It's time for today's edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!

It's time for today's edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!

It's time for today's edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!

Here's our pick for the fourth rarest snake in Virginia: Tantilla coronata, the southeastern crowned snake!

The southeastern crowned snake is a little guy, averaging between eight and ten inches in length, and like all the snakes we're looking at this week, it's harmless -- if handled, it won't even bite (although it may release a foul-smelling musk all over your hands, which isn't exactly a stroll through the tulips).

These snakes are generally found in dry pine forests with decaying logs and stumps, and all specimens that have been found in Virginia have been found underneath rocks or decaying wood. However, they're not all that easy to find in Virginia. These snakes have an unusual distribution -- their range map looks a bit like someone fired a shotgun at the southeastern U.S., with most of the pellets hitting South Carolina and Mississippi. In Virginia, they mostly occur in the south-central portion of the state, with individuals having been recorded in the counties of Henry, Pittsylvania, Franklin, Amherst, Bedford, Campbell, and Halifax (and also Isle of Wight out on the coast, just to keep things interesting).

The southeastern crowned snake is nocturnal and secretive, so not a whole lot is known about them in Virginia, although it is beginning to appear that they're slightly more widespread than was first thought. As with so many species, the biggest challenge these little guys face is habitat destruction.

Thank you to the Virginia Herpetological Society ( for the use of this photo, which was taken by Paul Sattler.

ABOUT #BenInNature
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends. This series of posts is made possible thanks to the support of VMNH Corporate Partner Carter Bank & Trust (

If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!

map of Virginia and surrounding areas

Please Visit Us Soon


Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 4pm
Sunday - Monday: Closed


$10 for ages 18-59
$5 for ages 3-17, seniors 60+, and college students
FREE for children under 3, museum members, and members of ASTC participating institutions

My 4 year old son loves going to the museum. The exhibits are educational, interactive and kid-friendly.

Beth Deathrage

Hear More  arrow