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Glossy Snake

(Arizona elegans)


Identification: Upper side with smooth (unkeeled) scales and numerous blotches on pale background; belly whitish, unspotted; single anal scale; lower jaw inset into upper jaw; pupil of eye somewhat oval, not exactly circular; maximum total length about 142 cm (56 inches) but usually less than 117 cm (46 inches) in Colorado.  

Colorado Distribution: Plains of eastern Colorado, and Montezuma County in extreme southwestern Colorado.  

View the distribution of observed Glossy Snake (Arizona elegans) on a map

Habitat: Sandhills and plains grassland, including riparian zones and areas with soft alluvial soils, as well as canyon bottoms and plains with firm soils. Burrows underground or occupies rodent burrows or similar sites; rarely found under objects on the ground.    

Life History : Female lays eggs in early summer. Hatchlings appear in late summer. This snake is a constrictor that eats lizards, small rodents, and sometimes other small vertebrates.

Revised: July 24, 2003