Western patch-nosed snake

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Western patch-nosed snake
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Salvadora
Species: S. hexalepis
Binomial name
Salvadora hexalepis
(Cope, 1866)
  • Phimothyra hexalepis
    Cope, 1866[2]
  • Zamenis grahamiæ Var. hexalepis Boulenger, 1896[3]
  • Salvadora hexalepis
    Stejneger, 1902[4]

The Western patch-nosed snake, Salvadora hexalepis, is a species of nonvenomous colubrid snake, which is endemic to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.[5]

Geographic range[edit]

It is found in the southwestern United States in the states of Arizona, southern California, Nevada, southern New Mexico, and southwestern Texas. It is also found in northern Mexico in the Mexican states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, and Sonora.[2]


The following four subspecies are recognized:[2]


At the end of the video, the snake feels threatened and strikes.

Adults of Salvadora hexalepis are, on average, 20-46 inches (51–117 cm) in total length;[6] the record total length is 58 in (150 cm).[7]

They have a distinctive, thick scale curved back over the top of the snout, and free at the edges.[7]

All subspecies are yellowish with blackish lateral stripes in various arrangements.[8]

The dorsal scales are smooth, and the anal plate is divided.[7]


The Western patch-nosed snake inhabits arid deserts in its area. It feeds upon lizards, snakes, reptile eggs, and small rodents.[9]


4-10 eggs are laid during spring or early summer and hatch in August through September.[6]


  1. ^ Hammerson, G.A. (2007). "Salvadora hexalepis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
  3. ^ Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume III., Containing the Colubridæ (Opisthoglyphæ and Proteroglyphæ),... Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, Printers.) London. xiv + 727 pp. + Plates I.- XXV. (Zamenis grahamiæ Var. hexalepis, p. 622.)
  4. ^ Stejneger, L., and T. Barbour. 1917. A Checklist of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 125 pp. (Salvadora hexalepis, p. 81.)
  5. ^ Smith, H.M., and E.D. Brodie, Jr. 1982. Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Golden Press. New York. 240 pp. ISBN 0-307-13666-3 (paperback). (Salvadora hexalepis, pp. 194-195.)
  6. ^ a b Wright, A.H., and A.A. Wright. 1957. Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Comstock. Ithaca and London. 1,105 pp. (in 2 volumes) (Salvadora hexalepis, pp. 651-663, Figures 190.-193. + Map 49. on p. 646.)
  7. ^ a b c Schmidt, K. P., & D.D. Davis. 1941. Field Book of Snakes of the United States and Canada. G.P. Putnam's Sons. New York. 365 pp. (Salvadora, pp. 135-139.)
  8. ^ Zim, H.S., and H.M. Smith. 1956. Reptiles and Amphibians: A Guide to Familiar American Species: A Golden Nature Guide. Simon and Schuster. New York. 160 pp. ("Patch-nosed snakes", p. 88.)
  9. ^ Conant, R. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 429 pp. ISBN 0-395-19977-8 (paperback). ("Genus Salvadora", pp. 187-188.)

Further reading[edit]

  • Bogert, C.M. 1935. "Salvadora grahamiae virgultea, a new subspecies of the patch-nosed snake". Bull. Southern California Acad. Sci. 34 (1): 88-94.
  • Bogert, C.M. 1939. "A Study of the Genus Salvadora, the Patch-nosed Snakes". Publ. Univ. California at Los Angeles 1: 177-236.
  • Bogert, C.M. "Two additional races of the patch-nosed snake, Salvadora hexalepis ". American Mus. Novitates (1285): 1-14. (Salvadora hexalepis klauberi and Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis, new subspecies)
  • Cope, E.D. 1866. "On the REPTILIA and BATRACHIA of the Sonoran Province of the Nearctic Region". Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 18: 300-314. ("Phimothyra hexalepis n. sp. nov. [sic]", p. 304.)