Online Field Guide to The Reptiles and Amphibians of Arizona
Maricopa County, AZ
Maricopa Co., AZ
|SADDLED LEAF-NOSED SNAKE Phyllorhynchus browni||
|DESCRIPTION: A small (up to 508 mm or 20″in total length) light gray, tan, or cream snake with fewer than 18 rounded, gray-brown blotches on the body. A dark line extends across the top of the head and down through the eye to the upper lip. The snout is blunt and the head is barely distinct from the thick neck. The scale on the snout (rostral) is large, thick, triangular, and shield-like. The underside is plain pale gray or white. The scales are smooth and shiny and the pupils are elliptical. The similar Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake has more than 17 dorsal blotches.
DISTRIBUTION: This snake is found in south-central Arizona at elevations ranging from about 1,000′ to ca. 3,000′.
HABITAT: The Saddled Leaf-nosed Snake is primarily an inhabitant of the Arizona Upland subdivision of the Sonoran Desertscrub community but it extends into the Lower Colorado River subdivision near Gila Bend and Florence. It is usually found above the flats in foothills and on moderate bajadas.
BEHAVIOR: This nocturnal ground-dweller hibernates during the cold months of late fall and winter. It uses its enlarged rostral scale for burrowing and spends the majority of its time under the soil.
DIET: This dietary specialist feeds almost exclusively on the eggs of lizards and snakes. It might occasionally eat lizards.
REPRODUCTION: A clutch of up to 6 eggs is laid in summer. Hatchlings begin to emerge in July.
By Thomas C. Brennan Bartlett. 2000. Snakes of North America: Western Region. Gulf Publishing Co. Houston, TX
Brennan, T. C., and A. T. Holycross. 2006. A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in Arizona. Arizona Game and Fish Department. Phoenix, AZ
Brennan, T. C., and A. T. Holycross. 2005. A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Maricopa County. Arizona Game and Fish Department. Phoenix, AZ
Fowlie. 1965. The Snakes of Arizona. Azul Quinta Press, Fallbrook, California
Stebbins. 1985. Western Reptiles and Amphibians. Houghton Mifflin. New York,
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