Photo © by Suzanne L. Collins
Used by permission
Length in Kansas up to 88 3/4 inches.
Found throughout Kansas.
Harmless. Largest snake in Kansas; keeled scales; pattern of 3373 large brown
or black blotches on brownish yellow body. Tail with alternating yellow and black bands.
Belly yellowish with variable black mottling. Young same as adults.
Lives in open grasslands as well as open woodland and woodland edge; common in cultivated
fields where there is an abundance of rodents. Active from April to November; generally
diurnal, basking in the sun or foraging for food, but becomes nocturnal during hot summer
months. Number of eggs per clutch ranges from 3-22. Constrictor. Most economically
beneficial snake in Kansas, consuming large quantities of rodents and saving farmers from
much grain loss; also eats pocket gophers, rabbits, ground squirrels, birds and bird eggs.
Emits a loud hiss when disturbed or frightened.
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