Western Ratsnake (Black Rat Snake)
Often called the "black snake," this is one of our state's largest and most familiar snakes. Generally shiny black, but some individuals show dark brown blotches. Small patches of red sometimes appear between the scales along the sides. The upper lip, chin, and lower part of the neck are usually white. The belly is white, mottled with gray, or may be checkered with black. Young are light gray or tan, with distinct dark brown or black blotches on the back and sides. A black band passes between the eyes and angles down toward the mouth. After a year or two of growth, the color changes to a more uniform black.