Glossy Snake Care Sheet

Glossy Snake

Scientific Facts

Common Name:Glossy Snake
Scientific Name:Arizona elegans
Life Span:20 years
Size:75 – 130 cm
Habitat:Semi-arid grasslands
Country of Origin:Southwest USA
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What is Glossy Snake?

The genus Arizona is a monotypic genus with its species being Arizona elegans. In 1859, Kennicott first named this species. The prototype is essentially two examples accumulated at the ‘Within Arkansas and Cimarron’ River, Oklahoma, and lower Rio Grande, Texas. Succeeding in 1950, Smith & Taylor restrained this somewhat general vicinity to Eagle Pass, Maverick County, Texas.


1) Desert Glossy Snake

Arizona elegans eburnata. This subspecies is located in the west and southwest of Arizona. A pale milk earth shade with light olive-brown blemishes on the rear and surfaces and light, bare underneath. Frequently more faded and has a smaller tail concerning body measurement than the other subspecies.

2) Arizona Glossy Snake

Arizona elegans noctivaga. This subspecies is observed across most utmost of south-central Arizona. It has a smaller tailpiece relevant to frame extent than the Painted Desert Glossy Snake.

3) Painted Desert Glossy Snake

Arizona elegans philipi. This subspecies is discovered in the elevated area of north-east of Arizona and the distant southeastern edge of the land. Like the western Glossy Snakes, it has a profound number of 27 flake series, but like the eastern Glossy Snakes, it has a more extended tailpiece concerning its body diameter.


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4) California Desert Glossy Snake

A medium-sized husky serpent with sleek, glossy scales, pale or washed-out features, and a small tail. Frequently duller than other California Glossy snake subspecies – a brown or vivid brown earth color with deep brown spots with dull sides on the rear and surfaces and light, spotless underneath.

5) Mohave Western Glossy Snake

This subspecies transpires from the east into southwestern Nevada, and Inyo County south through most of the Mojave Desert. A medium-sized muscular snake with glossy scales, smooth, a faded or bleached-out appearance (a pale tan, grayish, milk, or rosy earth pigment with tan-brown or gray blemishes on rear and surfaces with black frames and a pale, bare underside), and a small tail.

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6) Texas Glossy Snake

It is found in the Chihuahuan Desert region of northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Its scope projects that of other glossy snake subspecies, and crossbreeding is possible. The Texas glossy snake is generally a dark brown, with deeper copper-colored blemishes below the expanse of the rear.

7) Kansas Glossy Snake

It has a pale brown frame with deep spots working down the core of its back. Smaller blemishes are seen along its surfaces. The abdomen is dull and light-shaded, and it has a single anal plate.

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8) Peninsula Glossy Snake

It transpires on the Pacific appraised of the southern portion of the Baja California point, besides for its entire southernmost range. This species is seen as distant north as El Parador in Baja, California, to 12.4 miles north of the city of La Paz, Baja California Sur.

Appearance & Size

Glossy snake, alternatively popular as the faded snake, is a name applied to define a group of serpent observed frequently in some portions of Mexico and the southwestern area of the United States. Found mostly in Arizona, alongside some other subspecies, is the elegans, which is the most notable of the snake species. The snake does not deliver poison.

Its sleek coverings present it a glossy appearance. The glossy snake holds a body-shade which varies between tan to brown, modeled with dull blemishes, with milk or whitish cast on its abdomen. The snake’s complexion becomes bleached or softened when lounging beneath the sun. Though having substantial connections with some species of vermin, such as the gopher snake, the glossy snake’s crescent pupil gives it simple to be classified.

Most of their subspecies are below 100 cm in expansion, but he Glossy Snake can stretch to a supreme entire body portion of 177.8 cm. Males are smaller than females and serve 13-17% of their bodies are tail lengths. Female TL can designate 12-15% of their bodies. Offsprings standard 24.8 cm in total body length.

