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Content including photographs are Copyright ©  2014 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore

Snakes 3

Non-Venomous Snakes

Both photos courtesy of Martin Feldner

Photo courtesy of Martin Feldner

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Back to    Page 1  Venomous Snakes

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   This is the Patchnose snake. Like the Coachwhip, they are very fast. However, unlike the coachwhip, patchnose snakes are mild-mannered and reluctant to bite. I was lucky to get this close to him for the photo.
Length -- 10 to 40 inches long.

(Salvadora hexalepis)

Patchnose Snake

Coachwhip
   Here's a Coachwhip up in a tree eating a Dove's egg in her nest. The dove was watching and could do nothing. This snake already had ingested one egg and was getting ready to have another -- breakfast anyone? He didn't like me watching.
Coachwhip
   We caught this Coachwhip snake trying to eat our buddy; a sidebloched lizard in our front yard. They sometimes hang around houses in the desert because prey is often attracted by water or plants associated with houses. We chased him away, gently. This snake is very fast and will defend itself if grabbed by repeatedly striking and trying to bite.
Length -- 42 to 66 inches long.

(Masticophis flagellum)

Coachwhip

Gopher Snake
   This is the Gopher snake. The video is of a dying Gopher Snake - sadly. However it is a good reference for identification. Gopher snakes will often strike at you if you get too close for their comfort. They also display behaviors of flattening their head to give it a more expanded look, sucking in air to make themselves look bigger, and shaking their tail in loose leaves and brush to sound like the rattlesnake. In the desert a lot of animals mimic others for different purposes. Notice the dark band across the head through the eyes.  
 Length -- 48 to 96 inches long.

(Pituophis catenifer)

Gopher Snake

Glossy Snake
   This is one of the prettiest snakes in the desert. They are very docile and can usually be handled without fear of getting bit. If you do get bit remember, all wildlife (like people) have different temperaments, and any animal equipped with a mouth and teeth can bite. This was a young and very friendly one.
Length -- 30 to 50 inches long.

(Arizona elegans)

Glossy Snake

Coastal Rosy Boa
California kingsnake
California kingsnake

Coastal Rosy Boa

(Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca)

California Kingsnakes

(Lampropeltis getula californiae)

   This kingsnake is pretty typical of California kingsnakes seen in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts and part of the Sonoran Desert. These snakes are very hardy and can be found in the coastal scrub areas to the high deserts. They spend most of their days hiding in piles of brush or refuse or in abandoned rodent burrows, coming out at night to hunt.
    This kingsnake is pretty typical of California kingsnakes seen in the desert areas in Southern Baja and some parts of Arizona. Adults reach full size in 3 to 4 years of age.
Length - over 4 ft. sometimes to 6 ft.
   Southern Ca. coastal slopes across the ranges into the San Diego Deserts. Mostly nocturnal, feeds on small birds, rodents, lizards, and small snakes. Other colorations are found in Baja.
Length - 17 to 44 inches.

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Striped Whipsnake

Desert Striped Whipsnake

(Masticophis taeniatus)

   Long and slender they often reach lengths of 70 inches. Named "whip snake" because they resemble a leather whip. Range - entire West and Northern Mexico. See enlargement.

Photo courtesy of Yvonne Baur

Striped Whipsnake
   We've added this photo of a Desert Striped Whipsnake for 2 reasons. One-the yellow coloration of the under belly is not visible in this photo, which might make  you think that this is a different snake. Two-this gives you a better idea of the length of these snakes. Look at the enlargerment and look for the bulge.

Back to    Page 2  Venomous Snakes

Arizona Mountain Kingsnake

Photo courtesy of Bryan D. Hughes

(Lampropeltis pyromelana)

Arizona Mountain
 Kingsnake

    Will not usually venture far from its rock pile which is usually on the edge of a wooded area near water. Being considered generalists they eat lizards, rodents and birds..
Length - to 42 inches.

Visit Bryan D. Hughes web site HERE

Long-Nosed Snake
Long-Nosed Snake

(Masticophis taeniatus)

(Rhinocheilus lecontei)

Long-Nosed Snake

   This slender snake reaches lengths of 3 ft. While there is considerable variation in pattern and color, generally this snake is banded or blotched with black, white, and usually red; red may be entirely absent in some individuals. The belly is cream or yellowish with some dark spotting on the sides. This snake is sometimes confused with the venomous coral snake due its similarity in color banding patterns. Found thoughtout the southwest. When disturbed it often defecates feces and blood from its anal opening. 

Photo courtesy of Kelly Watson

Western Ground Snake
Western Ground Snake

Western Ground Snake

(Sonora Semiannulata)

   A very small snake reaching a total of only 19 inches (483 mm) in length with variable coloration and markings. Several different color/pattern morphs can be found at the same locality. Base color can be light tan, cream, blue-gray or orange-red. This snake lives across western and most of southern Arizona at elevations ranging from near sea level along the Colorado River to about 5,000 ft. This ground dweller can be active at any time of day or night and like mild conditions.
   Photographed in the Black Mts of Mojave County, AZ.

Both Photos courtesy of David E. Alvarado

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