- Divided anal plate.
- Keeled dorsal scales in 15 rows at midbody.
- Belly is typically red, though some populations have orange or yellow bellies instead of red.
No black markings on its belly.
Dorsum is a plain brown or reddish brown, with a few individuals having a series of four faint dark stripes.
Narrow dark stripes may occasionally be reduced to a series of dark spots.
Often three light colored spots along the nape of the neck, with the spots being fused together as a collar in some individuals.
Additionally, there is a white spot found on the upper labials below the eye, for which the species name occipitomaculata is named.
Adult Storeria occipitomaculata are relatively small snakes, typically measuring 20-25.5 cm (8-10 in) in length.
Storeria occipitomaculata is found across much of the eastern portions of the U.S., including the Midwestern states which drain into the Mississippi River valley.
In the moist habitats where the red-bellied brownsnake is found, there generally are many slugs and worms that make up the majority of its prey. Storeria occipitomaculata is non-venomous and poses no danger to humans handling it. It does have a remarkable bluff against would-be predators in that it plays dead, rolling onto its back and flattening portions of its body, feigning injury.
A live bearing snake, Storeria occipitomaculata bears up to 23 snakes per litter between the months of June and September, with the young usually measuring 6-10 cm (2.5-4 in).
The distribution of Storeria occipitomaculata is spotty in Texas, found only in the wetter woody areas in the eastern part of the state.
The red-bellied brownsnake is not a protected species in Texas and can be legally collected with a hunting license.
The single subspecies of Storeria occipitomaculata found in Texas, S. o. obscura, is restricted to the piney woods along the extreme eastern edge of the state.