Storeria - from the Latin eri meaning very and steira meaning keel, referring to its keeled scales

dekayi - named in honour of the 19th century New York naturalist, James Edward De Kay

The brown snake, Storeria dekayi, has eight sub-species, but only one is found in Canada: the northern brown snake, Storeria dekayi dekayi. The sub-species are not well defined and wide zones of interbreeding occurs between them where their ranges overlap.