Arizona elegans, Photo: United States Geological Survey
Arizona elegans Kennicott, 1859
* Arizona elegans Kennicott, 1859: 18
* Kennicott, 1859. In Baird, U.S: Mexican Bound. Surv. 2, Rept., Pt. 2, p. 14, 16,18, pl.13.
Arizona elegans is a medium-sized colubrid snake commonly referred to as the glossy snake. The genus Arizona has only one officially recognized species, A. elegans, with several subspecies. Some have recommended that A. elegans occidentalis be granted full species status.
Subspecies of Arizona elegans include:
* Arizona elegans arenicola - Texas glossy snake Dixon, 1960
The glossy snake and its many subspecies are all similar in appearance to gopher snakes. However, they are smaller than gopher snakes, with narrow, pointed heads, and a variety of skin patterns and colors. They are nonvenomous, nocturnal predators of small mammals and lizards. Most subspecies are ca. 75-130 cm (ca. 30-50 inches) in length and are shades of tan, brown, and gray with spotted patterns on their smooth, glossy skin and a white or cream-colored unmarked ventral surface. Coloration often varies in relation to the color of the soil in a snake's native habitat.
Habitat is normally semi-arid grasslands of the southwestern United States, from California in the west to Kansas in the east and as far south as Texas, and northern Mexico.
Glossy snakes are oviparous. They breed in the late spring and early summer and young hatch out in the early fall. Clutches average from 10 to 20 young that are approximately 25 cm long.
* "Arizona elegans". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=174202. Retrieved 6 February 2006.
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License