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Western Fox Snake

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Is the Western Fox Snake right for you?

Species group:

Scientific name: Pantherophis vulpinus

The basics:
Western Fox Snakes are found in the northern parts of the United States, more specifically in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Their habitats include prairie grasslands, farmlands, woods, pastures, dunes, and marshes.

Appearance / health:
Maturing to about 50 inches in length, the large and heavy bodied Western Fox Snake has a tan to yellowish brown body with large dark brown to black blotches on the back and smaller lighter blotches on the sides. A dark band crosses the head in front of the eyes and a thin stripe runs from the eye to the jaw. The belly is cream to yellow with dark spots. The scales are slightly keeled.

Behavior / temperament:
The diurnal and terrestrial Western Fox Snake got its name from the musk it releases when threatened – the smell is similar to the excretions of a fox. The Western Fox Snake is popular in the pet trade because it is docile and rarely bites. When distressed, it coils and rears its head, and shakes its tail, which, if hitting dry leaves sounds like a rattlesnake’s noise.

Housing:
Western Fox Snakes are best kept in enclosures that mimic their natural habitats.

Diet:
Western Fox Snakes are predatory constrictors that feed on rodents, birds, rabbits, voles, frogs, and other snakes and small animals. They also consume eggs and nestling birds.

Breeding:
Western Fox Snakes mate in late spring to early summer (April to July). Eggs averaging 18 per clutch are laid sometime in July, and hatch in September.

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