Hinging on the subspecies, the scale series at the mid-frame span within 25-35. The posterior flakes in this species are level. Two of the more prominent features of this species are the acute nozzle and the countersunk inferior mandible. Added, less visible aspect is the generally egg-shaped pupil.

Geographical Range

Glossy snakes are located in the Mexico and United States. In the U.S., their range incorporates southern Nevada, southern and central California, eastern and southern Colorado, southern Utah,  southern Nebraska, New Mexico, all of Arizona, Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. In Mexico, they are discovered continuing south in the central region of the country to Aguascalientes and Tamaulipas, as well as across the Baja Penninsula to merely northward of La Paz.

This snake is discovered beyond the western and southwestern wildernesses, the northeastern plains, and the southeastern canyons in Arizona. It transpires at altitudes varying from bordering sea level along the Colorado River to nearly 6,000′.


Glossy snakes reside semi-arid fields, dry, granular wastelands and scrub, and rocky canyons, favoring open fields and loamy or sandy soil. Most are seen slightly above sea level; they can be seen from beneath sea level to nearly 2,220 meters beyond sea level.

Common Behavior

Glossy snakes are not notable for engaging in social activities apart from the coupling or any type of authorities.  There are no distinct exemplars of concurrence or population dynamics in tropical-temperate snakes. Glossy snakes are not known to protect areas nor formulate rankings but popular to be tender and gentle.

Glossy snakes drive managing a winding movement known as a parallel wave. They are skilled miners and often utilize fissures or mice tunnels as refuges throughout the day. They are gloomy and night-loving and are frequently most productive within April and September (this can alter somewhat hinging on range and altitude).

Glossy Snakes unusually are energetic during the daytime. The moderately steeply egg-shaped pupil that this serpent s has is an adjustment for night perception, simultaneously with its retina, which holds both cones and rods.

Annually, Glossy snake is active in  New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California activity has been witnessed from late February or early March until November; and in Colorado from May to October. Throughout winter, the Glossy Snake sleeps hidden in an animal tunnel or immersed into the soil beneath the freeze line. Most of the Glossy Snake’s outside movement takes place within May, June, and July.

If hidden, the Glossy Snake may seldom get up to the outside to relish in hot, bright, winter holidays.

Communication and Perception

Glossy snakes apply pheromones and fragrance imprinting during breeding. Letting possible partners discover her, a female gives a trace of pheromones scoring the territory. Males recognize this smell within their vomeronasal gland. By actuating over females, males launch relations.

Both males and females snap their tongues out to take the air, delivering biochemical smells toward the mouth, pushing the air upon the roof of their jaws and beneath their nostrils where the vomeronasal gland is placed.

Dwelling subterrene throughout the day, and have comparatively small eyes; glossy snakes are excavating creatures. These eyes are not the principal sensible course adopted for identifying the victim; hence, they are primarily employed to distinguish a variation between light and dark.

Diet Habits

Glossy snakes are carnivorous. Including western whiptails, zebra-tailed lizards, blemished leaf-nosed serpents, desert iguanas,  coast horned lizards, greater short-horned lizards, desert night lizards, desert spiny lizards, and general side-blotched lizards, nearly a portion of their nutrition is comprised of different reptiles.

The remnant of their intake is composed of tiny animals such as Ord’s kangaroo rats, long-tailed pocket rodents, Merriam’s kangaroo rats, Salinas pocket mice, eastern moles, and small fowl. Unconventional trapping procedures may live for seizing several prey varieties. 

Portions of prey species inside nutrition are instantly associated with the volume and mass of a given serpent: Glossy snakes that devour more raptors are more comprehensive than those that absorb more animals, which are more considerable than those that essentially eat small reptiles.

