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Seminatrix is a genus of colubrid snakes. There is a single species in the genus, the swamp snake (Seminatrix pygaea) with three subspecies:

Subspecies


Seminatrix
  • South Florida swamp snake, Seminatrix pygaea cyclas Dowling, 1950
  • Carolina swamp snake, Seminatrix pygaea paludis Dowling, 1950
  • North Florida swamp snake, Seminatrix pygaea pygaea (Cope, 1871)

Geographic range


Seminatrix

Swamp snakes are found in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida on the east coast of the United States. They prefer swampland habitat that is heavily vegetated.

Description



Seminatrix are small, thin snakes, usually 25â€"38 cm (10-15 in.) long; the record size (reported for S. pygaea) was 55 cm (22 in). They are uniformly black, with a bright orange or red belly.

Behavior & diet



Swamp snakes are almost entirely aquatic. They spend most of their time hiding among dense vegetation in tannic cypress swamps. They feed on small fish, tadpoles, frogs, salamanders, sirens, amphiumas, and invertebrates, such as leeches and earthworms.

Reproduction



Seminatrix are ovoviviparous, giving birth to live young directly in shallow water. Unlike many snakes, female Seminatrix feed actively while gravid, suggesting that they may pass nutrients directly on to the young. Broods of 11 to 13 have been observed. Newborns are 11â€"14 cm (4¼-5â…œ in.).

References


Seminatrix
  • Florida Museum of Natural History: Online Guide to the Snakes of Florida
  • "Black Snakes": Identification and Ecology - University of Florida fact sheet

Seminatrix

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