Snakes come in a variety of forms and color combinations. Black and white are two of the most abundant colors found on snakes. Most snakes have white or yellow-white or another pale color on their ventral sides, while their dorsal sides have darker colors. This is due to the ventral side getting very little sunlight. In the case of black, they appear as patches or patterns in some snakes but can also be uniform in a few species of snakes. This is a list of 15 such black snakes with white bellies.
15 Black Snakes with White Bellies
1) Black Rat Snake
One of the most prominent black snakes with white bellies is the Black Rat Snake. This nonvenomous species of snake subdues its prey by constriction. These snakes are very popular as pets around the world.
The black rat snake has glossy, uniform black dorsal scales and a completely white ventral side in adulthood. Its lips, chin, and throat are also white. As juveniles, these snakes are gray with brown patches. They darken as they grow older.
- Common Name: Western Rat Snake, Pilot Black Snake, Black Snake, Black Chicken Snake
- Scientific name: Pantherophis obsoletus
- Size: 106 – 183 cm (42 – 72 in)
- Location: Central North America
2) Southern Black Racer
Southern Black Racers are nonvenomous and a subspecies of the Eastern Racers. These snakes move very fast, leading to their name as racers.
Southern black racers look quite similar to the Black Rat Snake and the Texas Indigo Snake. They are uniformly jet black on the dorsal side. Their belly, throat, and chin are white. Though these snakes are not dangerous, they are often mistaken for the venomous Cottonmouth and killed by humans.
- Scientific name: Coluber constrictor priapus
- Size: 51 – 142 cm (20 – 56 in)
- Location: Southeastern United States
3) Long-Nosed Snake
The Long-Nosed Snake is another nonvenomous species on our list of black snakes with white bellies. These nocturnal snakes are very reserved and get frightened easily. When stressed or threatened, they release a foul-smelling musk and blood as a defense mechanism.
The long-nosed snake has primarily three colors. They have white or cream, or pale yellow as a background color on the whole body. The dorsal side is red with black patterns that don’t reach the ventral side.
- Scientific name: Rhinocheilus lecontei
- Size: 56 – 81 cm (22 – 32 in)
- Location: Mexico, Southwestern United States
4) Slender Quill-Snouted Snake
The first venomous entry on this list of black snakes with white bellies list is the Slender Quill-Snouted Snake. These snakes are found primarily in the African continent. As of yet, they have six recognized subspecies.
The slender quill-snouted snake has a considerably small and thin head with a pointed mouth. The back of the snake is smooth and completely black, while the belly side is white. The lip, chin, and throat are also white.
- Scientific name: Xenocalamus bicolor
- Size: 43 cm (17 in)
- Location: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Namibia, Republic of South Africa, Zimbabwe
5) Speckled Kingsnake
The Speckled Kingsnake is nonvenomous and native to the central and southern United States. These kingsnakes like to inhabit damp areas where they prey on rodents, birds, frogs, and lizards by constriction. They shake their tails like rattlesnakes when threatened.
The speckled kingsnake gets its name from the dot markings on the dorsal side of its body. These dots are white-yellow, which is also the color of the ventral side. The dorsal side is otherwise black.
- Common Name: Salt and Pepper Snake
- Scientific name: Lampropeltis holbrooki
- Size: 120 – 180 cm (48 – 72 in)
- Location: the United States
6) Laotian Wolf Snake
Laotian Wolf Snakes are mild-mannered, nonvenomous snakes endemic to Asia. They are ground dwellers and are active during the night. Because of their similar appearances, Laotian wolf snakes are often mistaken for the Banded Kraits, which are venomous.
The Laotian wolf snakes have shiny, black scales on the dorsal side, with thin stripes of bright yellow which bifurcate at the edges. There are also small patches of white around the edges. The ventral side is completely white.
- Scientific name: Lycodon laoensis
- Size: 51 cm (20 in)
- Location: India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Pakistan
7) Barred Grass Snake
The Barred Grass Snake is a recently separated species native to Europe. They are nonvenomous and very good swimmers, adapted to the wet ecosystem. They primarily feed on common toads, common frogs, and other amphibians.
The dorsal side of the barred grass snake is dark gray with tinges of green. There are also black markings along the edges of the body. They have pale-colored bellies, white or pale yellow. The snakes also have distinct black and a yellow collar around its neck.
- Scientific name: Natrix helvetica
- Size: 90 – 150 cm (35 – 59 in)
- Location: France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Switzerland
8) Pine Snake
The Pine Snake is nonvenomous and endemic to the southwestern states of the United States. They are harmless to humans but hiss and rattle their tails when disturbed. The specific name of the pine snakes indicates their coloration.
“Melano” is Latin for black, and “leucos” means white, which describes their black and white body. Some subspecies of the pine snakes have a lighter color, and some have the primary black and white with patches of brown.
