The Western Patch-Nosed Snake

The Western patch-nosed snake is a nonvenomous colubrid snake which is native to the Mojave Desert.
Also known by its scientific name, Salvadora hexalepis, this species is endemic to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, being found in Arizona, Southern California, Nevada, Southern New Mexico, and Southwestern Texas, as well as in the Mexican states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, and Sonora.
Adults of Salvadora hexalepis are, on average, 20-46 inches in total length; the record total length is 58 inches.
They have a distinctive, thick scale curved back over the top of the snout, and free at the edges. All subspecies are yellowish with blackish lateral stripes in various arrangements. Slender, these snakes are tan or cream colored, with two wide, dark brown or black, irregular-edged stripes on the back. The stripes are often marked with light flecks or mottling. The sides of the body and the middle of the back between the dark stripes are tan, peach, or straw yellow. An additional thin, dark stripe lines each side of the body on the seam between the third and fourth scale rows, counting up from the belly. The belly is usually pale cream and is often tinted with pink or peach. The scale on the snout is enlarged, triangular, and protrudes on the sides. The eyes are large, the pupils are round, and the scales are smooth. The irregular-edges and mottling of this snakes dorsal stripes and its additional side-stripes distinguish it from the similar looking Eastern Patch-nosed Snake which has solid, straight-edged dorsal stripes and usually lacks side-stripes.
The following four subspecies are recognized: Salvadora hexalepis hexalepis, Salvadora hexalepis klauberi, Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis, and Salvadora hexalepis virgultea.
The dorsal scales are smooth, and the anal plate is divided.
Alert and fast moving, the western patch-nosed snake is terrestrial and diurnal, hibernating during the cold months of late fall and winter. They have been found every month of the year except January.  This species is often found basking or active later and earlier in the year than other snakes.
It is primarily a ground-dweller but it occasionally climbs into shrubs. It actively forages for lizards, mice and other rodents and small mammals, reptile eggs, and birds. It uses its enlarged snout scale to unearth reptile eggs and other buried prey.
Mating takes place in spring and a clutch of up to 12 eggs, most usually between four to ten, is laid in late spring or summer. Hatchlings begin to emerge in July and August, and occasionally as late as September. Females may not reproduce every year.  Hatchlings resemble adults but are 8.5 inches 10.5 inches m total length.
The Western Patch-nosed Snake is a racer-like species

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