Photo © by Suzanne L. Collins
Used by permission
Length in Kansas up to 33 3/4 inches.
Found throughout Kansas.
Harmless. Smooth shiny scales. In eastern Kansas, body is cream or light gray
covered with wide red blotches outlined in black; these same blotches are orange-red
separated by a white, light gray or cream background color in the western half of Kansas.
Head usually red or orange with black markings; belly with checkerboard pattern of dark
and light. Young are patterned like adults, but colors are brighter.
Found under rocks and logs in forests, woodland edge, pastures and rocky ledges of western
Kansas; takes refuge beneath any available cover, particularly bark of rotten logs and
other debris. Active from March to October. Breeds in spring; lays from 3-24 eggs that
hatch in July, August or September. Constrictor. Eats lizards, smaller snakes and small
Click here for
information on precautions against being bitten by snakes
and what to do if you have been bitten by one.
Text: Joseph T. Collins & Suzanne L. Collins
Photos: Suzanne L. Collins & Bob Gress
Range Maps & Web Design: Jim Mason