Western Fox Snake (Pantherophis vulpinus)
Description: 36 - 50 inches. Western Fox Snakes are light colored with dark brown to almost black blotches. The belly is light colored with a dark checkered pattern. The head of adults is often reddish-orange or copper colored which leads people to mistake them for Copperheads. Young Western Fox Snakes look similar to adults, but lack the reddish-orange head coloring.
Similar Species: Young Black Rat Snakes are very similar in appearance to young Western Fox Snakes, but will have silver colored eyes, and blotches that are more jagged in appearance. Western Fox Snakes are often mistaken for Copperheads due to the copper color on the head. Copperheads have wide spade shaped heads with vertical, cat-like pupils, while Western Fox Snakes have narrower heads with round pupils.