Sunday, November 15, 2009

Long-Nosed Snake

The long-nosed snake is found throughout Southern California, portions of central and northern California, most of Nevada, western Utah, most of Arizona, except the northeastern portion, south into Mexico, both Baja and the mainland, and even further east into New Mexico, Texas and small portions of several other states. I have found a number of them over the years, but all have been out in the Palm Springs vicinity while driving roads at night. The one below was found in Whitewater Canyon. Their ground color is white, with alternating speckles of red and black forming saddles that do not ring the body. The amount of red can vary tremendously. I've seen pictures of specimans that have heavy red saddles and others of specimans with no red at all. The one below has only faint red speckling.

The long-nosed snake below was captured near Verbenia Road. It has more red, but also black speckling interspersed with the red speckling. It is distinctively different.

Here the two snakes are side by side which helps to see the contrast even better.

The snake below was captured in the flat sand and sagebrush section between Hwy 111 and Whitewater Canyon. It has even more pronounced red.

Finally, another long-nosed captured near Verbenia.

They have a long, pointed snout with a countersunk lower jaw.

This makes them good burrowers and they spend much of their time underground. They primarily eat lizards, especially whiptails, small snakes, small mammals, nesting birds and insects. I've tried to keep several as pets, but I've never been able to get them to eat mice, so I have to let them go.

The following pictures give an even closer up view of various long-nosed snake patterns and color variations: Whitewater -

Verbenia -

and the area between Hwy 111 and Whitewater Canyon -

They are very mellow and would make a great pet if you could get one to eat. It would either take one that would take to mice, or you would probably have greater success if you had ready access to lizards.

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