Western fox snake Facts

Western fox snake Facts
Western fox snake is non-venomous snake that belongs to the colubrid family. It can be found in Michigan, South Dakota, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. Western fox snake inhabits edges of the forests, pastures and fields. It can be also found near the farms. People kill western fox snakes when they hear rattling sound that resembles the sound of poisonous rattlesnakes (even though western fox snakes are harmless). Aside from unintentional killing, western fox snakes are also threatened by habitat loss, illegal collecting from the wild and by traffic accidents. Western fox snakes are listed as endangered in Missouri.
Interesting Western fox snake Facts:
Western fox snake can reach 3 to 5 feet in length. Males are larger than females.
Young western fox snakes are grayish-white colored. Adults have red or orange-colored head, light brown or yellowish body covered with dark blotches and yellow belly covered with black markings. Dark rings stretch along the tail.
Western fox snake has elongated, slender body covered with slightly keeled scales.
Western fox snake is adapted to the life on the ground (terrestrial animal), but it can easily climb to the tree (or other vertical structure) and swim in the rivers.
Western fox snake basks in the sun to increase body temperature and accumulate energy required for the everyday activities.
Western fox snake is active during the day during the spring and fall. It becomes active during the night during the summer to avoid high temperatures during the day. It hibernates in the underground dens during the winter months.
Western fox snake is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on frogs, mice, voles, rabbits, birds and other small animals.
Western fox snake belongs to the group of constrictors. It squeezes its prey to death.
Western fox snake does not produce venom. Even though it will strike in self-defense, western fox snake is completely harmless for humans. This snake is actually beneficial due to ability to keep the number of rodents under control.
Name "fox snake" refers to the fact that this snake emits musky odor that resembles odor of red fox when it is threatened.
Western fox snake does not have rattle on top of its tail, but it produces vibrations that resemble rattling sound when it shakes its tail or when it moves it close to the leaf litter. Western fox snake also hisses to deter the predators.
Natural enemies of western fox snakes are hawks, coyotes and foxes.
Mating season of western fox snakes takes place from April to July.
Female lays 10 to 20 leathery eggs during the summer. Babies emerge from the eggs usually during the autumn (between August and October). They are 8 to 12 inches long and need to fend for themselves from the moment of birth.
Western fox snake can survive up to 17 years in the captivity.

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