Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research - Conservation - Preservation - Education - Public Information - Research - Field Studies - Captive Propagation - Advancing knowledge and understanding of the herpetofauna of the American Southwest


   Below is a current list representing the two hundred and three (203) species and subspecies of snakes that occur in
   the region that we have defined as being the American Southwest.

   Our goal is to eventually display one or more photographs for every species/subspecies listed below. We also plan to
   eventually provide habitat photographs and range maps for as many species as possible along with the
   legal/protective status of each in the states where they occur within our region.

To help maintain some degree of taxonomic stability and reduce confusion, we here at the Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research (SWCHR) have elected to take a conservative taxonomic approach when deciding which scientific and common names to utilize in this species listing. Please click here for an explanation of our philosophy regarding taxonomic issues. In cases where we feel that the current taxonomy of a species/subspecies is either controversial, or if we for any reason elected not to follow either Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and reptiles of North America North of Mexico with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, 6th Edition, 2008 by Brian I. Crother, et al or Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, 7th Edition (2009) by Joseph T. Collins and Travis W. Taggart, we have linked a taxonomic note to the listing which explains our reasoning.

Those species and subspecies that do have photos available are identified as clickable links on the list below. If you have good quality photographs that you have taken of species/subspecies that do not yet have photos, you are encouraged to submit them for possible inclusion.

BOIDAE (Boas and Pythons)

Northern Rubber Boa - Charina bottae

Southern Rubber Boa - Charina umbratica

Desert Rosy Boa - Lichanura trivirgata gracia  Taxonomy Note

Coastal Rosy Boa - Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca  Taxonomy Note

Mexican Rosy Boa - Lichanura trivirgata trivirgata  Taxonomy Note

COLUBRIDAE (Colubrids)

Texas Glossy Snake - Arizona elegans arenicola

Mojave Glossy Snake - Arizona elegans candida

Desert Glossy Snake - Arizona elegans eburnata

Kansas Clossy Snake - Arizona elegans elegans

Arizona Glossy Snake - Arizona elegans noctivaga

California Glossy Snake - Arizona elegans occidentalis

Painted Desert Glossy Snake - Arizona elegans philipi

Baja California Ratsnake - Bogertophis rosaliae

Trans-Pecos Ratsnake - Bogertophis subocularis subocularis

Northern Scarlet Snake - Cemophora coccinea copei

Texas Scarlet Snake - Cemophora coccinea lineri

Western Worm Snake - Carphophis vermis

Variable Sand Snake - Chilomeniscus stramineus

Colorado Desert Shovel-nosed Snake - Chionactis occipitalis annulata

Tucson Shovel-nosed Snake - Chionactis occipitalis klauberi

Mohave Shovel-nosed Snake - Chionactis occipitalis occipitalis

Nevada Shovel-nosed Snake - Chionactis occipitalis talpina

Organ Pipe Shovel-nosed Snake - Chionactis palarostris organica

Buttermilk Racer - Coluber constrictor anthicus

Tan Racer - Coluber constrictor etheridgei

Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer - Coluber constrictor flaviventris

