Sonora straminea Variable Sandsnake
Also known as:
Variable Sand Snake
This species was previously classified as Chilomeniscus stramineus, and some authorities continue to use that classification.
Sabino Canyon, Tucson, Pima County, ArizonaMay 14, 2000
Variable Sandsnake (Sonora straminea)
These pretty little snakes are excellent "sand swimmers", spending most of their time just under the desert sand's surface, in a perpetual quest for yummy insect larvae and other tasty underground morsels. This one was encountered at night in a dry water hole in a dry streambed. It sat still long enough for me to get a picture, but slowly vanished under the leaf litter before another camera-bearing herper in our group could get his equipment ready.

The sandsnakes in this area were considered a separate species until recently: Chilomeniscus cinctus (Banded Sand Snake or Banded Sandsnake). But the SSAR North American herp names book groups three formerly-separate species into this one.

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