Look for two pattern characteristics: (1) broad yellow stripe on scale rows 1, 2, and 3; and (2) narrow black stripe where lower most row of scales meets belly plates ( stripe often zigzag or irregular). Sometimes a dark boardered, pale stripe down center of back. belly yellowish, either plain or marked with dark dots or a dull dark area down center. Belly id deep olive buff, chin and throat yellow. Scales keeled; anal divided. Similar species: Garter Snakes have single anal plates and a prominent light stripe down center of back.