- Common Name: Common Pine Snake, Bullsnake, Black and White Snake, Carpet Snake, Chicken Snake, Common Bullsnake, Eastern Bullsnake, Eastern Pine Snake, Horn Snake, New Jersey Pine Snake, North American Pine Snake, Northern Pine Snake, Pilot Snake, White Gopher Snake
- Scientific name: Pituophis melanoleucus
- Size: 120 – 230 cm (48 – 90 in)
- Location: United States
9) Malayan Krait
The next venomous snake on this list of black snakes with white bellies is the Malayan Krait. The venom of this snake is quite potent, with a mortality rate of 60-70% for untreated victims. Only 1 mg of its venom can be lethal for a human of 75 kg.
The Malayan Krait has pale yellow as the background color on the dorsal side. There are 27 – 34 crossbands, the color of which ranges from black to dark brown, patterned over the yellow. The entire underside of the snake is completely white.
- Common Name: Blue Krait
- Scientific name: Bungarus candidus
- Size: 109 cm (43 in)
- Location: Southeast Asia
10) Collared Snake Eater
Collared Snake Eater is a venomous species of snake found in Africa. They are terrestrial and nocturnal in nature. These snakes belong to the family Atractaspididae, also known as Mole Vipers.
The dorsal side of the collared snake eater is smooth-scaled and dark-colored, with a combination of black, olive, and gray. A yellow-white color covers the entirety of its ventral side. The head is distinctly colored with an orange-brown hue, along with a black smudge over the eyes. There is also a black band on the neck, leading to its name.
- Scientific name: Polemon collaris
- Size: 55 cm (22 in)
- Location: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda
11) Cape Wolf Snake
The Cape wolf snake has a fairly thick body. The color of the entire dorsal side is completely black with white or pale yellow dots patterned on it. The ventral side is uniformly either white or pale yellow in color.
- Scientific name: Lycophidion capense
- Size: 40 – 64 cm (16 – 25 in)
- Location: Africa
12) Gray Rat Snake
The Gray Rat Snake, as its name suggests, is a gray-colored snake. But it also has copious amounts of black on its back. There are consistent black patterns on the gray skin of the dorsal side.
The underside of the snake is white with black spots. As juveniles, this snake has brown instead of black, which darkens with time.
Like the other rat snakes, the gray rat snakes are also nonvenomous. They also have the same behavioral pattern of staying motionless when surprised.
- Common Name: Central Ratsnake, Chicken Snake, Midland Rat Snake, Pilot Black Snake
- Scientific name: Pantherophis spiloides
- Size: 99 – 183 cm (39 – 72 in)
- Location: Canada, United States
13) Common Kingsnake
Though Common Kingsnakes are rather harmless themselves, they feed on venomous snakes like Copperheads, Coral Snakes, and Rattlesnakes. They are also coveted among reptile collectors.
The common kingsnake is quite big and has black-colored dorsum with thin white bands. The ventral side is white. Though in some subspecies, the ventral side is beige.
- Common Name: Eastern Kingsnake, Chain Kingsnake, Bastard Horn Snake, Black Moccasin, Cow Sucker, Horse Racer, Master Snake, Oakleaf Rattler, Pied Snake
- Scientific name: Lampropeltis getula
- Size: 107 – 208 cm (42 – 82 in)
- Location: Mexico, the United States
14) Suzhen’s Krait
Suzhen’s Krait is a recently identified species named after the Chinese snake goddess, Bai Su Zhen. These snakes have been observed in captivity, where they preferred to eat Asian swamp eels and yellow-spotted keelback water snakes over frogs and mice.
The dorsal side of the snake has black scales with pale yellow or white lining the edges and often entering the dorsum. The ventral side is uniform in color and is either white or pale yellow.
- Scientific name: Bungarus suzhenae
- Size: 100 – 150 cm (39 – 59 in)
- Location: China, Myanmar
15) Stiletto Snake
We’ll conclude the list of black snakes with white bellies with the Stiletto Snake. Endemic to Africa, these venomous snakes are extremely dangerous. Their venom causes severe pain and swelling as well as necrosis and lymphadenopathy. They are very aggressive and prone to biting even when caught by the neck.
The dorsal side of the stiletto snake has uniform color and ranges from black to brown to gray. The ventral side is white or very pale yellow and also uniform in color.
- Common Name: Southern Stiletto Snake, Bibron’s Stiletto Snake, Side-Stabbing Snake
- Scientific name: Atractaspis bibronii
- Size: 30 – 40 cm (12 – 16 in)
- Location: Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda
Most of the black snakes with white bellies are nonvenomous and well-tempered. But the venomous ones can be rather aggressive. Some of these black snakes with white bellies are also very popular among pet owners and reptile collectors.
For now, this is it. We’ll be back with more exciting topics soon, and in the meantime, there are plenty of other informative articles to read here.
Anamika has a fascination with all living things. Being a Zoology student, she loves to know new interesting things about animals. She’s also a very keen fan of manga and anime. Writing is her passion, and writing about her favorite things is her boost of serotonin.