Hypsiglena is a genus of small, rear-fanged, colubrid snakes commonly referred to as night snakes. The genus consists of nine species, and subspecies have been maintained pending further investigation.[2][3]

Texas night snake
Hypsiglena jani texana
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Dipsadinae
Genus: Hypsiglena
Cope, 1860

Species and subspecies edit

The following species and subspecies are recognized as being valid.

Nota bene: A binomial authority or trinomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species or subspecies was originally described in a genus other than Hypsiglena.

Geographic range edit

Hypsiglena are found throughout the southwestern and western United States, from Texas and Kansas, west to California, north to Washington, and south into Mexico, as well as on islands off the coasts of Mexico.

Habitat edit

The preferred habitat of night snakes is semiarid desert regions with rocky and sandy soils.

Description edit

Night snakes typically do not exceed a total length (including tail) of 40 cm (16 in). They are slender-bodied with a flattened head, and have small eyes with vertical pupils. Their color varies depending on their locality, often matching the soil color of their native habitat. They occur in various shades of gray, and brown, with dark brown, gray or black blotches on the back and the sides. Many also have distinctive black markings on the neck region.

Behavior edit

Hypsiglena are nocturnal and terrestrial.

Diet edit

The diet of night snakes consists primarily of lizards, but they will also consume smaller snakes, and amphibians.

Venom edit

The venom of Hypsiglena is not considered to be dangerous to humans.

References edit

  1. ^ Tanner WW (1944). "A Taxonomic Study of the Genus ' 'Hypsiglena ". Great Basin Naturalist 5 (3 & 4): 25-92.
  2. ^ Mulcahy DG (2008). "Phylogeography and species boundaries of the western North American nightsnake (Hypsiglena torquata): Revisiting the subspecies concept". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46 (3): 1095–1115.
  3. ^ Mulcahy DG, Martínez-Gómez JE, Aguirre-León G, Cervantes-Pasqualli JA, Zug GR (2014). "Rediscovery of an endemic vertebrate from the remote Islas Revillagigedo in the eastern Pacific Ocean: The Clarión Nightsnake, with conservation and systematic implications". PLOS ONE 9 (5): e97682.

Further reading edit

  • Cope ED (1860). "Catalogue of the Colubridæ in the Museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, with notes and descriptions of new species. Part 2". Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 12: 241–266. (Hypsiglena, new genus, p. 246).

External links edit