This Striped Crayfish Snake is Not an Astronaut, 08 February 2015

Liodytes alleni, the Striped crayfish snake;
Brevard county, Florida (08 February 2015).

The Striped crayfish snake, Liodytes alleni (previously and alternatively classified as Regina alleni), is a slick and reclusive little serpent. Averaging around a foot and a half in length as adults, this species spends the vast majority of its time in water, lurking among the tangled tapestries of aquatic vegetation where it hunts for its preferred prey, the crayfish (hence the clever common name).

Though quite water-bound, Striped crayfish snakes can and often do hit open land after heavy rains. Like many other mostly-aquatic snake species in Florida, a good, heavy thunderstorm seems to lure them out onto open ground and, unfortunately, upon open roads. I found this Striped crayfish snake lurking near a canal shoreline and vast wet prairie in Brevard county — not too far from Kennedy Space Center.

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