly is typically a lighter color. The Black-striped snake is typically found in rocky or desert habitats and feeds on small lizards, insects, and other small animals.