Growing to no more than 18 inches in length, the rare Kirtland’s snake (Clonophis kirtlandii) is threatened or endangered in all four states that it calls home. It’s found only in Illinois, southern Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Little is known about this shy, reclusive reptile, which flattens itself and strikes repeatedly, but harmlessly when threatened. The non-venomous Kirtland’s snake isn’t known to bite humans who handle it.
Because Kirtland’s is such a wee little chap, prey items are tiny as well. This snake feeds upon small slugs and earthworms.
Related to garter and water snakes, the Kirtland’s resides in wetland habitats that support crawfish populations. Experts believe that this snake favors former crawfish burrows for homesteading throughout the warmer months and hibernating during winter. These hidey holes are dark and damp -- just the kind of conditions that appeal to lovers of water sports. They’re also convenience stores specializing in the Kirtland’s snake’s favorite cuisine.