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Average adult size is 18-44 inches (45.7-111.7 cm), record is 72 inches (182.8 cm). Adults are orangish-brown with black bordered orange, red, or brownish blotches. The belly is usually a black and white checkerboard pattern, though orange may also be present. The underside of the tail has 2 black stripes. There is a spear-shaped pattern on the head and neck. The scales are weakly keeled, and there are 27-29 dorsal scale rows at midbody. The pupil is round. Juveniles are similar in appearance to adults, but may be more brownish in coloration.