Pine Woods Littersnake

Rhadinaea flavilata (State Status: S2; imperiled)


Although a large genus of species in South America, Rhadinaea flavilata is the only US representative. This snake is found in various pine-belt habitats among pine litter in the forest floor. Therefore, they only range in the pine savanna latitude of coastal and extreme southern MS. They are brown or nearly orange, and blend in quite well in their habitat. Belly is plain cream color. Identifying characters include a brown stripe through the eye, as well as yellow colored lip scales. Being a fossorial species, they are rarely spotted on the surface of their respective habitats.

Adult littersnake found active at night near an ephemeral wetland, South Mississippi

Identifying Traits

  • Brown-orange body with dark stripe through eye and yellow lip scales.
  • Head elongated and rectangular (compared to Storeria sp.)


Pine savannas, sandhills, piney wetlands, and coastal forests. Occasionally found in neighborhoods in coastal Mississippi.


Fossorial, most often found under cover


Various invertebrates, earthworms and small insects

Closeup of head patterning, Jackson Co. (MS)
Pine Woods Littersnake close to finishing a shedding cycle, Jackson Co. (M)S
Individual from a sandy forest road, South Mississippi