Pantherophis (Elaphe) vulpina
Adult Size: 3 to 5 feet
Range: The Mid- to Northwest areas of the United States.
Habitat: Forests, grasslands and farm areas.
Captive Lifespan: 8 to 12 Years
Care Level: Intermediate
The fox snake is known for its stalking behavior, its odor and the reddish coloration of some of the snakes’ heads. Members of the rat snake clan can have stripes, blotches, or a combination of stripes and blotches; even unicolored species can be found. The fox snake is basically a spotted snake that can have beautiful shades of brown on the body with a yellow-orange to reddish colored neck and head. Rat snakes also have several representatives that are amelanistic (lacking black pigment) or leucistic (white coloration with blue eyes).
Housing for the rat snake group can be simple. Cages should be escape-proof, roomy and well-ventilated. Hide boxes are appreciated by most forms. Substrates that work well include pine shavings, newsprint, indoor-outdoor carpeting or paper toweling. These animals do best with ventral heating–provide a heater on the bottom of one side of the cage setting up a temperature range from which the animal can select its preferred body temperature.
Fox snakes do well in captivity on a diet of rodents or chicks.