Farancia is a genus of colubrid snakes. It consists of two species, one commonly referred to as the rainbow snake and the other commonly referred to as the mud snake. They are native to the eastern half of the United States.
Adult specimens of Farancia species are usually to 36-54 inches (92-137 cm) in total length (including tail). They are usually dark brown or black dorsally, with a brightly colored underside that is red or orange. Rainbow snakes exhibit red striping down their backs.
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The snakes of this genus are typically semi-aquatic, living in the muddy edges of slow moving, permanent water sources.
Their diet consists primarily of amphiumas, eels, and sirens.
Breeding occurs in early spring, and eggs are laid in a burrow near the water in early summer. The clutch incubates between 8â"12 weeks, and hatches in mid-autumn.
Species and subspecies
- Farancia abacura - Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky.
- eastern mud snake, Farancia abacura abacura (Holbrook, 1836)
- western mud snake, Farancia abacura reinwardtii (Schlegel, 1837)
- Farancia erytrogramma - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.
- rainbow snake, Farancia erytrogramma erytrogramma (Palisot de Beauvois, 1802)
- Florida rainbow snake, Farancia erytrogramma seminola (Neill, 1964)
- Gray JE. 1842. Monographic Synopsis of the Water Snakes, or the Family HYDRIDÃ. Zoological Miscellany : 59-68. (Farancia, new genus, p. 68).
- Herps of Texas: Farancia abacura
- Genus Farancia at The Reptile Database