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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Subordo: Serpentes
Infraordo: Caenophidia
Superfamilia: Colubroidea

Familia: Dipsadidae
Subfamilia: Heterodontinae
Genus: Farancia
Species: F. abacura – F. erytrogramma
Farancia Gray, 1842

Farancia is a genus of colubrid snakes. It consists of two species, one commonly referred to as the rainbow snake (F. erytrogramma) and the other commonly referred to as the mud snake (F. abacura). Both species are native to the southeastern United States.


Adult specimens of Farancia species are usually to 36-54 inches (92–137 cm) in total length (including tail).[1] They are usually dark brown or black dorsally, with a brightly colored underside that is red or orange. Rainbow snakes exhibit red striping down their backs.

The body of Farancia species is cylindrical, robust, and muscular. The smooth, shiny, and iridescent dorsal scales are arranged in 19 rows at midbody. The tail is short, ending in a spine.[2]

Snakes of the genus Farancia are semiaquatic, living in the muddy edges of slow moving, permanent water sources.

The diet of Farancia species consists primarily of amphiumas, eels, and sirens.

In Farancia breeding occurs in early spring, and eggs are laid in a burrow near the water in early summer. The clutch incubates between 8–12 weeks, and hatches in mid-autumn.
Species and subspecies

Farancia abacura - Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Farancia abacura abacura (Holbrook, 1836) – eastern mud snake
Farancia abacura reinwardtii (Schlegel, 1837) – western mud snake
Farancia erytrogramma - Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
Farancia erytrogramma erytrogramma (Palisot de Beauvois, 1802) – rainbow snake
Farancia erytrogramma seminola (Neill, 1964) – Florida rainbow snake


Conant R (1975). A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Second Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. xviii + 429 pp. + Plates 1-48. ISBN 0-395-19979-4 (hardcover), ISBN 0-395-19977-8 (paperback). (Farancia, pp. 176-177 + Plate 25 + Maps 137-138).

Smith, Hobart M.; Brodie, Edmund D., Jr. (1982). Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. New York: Golden Press. 240 pp. ISBN 0-307-13666-3. (Genus Farancia, pp. 162-163).

Further reading

Goin CJ, Goin OB, Zug GR (1978). Introduction to Herpetology, Third Edition. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company. xi + 378 pp. ISBN 0-7167-0020-4. (Genus Farancia, p. 323).
Gray JE (1842). "Monographic Synopsis of the Water Snakes, or the Family HYDRIDÆ". Zoological Miscellany [2]: 59–68. (Farancia, new genus, p. 68).


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