Reproduction & Life Cycle

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No particular data remains concerning the copulating method of glossy snakes. Usually, she exudes hormones that can be recognized by males through their vomeronasal glands when a female serpent is willing to have her eggs propagated. Males grasp this smell and pursue the female by slithering over her. Enabling physical implantation through the cloaca, she mounts her tail if she affirms.  Males and females possess numerous partners.

Glossy snakes are oviparous and reproduce in the springtime and summertime after revival from slumber. Females generally produce clasps of eggs that bear from late August to mid-September, in early July. The broodings are nearly 25 cm long at parturition. There is proof that a female will produce eggs solely every distinct year, and females provide hardly one grasp of eggs per year.

Female glossy snakes have been witnessed defending their baby for several days following delivery. There is no familial venture from males.


With temperature as the principal inducer, even in the inadequacy of photoperiods, spermatogenesis is periodically and transpires in late summertime. Vitellogenesis works in the spring, and ovulation can transpire in June. Fetuses emerge inside eggs yielded clandestinely by females. 

Overall, serpents that bear from eggs possess an egg fang on their uppermost lip, which they apply to grind their system out of the egg crust. Member is defined by the egg rather than the sperm, and this is the ZW system; males are ZZ while females are ZW. Offsprings are developed and self-sufficient; they do not experience modification. Serpents spread throughout their existences, typically in 1-9 years, although pace decreases extremely once development is attained.


No data applies concerning the time on earth of glossy snakes; commonly addressing, snakes remain from 4-25 years in the native.

How to Breed Glossy Snake

Snake breeding alters a bit within different species, but there are some fundamental forethoughts you must get a glimpse at to make certain your snake is fit, both before and subsequent reproducing.

Planning to Breed

To equip your pet snake for breeding, do convince to supply it the precise measure of energy. Serpents are usually satisfied with the warmth of 85° to 100° Fahrenheit. Furthermore, attempt to abstain from touching your snake following filling it, as this may induce them to disgorge their snacks.

Establish a Slumber Chamber

Hibernation can be a fundamental factor for favorably reproducing snakes, hinging on the prototype you possess. You’ll need to give your snake with the aloofness of a hibernation room. To create one, get a case merely a few bits tinier than your snake’s enclosure. Load it with five to ten measures of corncob bedding, or different kind of comparable substrates. Your serpent will dwell in this. You’ll likewise desire to get certain you sustain a constant temperature of 55° to 60° Fahrenheit in this room.


To equips your snake for slumber, assess your female’s well-being with the guidance of your pet’s doctor. You must provide your pet lukewarm showers each day the week before snoozing. This will further eliminate rubbish from your pet’s body.

It’s a great approach to reduce the heat gradually in your snake’s enclosure. Reduce the heat of the bathwater several ranges each day until it’s the equivalent temperature as the relaxation burrow. Settle your serpent to the hibernation container and get certain to supplement a dish of water as well. Allow your serpent there for a few weeks and replace the water as required.

Start to raise the temperature of the hibernation container subsequent weeks until it approaches the standard heat of the breathing regions. After this, you can reinstate the serpent to its conventional enclosure.

Acquaint the Two

You now require to precede your female to the male’s enclosure. By understanding her body expression, reflect her enthusiasm to reproduce. She is set if she sprawls down and seems loafed near the male. Reestablish your pet for several days in sequence until the female appears like she has forgotten interest in the male. She will be giving eggs at this period. Following this, all you must do is to remain for her to produce eggs or delivery, energetic juniors. The pregnancy phase is usually 28 to 45 days.

Care Sheet

A pet vermin requires a place and a burrow-home within the cage. Select one for your glossy pet, and then choose out substrate elements. 

Efficiently sustained varieties. Glossy snakes flourish in a manageable, low-maintenance cage. A grown-up can be accommodated in a container covering 72 cms long, 30 cms broad and 30 cms high, with a tight shield cover. More comprehensive rooms can be employed, as well as more miniature enclosures for tinier serpents.


