Kirtland’s Snake

Clonophis kirtlandii
Species of Conservation Concern

Colubridae (nonvenomous snakes) in the order Squamata (lizards and snakes)


A reddish brown snake with two rows of dark spots along each side and a pink to red belly with a row of black spots on each side.


Length: 14 to 18 inches.

Habitat and conservation

This small, hard to find, poorly known species is known from only a few states in the Midwest. It uses mainly crayfish burrows in grassland habitats that are damp and adjacent to a river, creek, or wetland. Due to loss of native grasslands, this species is extremely rare in our state.


Earthworms and slugs; occasionally crayfish and small minnows.

Kirtland's Snake Distribution Map
Distribution in Missouri

Restricted to a few counties along the Mississippi River in the northeast corner of the state.


A Species of Conservation Concern; critically imperiled in Missouri, imperiled globally.