A snake with a royal name may make you think it’s special or out of the ordinary, but queen snakes are actually quite common. They are one of many snakes found in Will County, and they are often seen near water.
Queen snakes aren’t poisonous. In fact, none of the snakes that live in Will County are. Queen snakes rarely bite, but they will spray feces and a bad-smelling fluid when they are caught.
Here's some more interesting information about these slithering snakes:
Queen snakes grow to be between 15 inches and 24 inches long. They are grayish, brown or olive green on their backs, but their bellies are yellow or cream. They also have a yellow or cream-colored stripe running along each side. The yellow stripes on their side are the easiest way to identify them.
These snakes have seven stripes in all, but you can usually only see two. In addition to the two yellow stripes on their sides, they have a very dark stripe on their back and four thin brown stripes on their belly.
Queen snakes live in and around water. You will find them in rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, canals and marshes. When they aren’t in the water, you’ll often see queen snakes sunning themselves on rocks and logs in and around the water.
How the queen snake got its name isn’t known. It is thought that it may have come from its scientific name, Regina septemvittata. In Latin, regina means “queen.”
These snakes mainly eat crayfish. They prefer crayfish that have just molted, meaning that they have shed their hard outer shells. They also sometimes eat tadpoles and small fish.
Queen snakes have a good sense of smell, which they use to help them find food.
Some snakes lay eggs, but queen snakes give birth to live babies. They usually have between 10 and 12 babies at once, but they can have as many as 30. The babies live independently from their parents.