Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Desert Glossy Snake

The desert glossy snake is found in the eastern portion of Southern California, a small portion of Baja California, southern Nevada and the northwestern tip of Arizona and the southwestern tip of Utah. In May 1996 we caught four glossy snakes in one evening, two on Snow Creek Road, at the base of Mt. San Jacinto, and two on the connecting road between Snow Creek and Whitewater Canyon. They are easy to catch when spotted on a road at night. I'd never seen or even heard of a glossy snake before that night.

The glossy is nocturnal and hides in burrows during the day, eating diurnal lizards while they sleep at night. Based on the map, I believed these were California glossy snakes initially, but the desert glossy is paler than the other California glossy snake subspecies and the pictures most closely represent the paler desert subspecies.

They have a resemblance to the gopher snake, although generally smaller and not as yellow as a gopher snake.

They do have a similar stripe between the eyes and behind the eyes

and they have similar marking patterns on the back and on the sides, although the markings are not as large.
I tried keeping one as a pet for awhile and was not able to get it to eat mice. The do prefer lizards although they will eat some small rodents.


  1. This is a Night snake found in Southern Nevada.

  2. Saw our glossy in noon day sun at 6000' elevation in Nevada