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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Western Fox Snake (Elaphe vulpina)




Western Fox Snake | Elaphe vulpina photo
Eastern Fox Snake (Elaphe vulpina gloydi) - Rural McLean County, Illinois

Photograph by tlindenbaum / Tim. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

WESTERN FOX SNAKE FACTS

Description
The Western Fox Snake is blotched with light brown to black spots. The head is brown or reddish. The belly underside is yellow and checkered with black. Young ones have a dark line on the head in front of the eyes and a dark line from the eye to the angle of the jaw. The lines on the head fade with age. Western Fox Snakes have an average of 41 blotches.

Size
Length: 91cm - 137cm. Record length 179cm

Environment
farmlands, prairies, stream valleys, woods, and dune habitats. Usually found near water.

Food
small mammals such as mice and voles and sometimes birds.

Breeding
The female lays 6 - 29 eggs anywhere from late June to early August. The eggs are about 4cm - 5cm long. They hatch from late August to October and the young are 25.5cm to 33cm long at birth.

Range
central upper peninsula of Michigan, through Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and into northwestern Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota

Notes
Western fox snakes are harmless snakes and beneficial to people as they help to keep pests down. They are often mistaken for rattlesnakes and killed

Classification
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata (Serpentes)
Family:Colubridae
Genus:Elaphe
Species:vulpina
Common Name:Western Fox Snake


Relatives in same Genus
  Baird's Rat Snake (E. bairdi)
  Emory's Rat Snake (E. emoryi)
  Corn Snake (E. guttata)
  Common Rat Snake (E. obsoleta)
  Texas Rat Snake (E. obsoleta lindheimeri)