Snakes of the American Southwest

Below is a list of the currently recognized species and subspecies of Snakes that occur in the region we have defined as being the American Southwest.

To help maintain some degree of taxonomic stability and reduce confusion, the managers of SWCHR have elected to take a conservative taxonomic approach when deciding which scientific and common names to utilize in our species listings. Please click here for an explanation of our philosophy regarding taxonomic issues.

The SWCHR Range Maps used in this section were generated using a variety of current sources and are designed to indicate the general range of the species indicated on the maps.

We invite you, our visitors, to submit high quality photographs for consideration to be included in our species accounts. Please include the scientific name of the specimen, your name and the state and county where the specimen was photographed.


BOIIDAE – Boas and pythons
Charina bottae – Northern Rubber Boa
Charina umbratica – Southern Rubber Boa
Lichanura trivirgata gracia – Desert Rosy Boa  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca – Coastal Rosy Boa  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Lichanura trivirgata trivirgata – Mexican Rosy Boa  TAXONOMIC NOTE

COLUBRIDAE – Colubrids
Arizona elegans arenicola – Texas Glossy Snake
Arizona elegans candida – Mojave Glossy Snake
Arizona elegans eburnata – Desert Glossy Snake
Arizona elegans elegans – Kansas Glossy Snake
Arizona elegans noctivaga – Arizona Glossy Snake
Arizona elegans occidentalis – California Glossy Snake
Arizona elegans phillipi – Painted Desert Glossy Snake
Bogertophis rosaliae – Baja California Ratsnake
Bogertophis subocularis subocularis – Trans-Pecos Ratsnake
Cemophora coccinea copei – Northern Scarlet Snake
Cemophora coccinea lineri – Texas Scarlet Snake
Carphophis vermis – Western Worm Snake
Chilomeniscus stramineus – Variable Sand Snake
Chionactis occipitalis annulata – Colorado Desert Shovel-nosed Snake
Chionactis occipitalis klauberi – Tucson Shovel-nosed Snake
Chionactis occipitalis occipitalis – Mohave shovel-nosed Snake
Chionactis occipitalis talpina – Nevada Shovel-nosed Snake
Chionactis palarostris organica – Organ Pipe Shovel-nosed Snake
Coluber constrictor anthicus – Buttermilk Racer
Coluber constrictor etheridgei – Tan Racer
Coluber constrictor flaviventris – Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer
Coluber constrictor mormon – Western Yellow-bellied Racer
Coluber constrictor priapus – Southern Black Racer
Coluber oaxaca – Mexican Racer
Coniophanes imperalis imperalis – Tamaulipan Black-striped Snake
Contia tenuis – Sharp-tailed Snake
Diadophis punctatus amabilis – Pacific Ring-necked Snake
Diadophis punctatus arnyi – Prairie Ring-necked Snake
Diadophis punctatus modestus – San Bernardino Ring-necked Snake
Diadophis punctatus occidentalis – Northwestern Ring-necked Snake
Diadophis punctatus pulchellus – Coral-bellied Ring-necked Snake
Diadophis punctatus regalis – Regal Ring-necked Snake
Diadophis punctatus similis – San Diego Ring-necked Snake
Diadophis punctatus stictogenys – Mississippi Ring-necked Snake
Diadophis punctatus vandenburgii – Monterey Ring-necked Snake
Drymarchon melanurus erebennus – Texas Indigo Snake
Drymobius margaritiferus margaritiferus – Northern Speckled Racer
Francia abacura reinwardtii – Western Mud Snake
Ficimia streckeri – Tamaulipan Hook-nosed Snake
Gyalopion canum – Chihuahuan Hook-nosed Snake
Gyalopion quadrangulare – Thornscrub Hook-nosed Snake
Heterodon nasicus kennerlyi – Mexican hog-nosed Snake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Heterodon nasicus nasicus – Plains Hog-nosed Snake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Heterodon platirhinos – Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
Hypsiglena chlorophea – Desert Night Snake
Hypsiglena jani – Chihuahuan Night Snake
Hypsiglena ochrohynchus – Coast Night Snake
Lampropeltis alterna – Gray-banded Kingsnake
Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster – Prairie Kingsnake
Lampropeltis getula californiae – California Kingsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Lampropeltis getula holbrooki – Speckled Kingsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Lampropeltis getula nigrita – Western Black Kingsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Lampropeltis getula splendida – Desert Kingsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Lampropeltis pyromelana pyromelana – Arizona Mountain Kingsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Lampropeltis pyromelana knoblochi – Chihuahuan Mountain Kingsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Lampropeltis triangulum amaura – Louisiana Milk Snake
Lampropeltis triangulum annulata – Mexican Milk Snake
Lampropeltis triangulum celaenops – New Mexico Milk Snake
Lampropeltis triangulum gentilis – Central Plains Milk Snake
Lampropeltis triangulum taylori – Utah Milk Snake
Lampropeltis zonata – California Mountain Kingsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Leptodeira septentrionalis – Northern Cat-eyed Snake
Masticophis bilineatus – Sonoran Whipsnake   TAXONOMIC NOTE
