The Eastern foxsnake is a large nonvenomous constrictor native to North America. It has a massive body with a relief ornament of dark chestnut spots along the back on a gray or yellowish background. A number of smaller spots stretch along the sides. The head may be rusty in color and the belly is light yellow and black.
Eastern foxsnakes occur in the eastern Great Lakes region of the United States, as well as adjacent Western Ontario in Canada. They are usually found in open woodlands, forest edges, prairies, meadows, fields, pastures near streams, marshes, and other wetlands.
Eastern foxsnakes are generally solitary and spend most of the time hiding in burrows. They are mainly terrestrial but may occasionally climb in trees or shrubs and won't hesitate to enter the water. Eastern foxsnakes hunt their prey during the day which they kill by powerful constriction. During the winter these snakes hibernate in groups in burrows, crevices, or in old buildings. Eastern foxsnakes are considered docile and prefer to avoid confrontations. They will occasionally wiggle their tail, rustling leaves, to ward off potential predators. This is a form of mimicry. The sound resembles that of a rattlesnake. When threatened, foxsnakes also may coil and, if they continue to feel threatened, strike.
Eastern foxsnakes breed between May and June. Females typically lay 7-29 eggs, which generally hatch after about 60 days. Eggs are usually laid under logs, or in rotting wood or humus.
Eastern foxsnakes are considered threatened over most of their range due to habitat loss. Their numbers have dropped because of the development of wetlands and coastal habitats. These snakes are also vulnerable to the collection for the pet trade. They are also confused with the venomous copperhead or with the massasauga because they often rattle their tail similar to rattlesnakes as a form of mimicry. This behavior also contributes to the species decline in numbers, as many people fear that the snake may be venomous.
According to IUCN Red List, the Eastern foxsnake is locally common throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.