Primarily found in the midwestern states of Wisconsin, northern Michigan, and northern Illinois. Range extends slightly into east central Missouri and northwestern Indiana. An isolated population ranges through extreme southern Ontario into eastern Michigan and north central Ohio.
Can be found in various habitats including woodlands, prairies, marshes, and farmland. They are primarily ground-dwelling, but are good at climbing. They hibernate underground in the winter.
A smooth-scaled snake that reaches 3-6 feet in length and emits a musk that smells similar to a fox. It is light brown with dark brown irregular patches all over its body, which are larger on its back than on its sides. Ventrum has a black and cream checkered pattern. Its head is lighter with an orange hue, and it has a subtle darker band that runs from behind each eye and across the face.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians