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Fragile Legacy


Endangered, Threatened & Rare Animals of South Dakota


Lined Snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum)


JPG--lined snake photo species distribution map
Status: State Endangered

Description: This species is a small (8-15 inches, 200-400 mm) snake that resembles the garter snake. It has a variable colored, light stripe running down the middle of its back with stripes along the sides. Two rows of black, crescent shaped blotches run the entire length of animal's white underside.

Habitat and Habits: This species is a nocturnal snake found in a variety of habitats, including open prairies, woodland edges, sparsely wooded areas, vacant lots and residential areas. The lined snake hides under rocks, logs, trash and other cover during the day. If captured, it will rarely bite, but may instead release a smelly musk from glands at the base of its tail.

The female lined snake produces one litter of 2-12 young per breeding season. This snake is active from April to October or November, especially after a rain. It feeds primarily on earthworms.

Distribution: The lined snake occurs in the southern Great Plains from Texas north to Nebraska, South Dakota and lowa. Disjunct populations are present in the southwestern and central portions of the United States. In South Dakota, it has been documented in Clay, Minnehaha and Union Counties.

Conservation Measures: Lined snake habitat is lost through conversion for other uses.


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