South central United States and northeastern Mexico; from southern Nebraska to western Illinois down through central and south Texas and up to eastern New Mexico and southeastern Colorado. A disjunct population is found in eastern Utah and western Colorado.
This species can be found in coastal plains or rocky terrain, but they prefer open grasslands or sparsely wooded forests. They are often found in rural areas populated by humans where rodents are plentiful, such as farmland.
A thin-bodied, medium-sized snake reaching 3-5 feet in length. It has a narrow head with a dark band running from the corner of the jaw through the eye and across the center of the face. It has smooth scales and a pattern of dark blotches outlined in black on a light background. The blotches down the center of the back are larger and more defined than those on the sides of the body. Its pupils are round.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians