Long Nosed Snake
(Long Nosed Snake)
Rhinocheilus lecontei

Scientific Name: Rhinocheilus lecontei (Also known as: Western Snake) 
Geographical Range: Southwestern United States (California to Texas) 
Habitat: Prairies, brush lands, deserts.
Diet in the Wild: Long nosed snakes prey on lizards but eat  rodents.  They also eat mammals, lizards, lizard eggs and insects. They have also  been known to eat small snakes.
Conservation Status: They are not protected.
Location in zoo: Herpetarium

Physical Description:
Size: 18.9-29.5 in (48-75 cm)

Distinguishing characteristics: The Long nosed Snake is a tricolor snake. This snake comes in two color variations, black and cream with little red and the cream and black and red with very cream in the red. Its stomach is cream colored. This snake also has a  pointed snout. When the snake is young and has minimal red, it can be mistaken for a California King snake. 

Similar species: California King Snake

Things to be aware of : It is a gentle species. It  vibrates tail when annoyed. 

Activity Patterns
  • Nocturnal  
  • Crepuscular 
Individuals are most commonly encountered from April through June (Klauber 1941). After the summer months, a period of winter inactivity occurs.

Seasonal Movements/ Migration:   Seasonal movements have not been predicted or reported for this species.

 Home Range:   The nature of the home range in this species is unknown.

Special Adaptations: Although this snake is seldom found under any surface objects, it is a good burrower. It  burrows quickly into soil, and often lies covered in the sand or in rock crevices. During the time it is covered in the sand, its head is exposed. 

Funny Facts :  The long nosed snake stays very active at night. It hides in rocks. When you try to captured it, it hides its head, coils up his body, vibrates its tail, and a fluid is ejected from it . Since they are really a mild manner snake, they can be captured and shown as a demonstration.

Photo courtesy of : Allen Blake Sheldon
Reproductive Behavior: There is not a lot of information on the reproductive nature of these animals. All is known is that the female deposits the egg in the soil.  They also use abandoned burrows as nest sites. They usually lay anywhere from  5 to 8 eggs around July. Their  hatchlings are born in late August or September. When they hatch the feed on small lizards. 

The Animal at the Zoo:

Not currently on exhibit.

Sources and Links:

Page Author:
Courtney N Williams
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