Rainbow snakes feed on eels, hence their name eel moccasin.
A man in Florida spotted and recorded a video of a rainbow snake (Farancia erytrogramma) in North Florida, in Clay County’s Black Creek near what sounds like a road or highway. The man, Thomas Leo Holloway, posted a video of the reptile first swimming in water and then crawling onto the sand. Holloway posted the clip on the Unseen Florida Facebook page.
“Spotted a rainbow snake this weekend. I’ve lived my whole life in North FL (41) years and this is the first one I’ve ever seen, Holloway wrote on the social media site. The comments were nothing short of fantastic.
From the Facebook Post:
Chantz Chick: An absolute unicorn, go play the lottery, what a lucky find
Haley Perry: You lucky duck!!! It’s a dream to see an indigo or a rainbow and oh my gosh look how beautiful!!
Bill Phillips: I caught one when I was 13 years old. Live Oak, Fl – Suwannee County in a spring at the mouth of it and the Suwannee. It was eating a dead gar. It was the most amazing, large snake I had handled. It was ever aggressive with me. It was like holding a 5 ½” earthworm. I wish I would have taken pictures with it. I played with it, showed it off for an hour or so and released it.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute reported in 2020 first documented sighting of a rainbow snake in the Ocala National Forest since 1969.Hiker Tracey Cauthen reported and captured photos of the snake while hiking in the Ocala National Forest. The Florida Museum of Natural History confirmed it to be first record of this species in Marion County since 1969.
Rainbow Snake Information
The rainbow snake, also known as the eel moccasin, is a non-venomous colubrid snake that is primarily aquatic and feeds on eels, frogs, tadpoles and other amphibians. In addition to being a strong swimmer, the reptile is a proficient burrower as well. It grows to about 36-48 inches (91–122 cm) in length, with larger specimens reaching up to 66 inches (168 cm). They are said to inhabit tidal mud flats, creeks, lakes and marshes. A subspecies, the south Florida rainbow snake (Farancia erytrogramma seminola), was declared extinct in 2011. That population lived in the Lake Okeechobee region in southern Florida before it disappeared.