Graham’s Crayfish Snake

Regina grahamii


This medium-sized aquatic snake is found in wetlands near and related to the Mississippi river in the west and northwest margins of Mississippi. They are thick-bodied, plainly colored with a dark top and cream, mustard, or yellow colored belly. The ventral side may be plain or marked with black dots or crescents. Scales are strongly keeled (similar to Nerodia in texture). Juveniles are brighter than adults. Fully grown, they may be 1 – 2 feet in length (Graham’s Crayfish Snake, n.d.). Crayfish snakes are found almost exclusively in or near water, and are often seen on roads crossing between wetlands. They eat almost exclusively freshly-shed crayfish bodies (softer than with an older exoskeleton). 

Adult R. grahamii crossing a gravel road, Holt Co. (MO)

Identifying Traits

  • Nearly patternless black or brown dorsum with cream or yellow belly
  • Broad yellow side stripe on scales 1, 2, and 3 w/ plain or lightly marked belly (separates from queen snake)
  • Not glossy or shiny in appearance (separates form glossy crayfish snake)


Crawfish ponds, wetlands, swamps


Highly aquatic, rarely seen far away from water bodies


Crayfish, freshly molted

Juvenile closeup, Holt Co. (MO)