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Rhinocheilus lecontei
Rhinocheilus lecontei tessellatus
Conservational Status
StatusLC
Scientific classification
PhylumChordata
GenusRhinocheilus
SpeciesR. lecontei

The Long-nosed Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei) is a species of nonvenomous colubrid snake. It is the only species in the genus Rhinocheilus, but has four recognized subspecies, though more modern research has cast some doubt on that classification. Its specific name commemorates John Eatton Le Conte (1818-1891).

DescriptionEdit

Long-nosed Snakes are distinguished by a long, slightly upturned snout, which is the origin of their name. They are tricolor, vaguely resembling a coral snake with black and red saddling that almost looks like banding, on a yellow or cream-colored accenting, which can look somewhat like yellow banding. Cream-colored spots within the black saddles are a distinct characteristic of the Long-nosed Snake. They differ from all other harmless snakes in the United States by having undivided subcaudal plates.[1] They average around 30 inches (76 cm) in length.

BehaviorEdit

Long-nosed Snakes are shy, nocturnal burrowing snakes. They spend most of their time buried underground. They feed on lizards, amphibians, and sometimes smaller snakes and infrequently rodents. They are oviparous, laying clutches of 4-9 eggs in the early summer, which hatch out in the late summer or early fall. They are not apt to bite, but will release a foul smelling musk and blood[2] from their cloaca as a defense mechanism if harassed.

Habitat & geographic rangeEdit

Long-nosed Snakes inhabit dry, often rocky, grassland areas of northern Mexico from San Luis Potosí to Chihuahua, and into the southwestern United States, in California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Texas.

SubspeciesEdit

File:Rhinocheilus lecontei tessellatus2.jpg

In captivityEdit

Long-nosed Snakes are not often found in the exotic pet trade as they frequently reject rodent-based diets that are most readily available for captive snakes.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Schmidt, K.P. and D.D. Davis. 1941. Field Book of Snakes of the United States and Canada. G.P. Putnam's Sons. New York.
  2. McCoy, C.J., Jr., and A.V. Bianculli. 1966. Defensive behavior of Rhinocheilus lecontei. Journal of the Ohio Herpetological Society 5(4): 166

External linksEdit

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