Eastern Glossy Swampsnake - Conservation Status

The Eastern Glossy Swampsnake is listed as Critically Endangered in the state of Virginia

Scientific Name
Liodytes rigida rigida
New Kent County
Also Known As
Crayfish Snake, Striped Moccasin
Extremely Rare in Virginia. Only Found in One County
Litter Size
6 - 14 per Birth
Life Span
10 - 20 Years
14 - 24 Inches

Quick Links for Eastern Glossy Swampsnake

Eastern Glossy Swampsnake Description

Eastern Glossy Swampsnake Appearance

This snake has a shiny dark color, with a few dark stripes on the back, but the stripes are hard to see from to a casual observer. The belly is a light yellow color, with 2 sets of dark half-moon shaped patterns.

The scales on this snake is rough, and rather stiff. and has dark lines on the side of the throat.


This snake on average is between 14 and 24 inches long. With Virginia’s record length being 30.5 inches and the record length being 34.4 inches long.

Eastern Glossy Swampsnake

This snake is almost pure black with very muted patterns, unlike the Cottonmouth which pattern’s can be seen.


Typically these snakes do not bit if threatened or approached. If they see any present danger they will immediately go into the water and dive to the bottom. If captured, it will release a foul smelling musk as a defense mechanism.

Eastern Glossy Swampsnake Range and Habitat


These are only found in the swamps of New Kent county. It is possible they can be found outside of New Kent, but it is unlikely. This snake’s range extends down to the coast of northern Florida.


These snakes are highly aquatic, and prefers slow moving or still waterways such as swamps, marches, lakes, ponds, ditches, and rivers. They are rarely encountered outside of the water, and frequently are seen under logs or debris in water. They can be found in crayfish burrows as well.

Eastern Glossy Swampsnake Map Range

They can only be found in New Kent County


The main food for these snakes are crayfish, leading to them getting their name Crayfish Snake. They can have other prey such as small fishes, salamanders, frogs, and other arthropods.

Reproduction and Young


Mating season starts in early May to late June. And then they give birth in the late summer or early fall. These snakes do not lay eggs, but rather has live births.

Eggs and Young

They give birth between 6 to 14 young per birth. The young will have the same coloration as the adults but will be a pinkish color. The juveniles tend to be 6 to 7 inches long when born.

Small Child holding a Eastern Glossy Swampsnake

These snakes are skittish, and when holding they prefer to run away rather than attack.

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