They are found throughout the eastern and central U.S.
They live in the forest, but are not uncommon in suburban areas sunning on rocks and in roadways.
They have dark, wavering bands across most of their body, which helps them blend in very well. The tip of the tail is often greenish in color. They can reach 40” long but are usually less. They have "pits" on the side of their face behind the opening to their nose (nostril).
They den up in winter, often hibernating with other snakes. They like to bask in the sun like many snakes and often do it on roadways, which can result in being run over by cars. They are venomous and will bite, but often do not inject much venom if just trying to scare off predators. Their bite hurts! They may shake the end of their tail in warning, though they have no rattle.
They eat rodents, birds, lizards, other snakes, frogs and insects.
Females give birth in the summer to a dozen live young (ovoviviparous). They can be up to 9” long and lighter in color than the adults with a more yellowish tip to the tail.
Species: A. contortrix
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