All snakes need a hidey-home. These are the items that fill the floor of the container. There are dirt and gravels and compost which can approximately mimic the snake’s fundamental territory. This might be a hollow composed of stone or a part of a neat board that the serpent matches beneath. It requires a spot where it appears secure to sleep and unwind. These are excellent. 

Numerous sheets of paper can likewise take the work accomplished. It is accessible to have the newsprint neat and dusty, and it is considerably more affordable. Though the nearer to a fundamental territory you can accomplish, the more robust your serpent will be in an extended period.

Bedding can be copper wood, case or enclosure matting. Set a warming mat below one edge of the container to install a point of nearly 32 degrees Celcius. The remainder of the room can hold from 24 to 27 degrees.

Lighting & Temperature

Some vermins will necessitate an ultraviolet-Beam light. Some won’t. Some will go onward modestly with portion an hour of extreme light every day. Examine the features of your serpent’s requirements. All vermins will demand a lounging light. Place it above a particular basking stone or twig.

You’ll require a variety of thermostats and hygrometers (tools that regulate moisture): some for the basement and some for the surfaces of the vivarium. Never, ever consider the thermostats.

All serpents must likewise possess some under-container warming. You demand to be cautious here: You don’t merely attach a warming mat beneath the container, set it on, and disregard it. It necessitates being scanty enough to produce energy to the only section of the basement, following section of the burrow-home. The purpose is to present what is named a heat inclination. That implies that one segment of the ground beneath a hidey-home must be a particular heat.

Moisture alters, solely for the most section, it can vary from nothing to 50 percent for this wilderness serpent. Put a water basin at the cold edge, merely big enough for the vermin to sip from. Burrows is necessary, as these pets consume most of its day buried beneath stones and such in the native. Various tunnels are suggested. Illumination is not essential.


All vermins are carnivores. They consume the entire meat, with all the bones and entrails still inside. Several species of pet serpents devour rodents and muskrats. Some consume amphibians, other lizards. The smallest ones might exist on big pests.

Luckily, several pet snakes will take stagnant prey. If yours does, think to have a distinct tiny fridge for what is cautiously described as prey objects. Lifeless rodents and mice of diverse terms can be obtained in chilled packs through pet grocery shops and instantly from somebody who reproduces diner mice.

 It is most suitable to have your snake’s feast independently from your meals, for wellness purposes. She might hardly swallow one, or she might swallow several at one feed, hinging on the condition of the snake. In any circumstance, you’ll require to have a share dozen on hand. Attempt commencing with victim pieces that are nearly the equivalent volume around the core as your pet is.

Attempt shaking the snack a little, to get it to move if your pet won’t taste lifeless victim parts. Furthermore, I strive to place a section of cloth across the container as an isolation screen. Seldom will one or both of these give the know-how.

You might require to satisfy your serpent real victim if that displeases. This is more complex, and not for the stupor soul.

Merely as it does for other creatures, freshwater is essential for serpents. Fresh and replenish her water dish at abrupt twice a week.


Grooming is most critical when your pet discards her covering. She will take charge of the aforementioned herself if the heat and moisture are accurate and if all works well. Commonly, a serpent will drop once a period or indefinitely. Anticipate the method to get the entire week. If there occur any difficulties, or worse-she might demand assistant if she hasn’t discarded in a prolonged season.

A standard condition of shedding dilemmas is a sterile atmosphere. Increase the moisture in the container, and supplement a crate somewhat packed with moistened paper napkins, mildew, or other pliant bedding elements. This might be sufficient to answer the difficulty. A tiny bit of moderate grazing beneath the mandible might likewise assist. Are there suitable things in the container for the serpent to brush on? She requires some flat stones and twigs for that. Subsequent all, she doesn’t possess fingers.

At this step, if your snake is yet not apt to make her discarding, bring her to the doctor, despite having worked the moistened paper napkins, boosting the moisture, and giving brushing areas.


