Solid-Colored Snakes

Racer on Pine leaves (1 of 1)
Black Racer

Half of the 14 snakes found in Western Mass are always a solid color (excepting unusual genetic variation). At least three others can be solid colored for part of the lives (ontogenetic change), or they may just appear to be so (melanistic, light conditions, or they’re dirty).  

Ringneck on rock-1

Even the “really really” solid ones may not really be single colored. Ring-necked snakes, of course, are all gray, but sport a bright yellow ring on their neck. Dekay’s snakes are basically all brown, but on close inspection many reveal a lovely light tan band running from their head to tail and most have black dots in a series of rows running down their sides. 

Timber Rattlesnakes (here) are famous for appearing in various color forms. Most herpetologists divide them into “black morphs” or “yellow morphs,” though these are the far ends of a wide variation in color and pattern. Red-bellied snakes, like Screech Owls, exist (even in the same locations) in distinct color morphs: brown, red, and gray. 

Snakes that are so dark sometimes they appear Solid-Colored:

Hognose darker-1

Hog-nosed Snake

Watersnake on lawn (1 of 1)
Timber all dark-1

  © Tom Tyning 2013