Masticophis flagellum cingulum – Sonoran Coachwhip  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Masticophis flagellum flagellum – Eastern Coachwhip  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Masticophis flagellum lineatulus – Lined Coachwhip  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Masticophis flagellum piceus – Red Coachwhip  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Masticophis flagellum ruddocki – San Joaquin Coachwhip  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Masticophis flagellum testaceus – Western Coachwhip  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Masticophis lateralis lateralis – California Striped Whipsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus – Alameda Striped Whipsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Masticophis schotti ruthveni – Ruthven’s Whipsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Masticophis schotti schotti – Schott’s Whipsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Masticophis taeniatus girardi – Central Texas Whipsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Masticophis taeniatus taeniatus – Desert Striped Whipsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Nerodia clarkii clarkii – Gulf Salt Marsh Water Snake
Nerodia cyclopian – Mississippi Green Water Snake
Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster – Yellow-bellied Water Snake
Nerodia erythrogaster transversa – Blotched Water Snake
Nerodia fasciata confluens – Broad-banded Water Snake
Nerodia harteri – Brazos Water Snake
Nerodia paucimaculata – Concho Water Snake
Nerodia rhombifer rhombifer – Northern Diamond-backed Water Snake
Opheodrys aestivus aestivus – Northern Rough Green Snake
Opheodrys (Liochlorophis) vernalis – Smooth Green Snake
Oxybelis aeneus – Brown Vine Snake
Pantherophis bairdi – Baird’s Ratsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Pantherophis guttatus emoryi – Great Plains Ratsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Pantherophis guttatus intermontanus – Intermountain Ratsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Pantherophis guttatus meahllmorum – Thornscrub Ratsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Pantherophis guttatus slowinskii – Slowinski’s Corn Snake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Pantherophis lindheimeri – Texas Ratsnake  TAXONOMIC NOTE
Phyllorhynchus browni – Saddled Leaf-nosed Snake
Phyllorhynchus decurtatus – Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake
Pituophis catenifer affinis – Sonoran Gopher Snake
Pituophis catenifer annectens – San Diego Gopher Snake
Pituophis catenifer catenifer – Pacific Gopher Snake
Pituophis catenifer deserticola – Great Basin Gopher Snake
Pituophis catenifer pumilis – Santa Cruz Island Gopher Snake
Pituophis catenifer sayi – Bullsnake
Pituophis ruthveni – Louisiana Pine Snake
Regina grahamii – Graham’s Crayfish Snake
Regina rigida sinicola – Gulf Crayfish Snake
Rhinochelis lecontei – Long-nosed Snake
Salvadora grahamiae grahamiae – Mountain Patch-nosed Snake
Salvadora grahamiae lineata – Texas Patch-nosed Snake
Salvadora hexalepis deserticola – Big Bend Patch-nosed Snake
Salvadora hexalepis hexalepis – Desert Patch-nosed Snake
Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis – Mojave Patch-nosed Snake
Salvadora hexalepis virgultea – Coast Patch-nosed Snake
Senticolis triaspis intermedia – Northern Green Ratsnake
Sonora semiannulata semiannulata – Variable Ground Snake
Sonora semiannulata taylori – South Texas Ground Snake
Storeria dekayi limnetes – Marsh Brown Snake
Storeria dekayi texana – Texas Brown Snake
Storeria occipitomaculata obscura – Florida Red-bellied Snake
Tantilla atriceps – Mexican Black-headed Snake
Tantilla cucullata – Trans-Pecos Black-headed Snake
Tantilla gracilis – Flat-headed Snake
Tantilla hobartsmithi – Smith’s Black-headed Snake
Tantilla nigriceps – Plains Black-headed Snake
Tantilla planiceps – Western Black-headed Snake
Tantilla wilcoxi – Chihuahuan Black-headed Snake
Tantilla yaquia – Yaqui Black-headed Snake
Thamnophis atratus atratus – Santa Cruz Gartersnake
Thamnophis atratus hydrophilus – Oregon Gartersnake
Thamnophis atratus zaxanthus – Diablo Gartersnake
Thamnophis couchii – Sierra Gartersnake
Thamnophis cyrtopsis cyrtopsis – Western Black-necked Gartersnake
Thamnophis cyrtopsis ocellatus – Eastern Black-necked Gartersnake
Thamnophis elegans elegans – Mountain Gartersnake
Thamnophis elegans terrestris– Coast Gartersnake
Thamnophis elegans vagrans – Wandering Gartersnake
Thamnophis eques megalops – Northern Mexican Gartersnake
Thamnophis gigas – Giant Gartersnake
Thamnophis hammondii – Two-striped Gartersnake
Thamnophis marcianus marcianus – Marcy’s Checkered Gartersnake
Thamnophis ordinoides – Northwestern Gartersnake
Thamnophis proximus diabolicus – Arid Land Ribbon Snake
Thamnophis proximus orarius – Gulf Coast Ribbon Snake
Thamnophis proximus proximus – Orange-striped Ribbon Snake
Thamnophis proximus rubrilineatus – Red-striped Ribbon Snake
Thamnophis radix – Plains Gartersnake
Thamnophis rufipunctatus – Narrow-headed Gartersnake
Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis – Eastern Gartersnake
Thamnophis sirtalis annectens – Texas Gartersnake
Thamnophis sirtalis dorsalis – New Mexico Gartersnake
Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi – Valley Gartersnake
Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis – California Red-sided Gartersnake
Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis – Red-sided Gartersnake
Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia – San Francisco Gartersnake
Trimorphodon lambda – Sonoran Lyre Snake
Trimorphodon lyrophanes – Baja California Lyre Snake
Trimorphodon vilkinsonii – Chihuahuan Lyre Snake
Tropidoclonion lineatum – Lined Snake
Virginia striatula – Rough Earth Snake
Virginia valeriae elegans – Western Smooth Earth Snake

