Wild Ohio - Northern Brownsnake

Oct. 12, 2013

Wild Ohio takes a look at one of Ohio's common but secretive little snakes, the northern brownsnake.


Northern Brownsnake


midland brown snake

Ohio is inhabited by a mixed population of Northern and midland brownsnakes. Interbreeding between these subspecies occurs rather frequently, resulting in the intergrade brown snake, Storerian dekayi dekayi x wrightorum, which may possess the combined characteristics of both parents.
Northern Bown Snake
Storeria dekayi dekayi


Length: 9 - 13 inches

Number of offspring : 3-31

Typical Foods: earthworms, snails, and slugs


The Northern and midland brownsnakes are almost identical in coloration. Both have two rows of dark sports running down the back. On the midland brown snake, these spots are connected by dark crossbands. The midland brownsnake has 176 or more ventral and subcaudal scales; the northern brownsnake has 175 or fewer.

Habitat and Habits
Brownsnakes never bite when captured. Their only real defense is the musk glands which they freely exercise when first captured. These common but secretive little snakes are often encountered hiding under stones, logs, old boards, and other such debris, where they feed extensively on snails, slugs, worms, and soft-bodied insects.

Reproduction and Care of the Young
These snakes do not lay eggs. When the young are born in the summer, there is no parental care involved.

For another interesting video regarding another one of Ohio's small and secretive snakes, 
The Smooth Greensnake - A Closer Look