Elaphe - from the Latin elaphros meaning swift or, elop for serpent

vulpina - from the Latin word vulpinus, meaning "like a fox"

The fox snake gained its name because it secretes a strong-smelling fluid, suggestive of the odour of a fox. Of the two subspecies of fox snake, only the eastern fox snake (Elaphe vulpina gloydi) is found in Canada. Although fox snakes are usually considered to be terrestrial, the eastern race of fox snake is a resident of the marshes surrounding Lake Erie and Lake Huron in southwestern Ontario.