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(Thamnophis sirtalis) Special Concern
Identification: Pale stripes on sides of body on
second and third scale rows above outer edges of belly scales; belly pale and
unmarked; red blotches between stripes on back (red may be confined to skin
between scales); usually seven upper lip scales (lacking heavy black markings)
on each side of head; upper scales keeled, in 19 rows at midbody; anal scale
single; tongue red at base; maximum total length about 124 cm (49 inches), but
usually much smaller in Colorado. The tail sometimes is incomplete due to
Northeastern Colorado along the
South Platte River and its tributaries at elevations below 6,000 feet and North
Fork Republican River drainage in Yuma County at about 3,500–3,600 feet;
widely distributed along the eastern base of the Front Range.
Marshes, ponds, and the edges of
streams; basically restricted to aquatic, wetland, and riparian habitats along
the floodplains of streams; seldom found away from water or at isolated ponds.
Active in shallow water and on land adjacent to water.
Limited information indicates
that females give birth to their young mainly in late July and August. The
diet includes frogs, toads, amphibian larvae, fishes, earthworms, and
rodents, obtained on land or in the water.