Red Belly Snake Sightings on the Rise in Florida: What You Need to Know
The red-bellied snake is a small, non-venomous species of snake native to the southeastern United States. In recent years, sightings of this species have been on the rise in Florida, leading to some concern among residents. In this article, we’ll take a look at what you need to know about red-bellied snakes and why their numbers are increasing in the Sunshine State.
What Does a Red-Bellied Snake Look Like?
The red-bellied snake is a small species of snake that typically grows to be between 8 and 12 inches long. It has a slender body with smooth scales and a reddish or orange belly. The back of the snake is usually gray or brown with darker spots or stripes running along its length. The head of the snake is usually darker than its body and may have two light stripes running down either side.
Where Are Red-Bellied Snakes Found?
Red-bellied snakes are found throughout much of the southeastern United States, including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, and North Carolina. They prefer moist habitats such as wetlands and woodlands but can also be found in suburban areas near ponds or streams.
Why Are Red-Bellied Snakes Sightings Increasing in Florida?
The exact reason for the increase in red-bellied snake sightings in Florida is not known for certain but there are several possible explanations. One theory is that milder winters have allowed more snakes to survive each year which has led to an increase in their population size over time. Another possibility is that increased development has created more suitable habitats for these snakes which has allowed them to spread into new areas.
Are Red-Bellied Snakes Dangerous?
Red-bellied snakes are nonvenomous and pose no threat to humans or pets. They feed mainly on insects such as crickets and worms but will also eat small frogs or lizards if they can catch them. These snakes are shy by nature and will usually try to flee if they feel threatened rather than attacking or biting anything larger than themselves.
What Should You Do If You See a Red-Bellied Snake?
If you see a red-bellied snake it’s best to leave it alone as it poses no threat to humans or pets. If you must move it out of harm’s way then use gloves or something similar so that you don’t come into contact with its skin directly as some people may be allergic to its scales or saliva. It’s also important not to release any captured snakes into an area where they don’t naturally occur as this could disrupt local ecosystems and cause problems for native wildlife populations.
Red-bellied snakes are common throughout much of the southeastern United States but their numbers have been increasing in recent years in Florida specifically due to milder winters and increased development creating more suitable habitats for them. These nonvenomous snakes pose no threat to humans or pets so if you see one it’s best just leave it alone rather than trying to capture or move it out of harm’s way yourself.