Glossy Snake

Glossy Snake

Facts, Identification and control

Latin Name

Arizona elegans

Physical Appearance

Glossy snake, otherwise known as faded snake is a term used to describe a group of snake found mostly in the southwestern region of the United States and some parts of Mexico. The most prominent of the snake specie is the elegans, found mostly in Arizona, alongside some other subspecies. The snake does not produce venom. When fully grown, the snake can grow to 2 ½ feet, sometimes reaching 5 feet. Its smooth scales give it a glossy look. The glossy snake has a body color which ranges between tan to brown, patterned with dark splotches, with cream or whitish color on its underbelly. When basking under the sun, the snake’s color becomes faded or muted. Though having physical similarities with some species of snake such as the gopher snake, the glossy snake’s rounded pupil makes it easy to be identified.

Behavior, habit and diet

Found mostly in the southwestern part of the United States, the glossy snake lives mostly in desert scrub, semi-arid lands, barren sandy deserts and rocky outcropping. The snake is mostly active at night, burrowing during the day and hunting at night. The snake feeds on lizards, small birds, mammals and small reptiles. Having no venom, the glossy snake kills it prey by constricting them, swallowing them whole.

Additional information about the Glossy snake

Being a non-venomous snake, some homeowners find the glossy snake beneficial, as they feed on pests such as rats and mice. They best way to keep glossy snakes away if by eliminating pests they love feeding on. Also, landscaping around a home must be kept trimmed at all times, and should not make contact with home structures. Moisture attracts these snakes, and so should be eliminated from cold water pipes, drains and hoses to keep the glossy snake away. Finally, all openings which can serve as entry points to a home should be sealed properly.


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