Arizona elegans
Glossy Snake

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Other Names: Faded Snake, Arizona Snake, Elegant Bull Snake, Slender Gopher Snake, Sand Snake
Subspecies: Kansas Glossy Snake Arizona elegans elegans - Dark-blotched form. Body blotches average 53 (39-69). Ventral scales usually average 206 (197-219) in males, 216 (208-227) in females. Has 29-31 dorsal scale rows at midbody.
Painted Desert Glossy Snake Arizona elegans philipi - Body blotches more numerous than in Kansas subspecies: average 64 (53-80). Ventral scales average 195 (183-202) in males, 204 (192-211) in females. Usually has 27 or fewer (not over 29) dorsal scale rows.
Description: A medium-sized (up to 1,055 mm or 42" in total length) snake with numerous dark-edged, tan, golden brown, or olive-gray blotches on a tan, light cream, pinkish, or gray background. The belly is plain pale gray. Coloration often varies in relation to the color of the soil in a snake's native habitat. Glossy Snakes have countersunk lower jaws, a single anal scale and two prefrontal scales.
Similar Species: This snake's smooth and shiny scales distinguish it from the similar looking Gophersnake which has keeled dorsal scales. The similar looking Nightsnake has vertically elliptical pupils. Great Plains Rat Snake lacks inset lower jaw and has divided anal scale.
Venom: None
Habitat: Semi-arid grasslands
Behavior: Mainly nocturnal, sometimes found during cool mornings or afternoons
Hibernation: Probably hibernate in rodent burrows, may be active on warm (50-60 degrees) days. I encountered one crossing a road on December 16.
Reproduction: Glossy snakes are oviparous. Adults breed in the late spring and early summer. Clutches average from 10 to 20 eggs. The eggs hatch in early summer and the newly hatched young are approximately 25 cm (9.8 in) in total length.
Diet: Mainly lizards, occasionally mice