- Undivided anal plate.
- Smooth dorsal scales in 19 rows at midbody.
- Grey or white background color with 17-24 deep red blotches, with each blotch bordered by black pigment along the spine.
The ventral surface is white and unmarked.
Northern scarletsnakes (Cemophora coccinea copei) are usually 35-51 cm (14-20 in) in length, with Texas scarletsnakes (C. c. lineri) reaching up to 66 cm (26 in).
Scarletsnakes are found from New Jersey, along the Atlantic Coast to Florida, and west to Texas and Oklahoma
Scarlet snakes can be constrictors, taking small lizards and snakes at times, preferring instead to feed on reptile eggs. They can feed on such eggs by swallowing them whole or by cracking the shell with specialized teeth in the back of their jaw.
Clutches of eggs, ranging in size from 3-8, are laid in mid-summer and newly hatched young measuring 12-15 cm (5-6 in) in length.
Northern scarletsnakes prefer soft, sandy or loamy soils for burrowing, occurring in forested areas as well as open areas such as agricultural fields and along borders of swamps and stream banks. Texas scarletsnakes are rarely encountered animals, found mainly in sandy thickets along the Gulf Coast. Occassionaly scarletsnakes are dug up from as deep as 2 meters (6 ft) during the construction of foundations or ditches for pipelines.
Both subspecies of Cemophora coccinea are listed as threatened by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and are protected in the state of Texas.
In Texas, Cemophora c. copei is found along the east Texas border and C. c. lineri is found along the southern Gulf Coast from Matagora County to Kennedy County and inland to Jim Hogg and Brooks Counties.