Eastern Glossy Snake (Arizona elegans)

Description: Brown blotches on light back, belly unmarked cream color.

Habitat: Prefers sandy grasslands.

Size: Typical adult length: 69-90 cm (27-36 in); Maximum: 48 inches (Collins & Collins 1993).

Diet: Lizards and small mammals.

Natural History: Although often a gentle snake when handled, some individuals will strike and even bite. Also like many snakes, the Glossy Snakes may secrete foul smelling stuff from cloaca if you pick them up.

This largely nocturnal species is secretive so its status in Nebraska is not well known. Recently a Glossy Snake was found in Thomas County, far out of its expected range in Dundy and Hitchcock counties (see map). Is the Glossy snake more widely distributed in Nebraska, but just overlooked? Only time will tell.

Similar species:

  1. Bullsnake, Great Plains Rat Snake and Western Hognose Snake lack unmarked cream belly. Hognose snakes have an up-turned nose.