Eastern Ribbonsnake

Thamnophis saurita


Ribbonsnakes are relatively common in their range, found in woodlands, grasslands, often near water. The eastern species can be found throughout most of Mississippi, outside of the western ribbon snake’s range in the northwest. Eastern ribbons are usually more brown in their base color, with similar yellow or oranges lines on the back. The parietal spots on the top of the head less visible than in the western species. Seen often basking on roads near wetlands or swamps.

Ribbonsnake from a sandy upland habitat, Stone Co. (MS)

Identifying Traits

  • Lateral line on 3rd and 4th scale from ventral (separates from common garter snake)
  • Small or faded parietal spots (separates from western species)

Subspecies Present:

Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis saurita saurita)


Woodlands, upland piney ecosystems, grasslands, ditches, lakes, ponds, often found near bodies of water (semiaquatic)



Semiqauatic, not often found away from sources of water.


Various invertebrates, fish, tadpoles

A small individual active in an ephemeral pond, South Mississippi
Eastern Ribbonsnake predating a Green Treefrog, Jackson Co. (MS)
Eastern Ribbonsnake, Stone Co. (MS)