Western Foxsnake (Western Fox Snake)
A marsh-dwelling member of the ratsnake group, the western foxsnake is moderately large with distinct brown blotches. The ground color is gray, yellowish, greenish brown, or tan, with large, dark brown blotches on the back and smaller ones on the sides. The head of foxsnakes may show some orange color, which might cause them to be misidentified as a copperhead. The belly is normally yellow, marked with a distinct black checkered pattern.
Young lack the yellow ground color and are gray with bold dark brown or black blotches. The head is boldly marked with a black mask running through the eyes and slanding back to the angle of the jaw. There are also black markings on top of the head and large black spots along the upper lips.
Hatchlings resemble Texas ratsnakes (black rat snakes). Counting ventral scales (belly scales, from neck to anus) is the best way to distinguish them (about 216 on western foxsnakes, and about 221 on young Texas ratsnakes).