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Northern Brown Snake

(Storeria dekayi)
Size: Up to 13"  
Seasons: Spring-Fall. 
Habitat: Vacant lots, gardens, other un-mowed green spaces. 
Brown with rows of small spots down back, sides, forming checker pattern. Sometimes light stripe on back. 

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Eastern Garter Snake

(Thamnophis sirtalis)

Size: Up to 36" 

Seasons: Spring-Fall

Habitat: Generally near water, but sometimes away from water in larger greenspaces and immediate neighborhoods. 


Northern Water Snake

(Nerodia sipedon) 
Size: Up to 36", Chunky
Seasons: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Bodies of water throughout Philadelphia
Description: Thick snake with brick-red blotches on gray background, sometimes pattern fades to solid brown color.


Five-Lined Skink

(Plestiodon fasciatus)
Size: About 6"
Seasons: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Open terrain along the Delaware River
Description: Length-wise yellow stripes on darker background. Youngsters and females have bright blue tail. Pattern fades in big males.


Common Snapping Turtle

(Chelydra serpentina)
Size: shell to 18" 
Seasons: Spring-Fall
Habitat: Bodies of water throughout Philadelphia
Description: Big, gnarly, tank of a turtle with large head, big claws, and long, serrated tail.


Red-Eared Slider

(Trachemys scripta)

Size: Shell to 10"

Seasons: Spring-Fall

Habitat: Bodies of water throughout Philadelphia. 

Description: Very basic turtle with red stripe along side of head, though it can fade in old turtles.

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Painted Turtle

(Chrysemys picta)

Size: Shell to 8"

Seasons: Spring-Fall

Habitat: Slow bodies of water throughout Philadelphia

Description: Flat, dark turtle with bright red and yellow markings along edge of shell and on skin. Committed basker.

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Red-Bellied Turtle (Cooter)

(Pseudemys rubriventris)

Size: Shell to 12"

Seasons: Spring-Fall

Habitat: Bodies of water throughout Philadelphia. 

Description: Dark, almost-black turtles. Network of yellow lines on skin fade in older turtles. Red plastron (lower shell) sometimes visible when basking.

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Box Turtle

(Terrapene carolina)

Size: 5"-8"

Seasons: Spring-Fall

Habitat: Scarce in Philadelphia forests and meadows

Description: Round, domed carapace (upper shell) and a hinged plastron (lower shell). Usually dark brown with orange or yellow markings.

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Reptiles: Team

One video, ALL THE SNAKES. Sandi and Billy talk about our legless neighbors and how to welcome them.

Reptiles: Video
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