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Snake Fencing


Western Patch-nosed Snake Salvadora hexalepis

Western Patchnosed Snakes are most often encountered on dirt roads in the morning or late afternoon by hikers as they bask in the sun, then quickly dart off the road. They're slender, medium-sized snakes that get up to around 3' long. They're very quick, and most people only get a glimpse of them before they disappear, which often leads to misidentificaiton as a Coachwhip or Whipsnake. They're harmless, but might give a minor bite (some scratches) of picked up.

Their color has often been described as "straw", or tan, cream, or a peach tint, with a series of black or brown stripes that run from just behind the eye to the tail. The stripes have a slight saw-tooth look to them, unlike the straight stripes of the Eastern Patch-Nosed Snake. On the end of the nose is an enlarged scale that looks like a small, bent guitar pick, which the snake uses to hunt lizards hiding in shallow sand.

  • Harmless
  • Commonly encountered
  • No action necessary
  • Snake fencing somewhat effective

Subspecies in AZ

Desert Patch-nosed Snake
Salvadora hexalepis hexalepis

Big Bend Patch-nosed Snake
Salvadora hexalepis deserticola

Mojave Patch-nosed Snake
Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis

Often confused with:



Rosy Boas