The Southwestern Blackhead Snake (Tantilla hobartsmithi) is a small species of colubrid snake native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The epithet hobartsmithi is in honor of American zoologist Hobart M. Smith, which sometimes leads it to be referred to as Smith's Blackhead Snake. It was first described by Edward Harrison Taylor in 1936.
The Southwestern Blackhead Snake is a small snake, growing to a maximum of 15 inches, but typically average around 8 inches. It is uniformly brown in color, except for a black colored head, which gives it its common name. They are rear-fanged, having enlarged rear teeth and a modified saliva that is, while harmless to mammals, is believed to be toxic to arthropods, their primary diet.
Blackhead Snakes are primarily nocturnal and fossorial, spending most of their time hiding in loose soil, leaf litter, or under ground debris. They eat most varieties of soft-bodied insect and centipedes.
Geographic range Edit
The Southwestern Blackhead Snake is found in the southwestern United States, in the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, as well as in northern Mexico, in the states of Sonora, Chihuahua and Coahuila.