Red Coffee Snake (Ninia sebae)

Red Coffee Snake or Redbacked Coffee Snake

The red coffee snake is found as far North as Mexico and South as Costa Rica. It lives under leaf litter and eats slugs, snails and other mollusks. It’s main predators are coral snakes. It can be found in agricultural areas, humid lowland forests and dry savannas, primary and secondary forests alike.

We had previously mis-identified this as a baby mussurana because they look very similar. It was not until a professional herpetologist verified that this was indeed a red coffee snake that we knew for sure.

The snake pictured was found on our farm (2013) at approximately 50 meters above sea level during the day even though the book says that this snake is nocturnal. This snake appears much more pink than other pictures we’ve seen of it online.

Red coffee snake
Red coffee snake long
Ninia sebae
Ninia sebae
Ninia sebae
Ninia sebae


2 comments on “Red Coffee Snake (Ninia sebae)”

  1. David Reply

    Thank You for the extremely useful information. One of these just crawled up on my porch. He’s a young one, just like in your pictures. I thought he was probably a young coral snake, and caught him in a jar. I searched the internet, and only found one other picture that matched him – incorrectly shown under my search for “young coral snake” images. He almost got a death sentence right there, but the lack of a clear caption inspired me to search for another half-hour. Needless to say, he has just been granted his liberty, with a full apology for the time spent captive in a glass jar. As we have a definite viper problem here, I hope that he and his family stick around a while. If you get a chance, could you please post some pictures of the adult version?

    Again, Thank You! Sorry to keep my email a secret, but I’m a pretty private person really.

    Best Wishes,


  2. Cindy Reply

    What a little beauty! I particularly like the shot of it curled about the branch..

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