Nearly black background color with three bright stripes running the length of the body; underside is pale yellow or bluish gray.
Most distinguishing characteristics of this subspecies in our region are the irregular red spots along the sides.
Thought to be common in the past, now in decline for no apparent reason.
Closely associated with permanent surface water.
In Yellowstone area, observed only in the Falls River drainage in the Bechler region and three miles south of the south entrance along the Snake River.
Generally active during the day.
In the Yellowstone area it eats mostly toads, chorus frogs, fish remains, and earthworms; can eat relatively poisonous species. Reliance on amphibian prey may contribute to reports of declines of this species in the Greater Yellowstone Area.
Predators include fish, birds, and carnivorous mammals.