ELAPIDAE – Coral Snakes
Micruroides euryxanthus euryxanthus – Arizona Coral Snake
Micrurus tener tener – Texas Coral Snake

Pelamis platurus – Yellow-bellied Sea Snake

Leptotyphlops dulcis dulcis – Plains Threadsnake
Leptotyphlops dulcis rubellum – South Texas Threadsnake
Leptotyphlops dissectus – New Mexico Threadsnake
Leptotyphlops humilis humilis – Southwestern Threadsnake
Leptotyphlops humilis cahuilae – Desert Threadsnake
Leptotyphlops humilis segregus – Trans-Pecos Threadsnake
Leptotyphlops humilis utahensis – Utah Threadsnake

TYPHLOPIDAE – Robust Blindsnakes
Ramphotyphlops braminus – Brahminy Blindsnake (Introduced Species)

Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix – Southern Copperhead
Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus – Broad-banded Copperhead
Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster – Trans-Pecos Copperhead
Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma – Western Cottonmouth
Crotalus atrox – Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake
Crotalus cerastes cerastes – Mohave Desert Sidewinder
Crotalus cerastes cercobombus – Sonoran Sidewinder
Crotalus cerastes laterorepens – Colorado Desert Sidewinder
Crotalus cerberus – Arizona Black Rattlesnake
Crotalus horridus – Timber Rattlesnake
Crotalus lepidus klauberi – Banded Rock Rattlesnake
Crotalus lepidus lepidus – Mottled Rock Rattlesnake
Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus – Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake
Crotalus molossus molossus – Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnake
Crotalus oreganus abyssys – Grand Canyon Rattlesnake
Crotalus oreganus concolor – Midget Faded Rattlesnake
Crotalus oreganus helleri – Southern Pacific Rattlesnake
Crotalus oreganus lutosus – Great Basin Rattlesnake
Crotalus oreganus oreganus – Northern Pacific Rattlesnake
Crotalus pricei pricei – Western Twin-spotted Rattlesnake
Crotalus ruber – Red Diamond Rattlesnake
Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus – Northern Mohave Rattlesnake
Crotalus stephensi – Panamint Rattlesnake
Crotalus tigris – Tiger Rattlesnake
Crotalus viridis – Prairie Rattlesnake
Crotalus willardi obscurus – New Mexico Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake
Crotalus willardi willardi – Arizona ridge-nosed Rattlesnake
Sistrurus catenatus edwardsi – Desert Massasauga
Sistrurus catenatus tergerminus – Western Massasauga
Sistrurus miliarius streckeri – Western Pygmy Rattlesnake