What type of snake

Asked September 15, 2018, 11:01 AM EDT

I found this snake in the yard. Want to make sure it isn’t a copperhead

Columbia County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Thank you for your question. The snake in your photograph is an adult northern brown snake, scientific name (Storeria dekayi dekayi). It is a non-venomous species. Typical length is approximately 12 inches, and maximum length is approximately 18 inches.

This species has several subspecies. Their range extends from portions of Maine south to Florida, west to Texas and north to South Dakota. They are found in both hardwood and pine forests, elevated dry areas of swamps and margins of wetlands. They are also commonly found in garden beds underneath mulch, pine straw or leaf litter.

They feed primarily on earthworms and slugs, but they also feed on insects, spiders, snails (they pull the snail out of its shell before consuming them) and small salamanders.

Check out the PA Herp website to find out more about this species at:


An excellent field guide for snakes in your area is:

Gibbons, Whit. (2017). Snakes Of The Eastern United States. Athens: The University of Georgia Press.

I hope this answers your question, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.