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Glossy Snake Arizona elegans


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Glossy Snake, Painted Desert subspecies
credit: Eugene Van der Pijil

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Family: Colubridae, Colubrid Snakes view all from this family

Description Similar in appearance to gopher snakes. However, they are smaller than gopher snakes, with narrow, pointed heads, and a variety of skin patterns and colors, tan, brown, and gray with spotted patterns on their smooth, glossy skin and a white or cream-colored unmarked belly.

Dimensions 66-178cm. (26-70")

Subspecies Kansas - 39-69 blotches on body. Nebraska, Texas into Mexico.
Texas - 41-58 blotches on body. 29-35 rows of scales. Texas.
Mojave - 53-73 blotches on body, up to 27 scale rows. Death Valley to Nevada and Mojave Desery, California.
Desert - 53-83 blotches on body. Up to 27 scale rows. Utah, Nevada, Mojave Desert and Gulf of California.
Arizona - 25-29 rows of scales, interspace between blotches, smaller than blotches. Arizona to Mexico.
California - 51-75 brown blotches on body. 27 rows of scales. California to Baja California.
Painted Desert - Up to 200 scales on underside. 53-80 blotches. 27 rows of scales. Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

Breeding Breeds springtime. 3-23 eggs in a clutch, laid summer. Incubated for 10-12 weeks.

Habitat Sandy areas, chaparral, mesquite desert and sagebrush flats and woodland.

Range Texas, Nebraska, California to Mexico.

Discussion Nonvenomous, nocturnal. Diet of small mammals and lizards. Often seen in the evening or early morning in summer. Burrows. Longevity in summer is 12 years.