Hypsiglena

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Hypsiglena
Hypsiglena torquata jani.jpg
Texas night snake
Hypsiglena torquata jani
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Dipsadinae
Genus: Hypsiglena
Cope, 1860
Hypsiglena torquata distribution.svg
Synonyms

Hypsiglena is a genus of small, rear-fanged, colubrid snakes commonly referred to as night snakes. The genus consists of two distinct species.[2] Many subspecies may be considered synonymous depending on the source.

Species and Subspecies[edit]

Geographic range[edit]

Hypsiglena are found throughout the southwestern and western United States, from Texas and Kansas, west to California, north to Washington, and south into Mexico, as well as on islands off the coasts of Mexico.

Habitat[edit]

Their preferred habitat is semiarid desert regions with rocky and sandy soils.

Description[edit]

Night snakes typically do not exceed a total length of 40 cm (16 in). They are slender-bodied with a flattened head, and have small eyes with vertical pupils. Their color varies depending on their locality, often matching the soil color of their native habitat. They occur in various shades of gray, and brown, with dark brown, gray or black blotches on the back and the sides. Many also have distinctive black markings on the neck region.

Behavior[edit]

Hypsiglena are nocturnal and terrestrial.

Diet[edit]

Their diet consists primarily of lizards, but they will also consume smaller snakes, and amphibians.

Venom[edit]

Their venom is not considered to be dangerous to humans.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tanner WW. 1944. "A Taxonomic Study of the Genus Hypsiglena ". Great Basin Naturalist 5 (3 & 4): 25-92.
  2. ^ ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System). www.itis.gov.

Further reading[edit]

  • Cope ED. 1860. "Catalogue of the Colubridæ in the Museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, with notes and descriptions of new species. Part 2". Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 12: 241-266. (Hypsiglena, p. 246).

External links[edit]