Western Foxsnake (Western Fox Snake)

Pantherophis vulpinus
Family: 
Colubridae (nonvenomous snakes) in the order Squamata (lizards and snakes)
Description: 

This is a marsh-dwelling member of the ratsnake group. General color is yellowish, greenish-brown or tan, with large 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. Belly color is normally yellow, marked with a distinct black, checkered pattern.

Size: 
Length averages from 36 to 54 inches (91-137 cm).
Habitat and conservation: 
The species is believed to be an inhabitant of open grasslands and borders of woods. In Missouri, the western foxsnake has been found near large, natural marshes, but it is not a common snake. Foxsnakes kill their prey by constriction, vibrate their tail when alarmed and will bite to defend themselves.
Foods: 
Food includes small rodents and birds.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Northern third of the state.
Status: 
Critically imperiled in Missouri; a Species of Conservation Concern.
Shortened URL
http://mdc.mo.gov/node/6559