Tantilla nigriceps
Plains Black-Headed Snake

Other Names:
Description: A small snake 7" to 15". Head cap dark brown to black. Scales smooth. Tan to light brown in body coloration. Whiteish below with pink or orange stripe on belly.
Similar Species: The Yaqui Black-headed Snake has a distinct white ring on the neck. The Smith's Black-headed Snake is smaller, the black cap extends 1-3 (rather than 3-5) scale lengths behind the parietals with the posterior margin straight or slightly convex (rather than pointed or strongly convex) and the first lower labials fail to meet the midline. The Ground Snake has a loreal scale and never a distinct black cap although the head may be slightly darkened.
Venom: Venom is delivered to prey via enlarged, grooved teeth in the rear upper jaw (not considered to be dangerous to humans).
Habitat: A secretive snake that frequents brushland, grassland, cresosote brush, high scrub desert, sagebrush, thornscrub, open chaparral and woodland. Attracted to stream bottoms and river bottoms.
Behavior: Occasionally nocturnal. Fround beneath rocks, logs, boards, dead yuccas, agave and other plant debris.
Reproduction: Lays a clutch of 1-3 eggs.
Diet: Their diet consists spiders scorpions centipedes, crickets, grasshoppers, millipedes. and insect larva.
Authored by: Garth Teitjen