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Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association
Sonoran Desert Reptiles
Sonora semiannulata (Ground snake)

 

 

 Ground snake

Diet: insects, spiders, scorpions, centipedes
Size: 8" to 18" (20 to 46 cm)

Identification: 8 18 in. (20.3-46cm). Small crossbanded, striped, or plain-colored, with a head only slightly wider than neck. Brown, olive, reddish, orange or gray above, lighter on sides. Dorsal pattern varies greatly - (1) dark crossbands may encircle body, from saddles on back, or be reduced to single neckband: (2) dark crossbands may be entirely absent: (3) some populations have a broad beige, red, or orange middorsal stripe and greenish gray or bluish gray sides. Orange-striped individual and a black and white crossband, and striped individuals sometimes all occur at same locality. Usually all types of coloration have a dark blotch or bar (sometimes faint) at the front of each scale, particularly evident on sides. Whitish or yellowish below, unmarked or with dark crossbands. Scales smooth and glossy, usually in 15 rows toward front. Anal divided. Eats spiders, scorpions, centipedes, crickets, solpugids, grasshoppers, and insect larvae including ant brood. Shallow grooves on outer sides of rear teeth suggest snakes may be venomous, but they are not dangerous to humans.

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