Adults may attain a total length of 1.5 m (5 feet). Its body is slender, and its head is wider than its neck. The eye is large, with a round pupil, and with a row of small scales below it. Dorsally it has a series of large spots which are either blackish or dark brown edged with black. There are series of alternating smaller dark spots on the sides. The lighter ground color between the spots may be yellowish, olive, or reddish. The dark spots are closely spaced, giving the appearance of a dark snake with a light pattern resembling a chain or a series of X's
Its natural habitats are Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, rocky areas, rocky shores, sandy shores, arable land, pastureland, plantations, rural gardens, and urban areas.