Western Black-headed Snake

Tantilla planiceps

Description 4

A small, thin, snake with a flat head and smooth, shiny scales. The top of the head is dark brown or black, with a faint light collar between the dark cap and the body color which is brownish or beige and unmarked. This collar may or may not have a border of dark dots. The dark color usually drops below the mouthline behind the corner of the jaw.The belly is whitish with a reddish stripe that does not extend all the way to the edge of the ventral scales.
Habitats include grassland, coastal scrub, chaparral, oak and oak-pine woodland, desert-edge, and thorn scrub, often in rocky areas and along streams, on both level ground and hillsides (Grismer 2002, Stebbins 2003). This snake stays underground or under rocks or other cover during daylight, and comes on to the surface at night.
Worldwide, total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds 10,000 and may exceed 100,000. This species is certainly more numerous than available specimens indicate. It is secretive, relatively difficult to find, and certainly occurs in many more locations than are currently known.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) ap2il, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://www.flickr.com/photos/24554735@N06/3474196711
  2. (c) Gary Nafis, all rights reserved, uploaded by nataliemarisa, http://www.californiaherps.com/snakes/images/tplanicepsimp6114.jpg
  3. (c) Gary Nafis, all rights reserved, uploaded by nataliemarisa, http://www.californiaherps.com/snakes/images/tplanicepslong.jpg
  4. (c) nataliemarisa, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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