Western Mud snake: (Farancia abacura reinwardtii)
Western mud snakes (farancia abacura reinwardtii), are members of the colubridae family, and average in size between 36 to 52 inches long, with the record being 74 inches long.
Western mud snakes have large, thick bodies. Their coloring mainly consists of a shiny or glossy black with an iridescent blue tint in the sunlight, with the ends of 50 or less pink to red lines extending from its belly onto its sides. They have a black and red checkered board pattern on their belly. The head is oval shaped and the neck is distinctive and thick. Their iris is red and pupils are around. The tip of their tail ends with a pointed, horny scale. Although the majority of the eastern mud snakes scales are smooth, there are some keeled scales above the cloaca.
Western mud snakes are found throughout Florida, except for the Keys. Their preferred habitats include areas such as streams, cypress swamps, drainage ditches, rivers, ponds, marshes and lakes that have dense vegetation or under ground debris, primarily areas near fresh water sources.
Western mud are carnivores, primarily consume amphibious that include salamanders, frogs, and sometimes fish.
Western mud snakes are nocturnal, but its not uncommon to see them during the day. They are known to be one of the most docile snakes in Florida. When this snake is handled by humans, it will not bite you, but it will press its small pointed tail tip against your hand in an attempt for you to release it, making them completely harmless. They have also known to integrate with the eastern mud snake, in the western parts of the panhandle.