A large yellow or cream-colored snake with black or brown diamond-like blotches, often more widely spaced on the tail than on the body. May exceed eight feet in length. Lives in a variety of habitats such as desert, prairie, open brushland, and grassland. Active by day except in hot weather. Imitates rattlesnakes by hissing loudly and vibrating tail. Eats rodents, lizards, insects, birds, and their eggs. It kills by constriction.