The majority of specimens are almost or even totally black, (with the exception of head and facial markings) the colour pattern may consist of a brown, gray, tan, yellowish olive or blackish ground color, which is overlaid with a series of 10-17 crossbands that are dark brown to almost black. These crossbands, which usually have black edges, are sometimes broken along the dorsal midline to form a series of staggered half bands on either side of the body. These crossbands are visibly lighter in the center, almost matching the ground color, often contain irregular dark markings, and extend well down onto the ventral scales. The belly is white, yellowish white or tan, marked with dark spots, and becomes darker posteriorly. The amount of dark pigment on the belly varies from virtually nothing to almost completely black. The head is a more or less uniform brown colour.