Kentucky Snake Identification
Kentucky Snake Identification

Southeastern Crowned Snake (Tantilla coronata)

Southeastern Crowned Snake (Tantilla coronata)

Southeastern Crowned Snake (Tantilla coronata)
Southeastern Crowned Snake (Tantilla coronata)

Geographic Region Information for the Southeastern Crowned Snake (Tantilla coronata)

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Southeastern Crowned Snakes have slender, unpatterned bodies that vary from tan to dark brown in color. The belly is often white, yellowish or pink. A black or dark brown “crown” is apparent on the head and a dark-colored collar is found on the neck.  Their scales are smooth, leading to a shiny appearance, and the anal plate is divided.


Southeastern crowned snakes rarely exceed 12 inches in total length.


Found primarily in western Kentucky, these secretive snakes inhabit woodlands. Individuals can be found in leaf-litter and under logs. 

Natural History

Southeastern Crowned Snakes mate during early spring and females lay small clutches (1-3) of eggs during June or July. Southeastern crowned snakes primarily eat insects, spiders, centipedes and other small invertebrates. They are primarily nocturnal. 


Southeastern Crowned Snakes are rear-fanged and have venom glands, although the effectiveness of their venom to subdue prey is questionable. They are completely harmless to humans, rarely attempting to bite. The Southeastern Crowned Snake is considered a “Species of Greatest Conservation Need” by Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.