Farancia abacura Photo Stacia Hetrick ©
A large, shiny snake, jet black on the back with reddish or pinkish bars on the underside that sometimes extend onto the sides. They can grow to a length of 2.1 meters (6.9 feet). The tip of the tail has an enlarged, sharply pointed scale.
Mud snakes are found in most shallow freshwater habitats. They prefer areas with dense aquatic vegetation, including marshes, swamps, irrigation canals, and cypress stands.
Mud snakes are unusual in that they are one of the few colubrid species that remain at the nest and tend the eggs. Mud snakes build underground flask-shaped nests, which have been found to contain 11 to 104 eggs. Though it is not known for sure, herpetologists strongly suspect the large number of eggs in a single nest may be the product of more than one female; in other words, mud snakes may nest communally.
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