Glossy Snake

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.

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.