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Fox Snake 

The eastern fox snake (Elaphe gloydi) can be found in the marshes bordering Lakes Erie and Huron.

The western fox snake (Elaphe vulpina) lives in farmlands, prairies, stream valleys, woods and dune country directly west of Michigan including Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa.

Fox snakes range from 36-54 inches in length when mature. The dorsal surface varies in color from a yellowish color to light brown, with dark blotches ranging in color from chocolate to black. The head also vary in color from brown to a distinctly reddish color. Fox snakes have a yellow colored belly. 

 

Fox Snake

The eastern fox snake can be differentiated from the western fox snake by the number of blotches present on the dorsal surface. Eastern fox snakes have fewer blotches (average 34) than do western fox snakes (average 41). 

The eastern fox snake feeds on small mammals, frogs, birds, and occasionally bird eggs. Eastern fox snakes are constrictors, which means they kill by wrapping their bodies around the chest of their prey and squeezing until the prey eventually dies. Fox snakes lay anywhere from 7 to 29 eggs in June or July, which hatch in late summer.

One of the defense mechanisms of the fox snake is to vibrate its tail as a warning to potential predators. This creates a sound similar to that of a rattlesnake by the rustling of the leaves beneath the snake. For this reason many people mistake the fox snake for a rattlesnake.

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