In a state like California that has so many species of snakes, snake Identification at a glance can be tricky. Several native species could be described as being snakes with black and orange stripes. Some of the state's snakes vary in their general appearance and can sometimes be mistaken for another species.
Colorado Desert Shovel-Nosed Snake
Found in southeast California, the tiny Colorado desert shovel-nosed snake has a cream-colored body that is surrounded by gray to black and reddish-orange to yellow stripes. It is a small, non-venomous species growing to 17 inches in length. Being such a small snake, its diet mostly consists of invertebrates such as insects, scorpions and spiders. It is called a shovel-nosed snake due to a large spade-shaped scale on the tip of its snout.
California Mountain Kingsnake
The California mountain kingsnake is found through much of the high, mountainous habitat regions of the state. The snake's coloration can vary from black with white stripes to reddish-orange with thin black and white stripes. It is a medium-sized snake species that grows up to 30 inches long with a slender body. It resembles the venomous Arizona coral snake, which is not found in California.
The variable groundsnake is found in southeast California and, as the name would suggest, can be varied in appearance. One of its common colorations is a tiger-like, black- and orange-striped pattern. It also can be deep red and black, black and white and solid red on the back with a brown underside. It is non-venomous and grows to about 1 foot in length.
The large long-nosed snake is found in much of southern and central California. It grows to 60 inches in length and has a slender body. It has a reddish-orange and black-striped pattern that appears spotted due to intermittent, cream-colored scales. It is a non-venomous species that preys on small mammals, birds and reptiles.
Diablo Range Gartersnake
The Diablo range gartersnake has long stripes that run the length of its body from nose to tail. It has thick stripes of gray-brown to black broken by thinner stripes on the spine and sides ranging from reddish-orange to yellow. The snakes grow up to 40 inches in length and are slender bodied. It is a non-venomous species.