Western Yellow-bellied Racer - Coluber constrictor mormon

Mexican Racer - Coluber constrictor oaxaca

Southern Black Racer - Coluber constrictor priapus

Tamaulipan Black-striped Snake - Coniophanes imperialis imperialis

Sharp-tailed Snake - Contia tenuis

Pacific Ring-necked Snake - Diadophis punctatus amabilis

Prairie Ring-necked Snake - Diadophis punctatus arnyi

San Bernardino Ring-necked Snake - Diadophis punctatus modestus

Northwestern Ring-necked Snake - Diadophis punctatus occidentalis

Coral-bellied Ring-necked Snake - Diadophis punctatus pulchellus

Regal Ring-necked Snake - Diadophis punctatus regalis

San Diego Ring-necked Snake - Diadophis punctatus similis

Mississippi Ring-necked Snake - Diadophis punctatus stictogenys

Monterey Ring-necked Snake - Diadophis punctatus vandenburgii

Texas Indigo Snake - Drymarchon melanurus erebennus

Northern Speckled Racer - Drymobius margaritiferus margaritiferus

Western Mud Snake - Farancia abacura reinwardtii

Tamaulipan Hook-nosed Snake - Ficimia streckeri

Chihuahuan Hook-nosed Snake - Gyalopion canum

Thornscrub Hook-nosed Snake - Gyalopion quadrangulare

Mexican Hog-nosed Snake - Heterodon nasicus kennerlyi  Taxonomy Note

Plains Hog-nosed Snake - Heterodon nasicus nasicus  Taxonomy Note

Eastern Hog-nose Snake - Heterodon platirhinos

Chihuahuan Night Snake - Hypsiglena jani

Desert Night Snake - Hypsiglena chlorophaea

Coast Night Snake - Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus

Gray-Banded Kingsnake - Lampropeltis alterna

Prairie Kingsnake - Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster

California Kingsnake - Lampropeltis getula californiae  Taxonomy Note

Speckled Kingsnake - Lampropeltis getula holbrooki  Taxonomy Note

Western Black Kingsnake - Lampropeltis getula nigrita  Taxonomy Note

Desert Kingsnake - Lampropeltis getula splendida  Taxonomy Note

Arizona Mountain Kingsnake - Lampropeltis pyromelana pyromelana   Taxonomy Note

Chihuahuan Mountain Kingsnake - Lampropeltis pyromelana knoblochi  Taxonomy Note

Louisiana Milk Snake - Lampropeltis triangulum amaura

Mexican Milk Snake - Lampropeltis triangulum annulata

New Mexico Milk Snake - Lampropeltis triangulum celaenops

Central Plains Milk Snake - Lampropeltis triangulum gentilis

Utah Milk Snake - Lampropeltis triangulum taylori

California Mountain Kingsnake - Lampropeltis zonata  Taxonomy Note

Northern Cat-eyed Snake - Leptodeira septentrionalis

Sonoran Whipsnake - Masticophis bilineatus  Taxonomy Note

Sonoran Coachwhip - Masticophis flagellum cingulum  Taxonomy Note

Eastern Coachwhip - Masticophis flagellum flagellum  Taxonomy Note

Lined Coachwhip - Masticophis flagellum lineatulus  Taxonomy Note

Red Coachwhip - Masticophis flagellum piceus  Taxonomy Note

San Joaquin Coachwhip - Masticophis flagellum ruddocki  Taxonomy Note

Western Coachwhip - Masticophis flagellum testaceus  Taxonomy Note

California Striped Whipsnake - Masticophis lateralis lateralis  Taxonomy Note

Alameda Striped Whipsnake - Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus  Taxonomy Note

Ruthven's Whipsnake - Masticophis schotti ruthveni  Taxonomy Note

Schott's Whipsnake - Masticophis schotti schotti  Taxonomy Note

Central Texas Whipsnake - Masticophis taeniatus girardi  Taxonomy Note

Desert Striped Whipsnake - Masticophis taeniatus taeniatus  Taxonomy Note

Gulf Salt Marsh Water Snake - Nerodia clarkii clarkii

Mississippi Green Water Snake - Nerodia cyclopion

Yellow-bellied Water Snake - Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster

Blotched Water Snake - Nerodia erythrogaster transversa

Broad-banded Water Snake - Nerodia fasciata confluens

Brazos Water Snake - Nerodia harteri

Concho Watersnake - Nerodia paucimaculata

Northern Diamond-backed Water Snake - Nerodia rhombifer rhombifer

Northern Rough Green Snake - Opheodrys aestivus aestivus

Smooth Green Snake - Opheodrys (Liochlorophis) vernalis

Brown Vine Snake - Oxybelis aeneus

Baird's Ratsnake - Pantherophis bairdi  Taxonomy Note

Great Plains Ratsnake - Pantherophis guttatus emoryi  Taxonomy Note

Intermountain Ratsnake - Pantherophis guttatus intermontanus  Taxonomy Note

Thornscrub Ratsnake - Pantherophis guttatus meahllmorum  Taxonomy Note

Slowinski's Corn Snake - Pantherophis guttatus slowinskii  Taxonomy Note

Texas Ratsnake - Pantherophis obsoletus lindheimeri  Taxonomy Note

Saddled Leaf-nosed Snake - Phyllorhynchus browni

Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake - Phyllorhynchus decurtatus

Sonoran Gopher Snake - Pituophis catenifer affinis

San Diego Gopher Snake - Pituophis catenifer annectens

Pacific Gopher Snake - Pituophis catenifer catenifer

Great Basin Gopher Snake - Pituophis catenifer deserticola

Santa Cruz Island Gopher Snake - Pituophis catenifer pumilis

Bullsnake - Pituophis catenifer sayi

Louisiana Pine Snake - Pituophis ruthveni

Graham's Crayfish Snake - Regina grahamii

Gulf Crayfish Snake - Regina rigida sinicola

Long-nosed Snake - Rhinocheilus lecontei

Mountain Patch-nosed Snake - Salvadora grahamiae grahamiae

Texas Patch-nosed Snake - Salvadora grahamiae lineata

Big Bend Patch-nosed Snake - Salvadora hexalepis deserticola

Desert Patch-nosed Snake - Salvadora hexalepis hexalepis

Mojave Patch-nosed Snake - Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis

