Bull Snake
Bull Snakes make their home in the western, southern, and southeastern United States. They grow up to five feet in length and are beige to light brown with black or brown markings. Bull Snakes are carnivores and kill their prey by squeezing it until it can no longer breath. Although they make a hissing sound like a rattlesnake, they are not venomous.
The Prairie Rattlesnake was first noted by Lewis and Clark in June 1805, near Great Falls, Montana. They are usually greenish to brownish in color with well-defined blotches down the back. They have white to yellowish lines on their heads that slant backward. The Prairie rattler can be found in the central part of North America in grasslands, rocky outcrops, talus slopes, and prairie dog towns.
Prairie Rattlesnake
Western Hognose Snake The most noticeable part of the Western Hognose Snake is its upturned, pointed (hognose) snout. It uses this snout to burrow through the earth in search of toads, its favorite food. This heavy-bodied snake ranges from 15 to 39 inches in length and is non-venomous. It prefers to live in scrubby, flat prairie areas with loose, sandy soil for burrowing. The hognose snake takes the prize among snakes in the bluffing category. When threatened, it flattens the skin on its neck, which gives it a hooded look, and then takes a huge breath and releases the air with a loud hissing nose. Although the snake may strike, it leaves its mouth closed! If you continue to bother this snake, it will even fake its own death by thrashing from side to side, turning on its back, hanging its tongue out of an open mouth, and finally going limp.
The Plains Garter Snake is found in prairie marshes, along pond edges, and in river valleys throughout the Great Plains states. It is a non-venomous snake, 20 to 40 inches long. They eat almost anything they can catch and swallow, including earthworms, fish, frogs, toads, salamanders, mice, and bird's eggs.
Northwestern Garter Snake
Photo by Joshua L. Puhn
Lewis and Clark found the Northwestern Garter Snake slithering along near present-day Townsend, Montana, on July 24, 1805. This brown, bluish, or black colored snake has a distinct red, orange, or yellow stripe down the middle of it's back; a stripe down the second and third scale rows may be faint or absent. It is found in moist meadows, grassy patches, and along the edges of thickets.
Commonly called "Blue-bellies" or "Swifts," the Western Fence Lizard is about 6 inches long, and ranges in color from gray to black, with dark blotches on the back and tail. Male lizards have bright blue bellies (hence their nickname) and yellow on the undersides of their legs. This lizard enjoys sitting on high points, like fence posts, where it can sun itself and watch for food and predators. It can change its color to match its background.
Western Fence Lizard


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