Typically a plain shiny black snake, but sometimes showing traces of a spotted pattern when the skin is distended or in portions of the range near where intergradation takes place with related subspecies. Light areas, chiefly confined to skin between scales, may be white, yellow,orange, or red. Belly diffused or clouded with indications of checkerboarding, at least toward head. chin and throat plain white or cream. Scales weekly keeled ; anal divided.