Red-bellied Snakes are small snakes, between 4 and 6 inches in length. They are brown, reddish-brown, or gray in color, with a narrow neck and small head. Their upperparts may have 3 to 4 dark stripes that run along the length of the body. This coloration makes them difficult to see in leaf litter and on soil. The chin and throat are white but the belly is usually bright red, though it can range from pinkish to yellowish, or even gray. There are several white spots along the neck that may fuse to form a white collar. Their scales are keeled (with a ridge along the length of the scale) and males and females are similar in size, though males have slightly longer tails. Young Red-bellied Snakes range in length from 1/2 to 1 inch and tend to have brighter, more contrasting colors than do adults.