University of Massachusetts Amherst

Snake of Massachusetts

Non-venomous, Cross-banded or Blotched snakes

Is the Snake…

  • Gray with red or reddish-brown blotches bordered in black on the back and sides, smooth scales, and a black and white checkered belly; head is patterned, usually with a light V or Y-shaped mark; often found around houses and barns; common (24-36", up to 52")? (If Yes, click here)

Black and White of head of Milk Snake

  • Thick-bodied and gray or brown with burnt-orange or reddish-brown crossbands on the back, often alternating with squarish blotches on the sides, strongly keeled scales and a light belly marked with paired orange crescents; cross-banded pattern may be faint or absent; typically found near water; common (24-42", up to 55")? (If Yes, click here)
  • Thick-bodied and gray, yellow or black with rectangular dark blotches down the back alternating with dark spots on each side and an upturned snout that usually spreads its head and neck and hisses when confronted, resembling a cobra; cross-banded pattern may be faint or absent; prefers open, sandy areas; uncommon (20-33", up to 45")? (If Yes, click here)
  • Small and dark gray with lighter spots running down the back, keeled scales and white eye ring; typically found on forested hillsides; rare; Connecticut Valley and souther Worcester County (pattern disappears with age)? (If Yes, click here)

Black and White of head of Juvenile Black Rat Snake

  • Small and gray with dark gray, brown or reddish blotches down the middle of the back and smaller dark spots on the sides and belly, smooth scales, and large dark eyes; uses a variety of habitats (pattern disappears with age)? (If Yes, click here)

Black and White of head of Juvenile Black Racer

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