Dark crossbands on the neck and alternating blotches farther back. But the dark markings are smaller than the spaces between them. Older specimens tend to darken and lose thier patterns, but traces, at least of the lateral markings , usually show when snake is submerged in water. Occasionally crossbands continue throughout length of body. General coloration may be brown or gray instead of red, and blotches may even be black. The belly markings tend strongly to be in pairs. Scales keeled; anal divided.