Several pet serpents get to endure being touched; however, you must not even venture to attempt hand-training her until she has happily consumed at least four feeds in her current place. Remain until there is no swelling from her feed before attempting to pet her.

Begin gently and lay both palms beneath her abdomen to carry her mass. Solely touch the middle portion of its frame, except if a doctor bids you take unless. There are several pharmaceutical purposes to keep her head or tailpiece, so if the doctor advises you to (for instance, for washing the snake’s front), move onward. In these situations, hold her frame with your opposite hand.

Bed Bug Infestation

Bed pest nibbles aren’t trustworthy enough. That alone, bed bug bites are comparable to that of flea and mite. The most reliable approach to determine their behavior is by examining for discarded skins, serum blemishes, and excretions. Their pungent-smelling ambiance can likewise be a significant warning.

The most dependable means of ascertaining bed infiltration is by bodily locating the pests. Bed insects are frequently busy in the evening, and this creates it challenging to locate. If you are fortunate to detect one, put it in a case and bring it for review by a specialist.


Glossy snakes have been notable greatly neglected in the pet business. Generally, they have been field-accumulated and changed over to tame rodents for meals. Lately, there has occurred a wave of confined reproducing, and more offsprings nurtured on pre-murdered pinky rats are eventually being accessible. They have unsteady markings, hinging on the region, but all hold regarding the corresponding blemished model with shining, high-sheen layers, therefore the snake’s fame.

You might obtain several for purchase at reptile exhibits, both field-accumulated grown-ups and custody-bred juveniles. They are seldom located in pet shops and seldom awarded in pursuit of reptile markets and on cyberspace.

In the US, some lands might demand a permit to keep a serpent. Each nation has a distinct faction of ordinances administering reptile purchase, so you need to follow the conditions established down by your political jurisdiction.

If you are contemplating a transit interstate at a later time, be certain to review the permit limitations for having serpents in your target country. The distribution rules range essentially within domains, and a serpent that is licensed in your dwelling land may not be allowed or need a somewhat separate consent standard in a different land.

Ecosystem Roles

Glossy snakes manage the populace of several tiny rats, mammals, and reptiles. They likewise help to loosen the soil as excavating creatures. They are popular dwellers of numerous endoparasitic worms and roundworms


They consume mice and saurians, hence regulating potential bug populations.


There are no identified unfavorable outcomes of those serpents on humans


Defenses from Predation:  Hunters/Killers of the Glossy Snake most possibly comprise carnivorous animals, birds, and bigger serpents; though, written reports are limited. To hinder hunters, they will swing its tailpiece when threatened and, if touched, spatter odor. Numerous of their species are hit on streets or from the impacts of farming and territory extinction.


Even though presently not deemed endangered, a few populations of glossy snakes have been gradually diminished due to farming community and modernization.

No preservation programs have been formed to support populations due to this species’ steady population, a fraction of subpopulations, and population areas. Nevertheless, some populace is preserved as they exist national and state parks.

Fun Facts

  • A general thin species. 
  • The more inferior mandible is countersunk. 
  • The eye is somewhat perpendicularly egg-shaped. 
  • Sleek and glistening posterior coverings (not capitulated). 
  • Coverings sprawl in 28-29 front lines, 27-31 midframe series, and 28-29 dorsal lines.
  • Exclusive anal plate.


Is a glossy snake poisonous?

Glossy snakes are non-toxic, and though like several serpents, they may snap if aroused. Their countersunk inferior muzzle allows them to dig into movable soil immediately.

Do glossy snakes bite?

Most prey is compressed. When first confronted, they may swing its tail and coat its hunter with odor. Some will whip and snap (especially males), but most of these species are considerably tame.

What kind of habitat do they need?

These creatures are located in the subsequent varieties of territory warm mundane

Temporal Biomes wastelands or rise savanna or meadow chaparral woodland dwarf jungle

How long do they live?

4 to 25 years

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