A beautiful red or orange snake, but subject to condsiderable individual variation in color. Some specimens trend strongly to browns, especially those from upland habitats. ground color variable from orange to gray. Dorsal spots and blotches boldly outlined with black. First blotch on neck divided into 2 branches that extend forward and meet in a spear point between eyes. Belly whitish, strongly checkered or cross banded with black. Underside of tail striped. Dorsum occasionally with 4 dusky longitudinal stripes. Scales; weekly keeled , anal divided.