Online Field Guide to The Reptiles and Amphibians of Arizona

EASTERN PATCH-NOSED SNAKE (Salvadora grahamiae) Arizona
Graham County, AZ

 EASTERN PATCH-NOSED SNAKE  Salvadora grahamiae
DESCRIPTION: A medium-sized (up to 900 mm or 36″ in total length) slender, tan or cream colored snake with two wide, straight-edged, dark brown or black stripes on the back. The middle of the back between the dark stripes is tan or cream. The sides are light gray or tan, often with a faint olive cast. The belly is usually pale cream but may have a faint pink or peach tint under the tail. The scale on the snout (rostral) is enlarged, triangular, and protrudes on the sides. The eyes are large, the pupils are round, and the scales are smooth. The straight-edges of this snakes dorsal stripes and its lack of side-stripes distinguish it from the similar looking Western Patch-nosed Snake.

DISTRIBUTION: This snake is found in the sky island ranges of southeastern Arizona and in the higher ranges below the eastern half of the Mogollon Rim. It occurs at elevations ranging from about 4,500′ to over 6,500′.

In Arizona the Eastern Patch-nosed Snake inhabits Madrean Evergreen Woodland, Great Basin Conifer Woodland, and the upper reaches of Interior Chaparral communities. It is usually found in hilly or mountainous terrain above the flatlands.

BEHAVIOR: This is an alert and fast moving diurnal snake. It hibernates during the cold months of late fall and winter. It is primarily a ground-dweller but it occasionally climbs into shrubs.

DIET: It actively forages for lizards, snakes, mice and other small mammals, reptile eggs, and birds.

REPRODUCTION: Mating takes place in spring and a clutch of up to 10 eggs is laid in summer. Hatchlings begin to emerge in August.

By Thomas C. Brennan

Bartlett. 2000. Snakes of North America: Western
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

Degenhardt, W. G., Painter, C. W., and Price, A. H.. 1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque.

Fowlie. 1965. The Snakes of Arizona. Azul Quinta Press, Fallbrook, California

Stebbins. 1985. Western Reptiles and Amphibians. Houghton Mifflin. New York,

EASTERN PATCH-NOSED SNAKE (Salvadora grahamiae) Arizona Range Map


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