Coast Patch-nosed Snake - Salvadora hexalepis virgultea

Northern Green Ratsnake - Senticolis triaspis intermedia

Variable Ground Snake - Sonora semiannulata semiannulata

South Texas Ground Snake - Sonora semiannulata taylori

Marsh Brown Snake - Storeria dekayi limnetes

Texas Brown Snake - Storeria dekayi texana

Florida Red-bellied Snake - Storeria occipitomaculata obscura

Mexican Black-headed Snake - Tantilla atriceps

Trans-Pecos Black-headed Snake - Tantilla cucullata

Flat-headed Snake - Tantilla gracilis

Smith's Black-headed Snake - Tantilla hobartsmithi

Plains Black-headed Snake - Tantilla nigriceps

Western Black-headed Snake - Tantilla planiceps

Chihuahuan Black-headed Snake - Tantilla wilcoxi

Yaqui Black-headed Snake - Tantilla yaquia

Santa Cruz Garter Snake - Thamnophis atratus atratus

Oregon Garter Snake - Thamnophis atratus hydrophilus

Diablo Garter Snake - Thamnophis atratus zaxanthus

Sierra Garter Snake - Thamnophis couchii

Western Black-necked Garter Snake - Thamnophis cyrtopsis cyrtopsis

Eastern Black-necked Gartersnake - Thamnophis cyrtopsis ocellatus

Mountain Garter Snake - Thamnophis elegans elegans

Coast Garter Snake - Thamnophis elegans terrestris

Wandering Garter Snake - Thamnophis elegans vagrans

Northern Mexican Garter Snake - Thamnophis eques megalops

Gaint Garter Snake - Thamnophis gigas

Two-striped Garter Snake - Thamnophis hammondii

Marcy's Checkered Gartersnake - Thamnophis marcianus marcianus

Northwestern Garter Snake - Thamnophis ordinoides

Arid Land Ribbon Snake - Thamnophis proximus diabolicus

Gulf Coast Ribbon Snake - Thamnophis proximus orarius

Orange-striped Ribbon Snake - Thamnophis proximus proximus

Red-striped Ribbon Snake - Thamnophis proximus rubrilineatus

Plains Garter Snake - Thamnophis radix

Narrow-headed Garter Snake - Thamnophis rufipunctatus

Eastern Garter Snake - Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis

Texas Garter Snake - Thamnophis sirtalis annectens

New Mexico Garter Snake - Thamnophis sirtalis dorsalis

Valley Garter Snake - Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi

California Red-sided Garter Snake - Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis

Red-sided Garter Snake - Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis

San Francisco Garter Snake - Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia

Sonoran Lyre Snake - Trimorphodon lambda

Baja California Lyre Snake - Trimorphodon lyrophanes

Chihuahuan Lyre Snake - Trimorphodon vilkinsonii

Lined Snake - Tropidoclonion lineatum

Rough Earth Snake - Virginia striatula

Western Smooth Earth Snake - Virginia valeriae elegans

ELAPIDAE (Coral Snakes)

Arizona Coral Snake - Micruroides euryxanthus euryxanthus

Texas Coral Snake - Micrurus tener tener


Yellow-bellied Sea Snake - Pelamis platurus


Plains Threadsnake - Leptotyphlops dulcis dulcis

South Texas Threadsnake - Leptotyphlops dulcis rubellum

New Mexico Threadsnake - Leptotyphlops dissectus

Southwestern Threadsnake - Leptotyphlops humilis humilis

Desert Threadsnake - Leptotyphlops humilis cahuilae

Trans-Pecos Threadsnake - Leptotyphlops humilis segregus

Utah Threadsnake - Leptotyphlops humilis utahensis

TYPHLOPIDAE (Robust Blindsnakes)

Brahminy Blindsnake - Ramphotyphlops braminus   (Introduced Species)


Southern Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix

Broad-banded Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus

Trans-Pecos Copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster

Western Cottonmouth - Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma

Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake - Crotalus atrox  (includes audio file)

Mohave Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes cerastes

Sonoran Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes cercobombus

Colorado Desert Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes laterorepens

Arizona Black Rattlesnake - Crotalus cerberus

Timber Rattlesnake - Crotalus horridus

Banded Rock Rattlesnake - Crotalus lepidus klauberi

Mottled Rock Rattlesnake - Crotalus lepidus lepidus  (includes audio file)

Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake - Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus

Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake - Crotalus molossus molossus

Grand Canyon Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus abyssus

Midget Faded Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus concolor

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus helleri

Great Basin Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus lutosus

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake - Crotalus oreganus oreganus

Western Twin-spotted Rattlesnake - Crotalus pricei pricei

Red Diamond Rattlesnake - Crotalus ruber

Northern Mohave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus

Panamint Rattlesnake - Crotalus stephensi

Tiger Rattlesnake - Crotalus tigris

Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis

New Mexico Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake - Crotalus willardi obscurus

Arizona Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake - Crotalus willardi willardi

Desert Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii

Western Massasauga - Sistrurus catenatus tergerminus

Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - Sistrurus miliarius streckeri

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