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Coniophanes fissidens.jpg
Coniophanes fissidens
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Dipsadinae
Genus: Coniophanes
Hallowell, 1860

Dromicus, Erythrolamprus, Glaphyrophis, Homalopsis, Hydrops, Rhadinaea, Tachymenis, Taeniophis

Coniophanes is a genus of colubrid snakes, typically referred to as black-striped snakes, but they also have many other common names. The genus consists of 17 species, and despite the common name, not all of them display striping.

Geographic range[edit]

Species of Coniophanes are found primarily in Mexico and Central America, but range as far north as southern Texas in the United States, and as far south as Peru in South America.


Snakes of the genus Coniophanes grow to a total length (including tail) of 31–46 cm (12–18 in) and are typically brown in color, with black striping down the sides and center of the back, and a red or orange underside. Some of the species, such as C. alvarezi, are solid brown.

Habitat and behavior[edit]

Coniophanes snakes are secretive burrowers. They spend most of their time digging into loose soils, forest leaf litter, or under rotting cactus. They are nocturnal, emerging from their underground retreats in the late evening to feed on frogs, lizards, small rodents, and smaller snakes.


Species in the genus Coniophanes are oviparous, laying clutches of up to 10 eggs in loose soil. The eggs hatch in around 40 days, depending on relative temperature and humidity. Hatchlings are about 17 cm (6.5 in) in length.


The following 17 species are recognized as being valid.[2]

Nota bene: A binomial authority or trinomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species or subspecies was originally described in a genus other than Coniophanes.


  1. ^ Wright AH, Wright AA (1957). Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Ithaca and London: Comstock Publishing Associates, a division of Cornell University Press. 1,105 pp. (in 2 volumes). (Genus Coniophanes, p. 153).
  2. ^ "Coniophanes ". The Reptile Database.

Further reading[edit]

  • Freiberg M (1982). Snakes of South America. Hong Kong: T.F.H. Publications. 189 pp. ISBN 0-87666-912-7. (Genus Coniophanes, p. 93).
  • Hallowell E (1860). In: 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. (Coniophanes, new genus, p. 248).

External links[edit]