Central Canada and United States from southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba through northeastern New Mexico and northern Texas.
Usually found near water sources including marshes, lakes, creeks, and rivers in farmland, prairie, and pinyon-juniper areas. Hibernates in burrows, anthills, and sometimes underwater.
Either brown or black in color with an orangish stripe running down the top of the back and two yellowish stripes running down either side of body. Venter is grayish and displays dark blotches on sides. Females give birth in late summer and early fall; clutches range from 5-40 young.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians