The brown snake of eastern North and Central America occupies a range of habitats, from highland woods to salt-water marshes -in fact, anywhere with plenty of loose stones or other debris for it to hide beneath.
Brown snakes are not entirely brown, having a yellow or pink belly and often a grey or yellow upper body. Two rows of black spots sometimes run along the sides of the body. Brown snakes kill by constriction. If threatened, they release a pungent liquid from their rear opening.
The brown snake spends most of its time underground. It hibernates through winter, often sharing its nest with other snakes, such as smooth green snakes and garter snakes. Mating takes place in spring, soon after the snakes emerge from their nests. The female produces a pheromone to attract males; a male will taste her with his tongue to check that she is the right species before mating.
Distribution: Southern Canada to Honduras.
Habitat: Rocky areas, wetlands, woodland and cities.
Food: Earthworms and other soft-bodied invertebrates, including slugs and snails.
Size: 25 - 52 cm (10 - 20.5 in).
Maturity: 2 years.
Breeding: 10 - 20 young born in late summer.
Life span: 7 years.