Ground Snake

It’s sometimes called a miter snake due to the marking on its head that looks like a bishop’s miter
Ground Snake Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Sonora semiannulata
Ground Snake Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Red, Black, White, Orange
15 – 20 years
Ground Snake Distribition

The western ground snake utilizes its thick head to dig burrows in its sandy environment.

The western ground snake passes a pair various other names consisting of the commonalities snake and the variable ground snake. It’s belonging to The United States and Canada, especially the southwestern part of the USA in addition to north Mexico. This snake has a selection of color scheme consisting of orange, red, or brownish with straight black bands.

This non- poisonous snake expands to approximately concerning 8 inches long, making it a convenient pet for some reptile lovers.

4 Incredible Truths

  1. This tiny snake utilizes its thick head to tunnel right into the sand and loosened dust in its environment
  2. As a result of its tiny dimension, this snake is preyed upon by bigger snakes consisting of the sidewinder
  3. It is in some cases misinterpreted for the similar- looking harsh planet snake whose region expands right into the eastern component of the USA
  4. It’s in some cases called a miter snake as a result of the noting on its head that appears like a diocesan’s miter

Where to Discover Ground Snakes

Western ground snakes are discovered in the southwestern component of the USA. Its region goes to the west from Missouri via Arizona and right into The golden state. This snake’s array likewise expands north right into components of Oregon. On top of that, it’s discovered in Durango, Sonora, and Coahuila in north Mexico.

These snakes reside in a rough hill environment where they can tunnel right into the loosened, sandy ground. They are specifically energetic throughout their reproducing period in the springtime and in the summertime when they lay their eggs.

In some areas, these snakes enter into brumation when the climate ends up being cooler in November. This duration of brumation enables them to maintain cozy and conserve their power for reproducing period. Western ground snakes appear of brumation in the later component of February or early in the month of March.

Scientific Name

Sonora semiannulata is the scientific name of the western ground snake. Various other names of this snake consist of the commonalities snake, variable ground snake and the miter snake. The Spanish word Sonora describes its house in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Words semiannulata describes its vivid range pattern. This reptile is in some cases called a miter snake since several of them have a black mark on their head similar fit to a diocesan’s miter.

It remains in the Reptilia class and the Colubridae family.

The Various Sorts Of Western Ground Snake

Though the western ground snake does not have subspecies, the snake is available in a variety of shades and patterns. Every one of them have a lotion- tinted forward location, which can aid an individual separate them from various other tiny makes such as the level- headed and red- bellied snakes. The ranges of the commonalities snake are likewise smooth, while those of snakes such as the similar- looking harsh planet snake are keeled. The western ground snake can be distinguished from various other participants of Sonora by distinctions in their tails or noses. Researchers in some cases yet not constantly can inform the snakes apart by just keeping in mind where they live.

Western ground snakes can be available in strong shades, which are frequently tones of brownish, grey, orange, or red. They can be candy striped, or have complete or partial bands. Bands are typically black, though some snakes discovered in west Texas have grey cross bands. The color scheme of the snake do not alter with age and do not reveal the animal’s sex.

Population & Conservation Status

The population of the western ground snake is approximated at greater than 100,000 and its numbers are steady. It’s noted by the preservationists at the IUCN Red Listing of Intimidated Species as Least Concern.

Ground Snake Appearance and Summary

The shades and markings of the non- poisonous, western ground snake can differ. Simply put, this snake can be strong in shade with brown or red ranges with a white stomach. Or, it can have red or orange ranges including black bands running the size of its body in addition to on its stomach. Simply put, you can see 2 western ground snakes side-by-side and assume you’re checking out 2 various species of snake!

Western ground snakes with strong brownish ranges are in some cases misinterpreted for an additional species of non- poisonous ground snake. Formally, it’s referred to as a harsh planet snake and has to do with the exact same size as a western ground snake.

The areas of these 2 snakes overlap. Nevertheless, the region of the harsh planet snake also known as ground snake, expands right into the eastern component of the USA. Particularly, they populate an eastern array ranging from Virginia to the north component of Florida.

Western ground snakes are approximately 8 inches long yet can be as long as 20 inches. They have a thick body in addition to an evenly thick head. This snake’s eyes have rounded students. This snake is nighttime. So, it makes use of both its vision and feeling of scent to discover target at night. Their insect target of centipedes, spiders and crickets are nighttime too.

Exactly how to determine a western ground snake:

  • Strong in shade with glossy brownish or red ranges
  • May likewise have a pattern of brownish, orange, or red ranges with straight black bands
  • An orange or red snake with black bands can have a miter form on its head
  • A white stomach or one with a grouped pattern
  • Thick head and body
  • Round students

Western Ground Snake Photos

A Western Ground snake slithers across red sand
Western Ground snakes grouped shades can imitate coral snakesMatt Jeppson/Shutterstock. com

A Western Ground Snake slithers across a rock in the Mojave Desert
Usually, Western Ground snakes are 8 inches longMatt Jeppson/Shutterstock. com

A Western Ground Snake with an almost solid orange appearance
This Western Ground snake is practically entirely orange, while numerous function solid bands of shadeRusty Dodson/Shutterstock. com

Exactly How Unsafe Are They?

These snakes are not poisonous. On top of that, as a result of their tiny dimension, their bite is not uncomfortable.

An individual that is attacked by among these snakes might not also understand it. However, if an individual is attacked, there are particular actions to require to stay clear of infection. Initially, the individual must completely clean up the injury with soap and cozy water. Next off, it’s a great concept to place initial- help lotion on the bite location prior to placing a tidy plaster over it. As a note, this snake’s teeth are extremely tiny and might not also be solid sufficient to pass through an individual’s skin. If swelling or too much soreness happens, see a physician for therapy.

Ground Snake Actions and Humans

Commonalities snakes have a reluctant character and conceal in burrows they integrate in loosened sand or dirt. If they see a human coming close to or feeling a killer in the location, they will certainly attempt to escape.

Generally, these snakes are energetic in the evening. However somebody strolling in their rough hill environment throughout the day might discover one by raising a rock or looking underneath a stack of thick plants. These snakes hide throughout much of the day to remain great in their exceptionally warm setting. Naturally, shocking this snake in the daytime can cause a bite. It’s finest to leave them alone in their hiding locations.

Some individuals select this snake as a pet due to its tiny dimension and timid nature. However it can be testing to recreate its natural surroundings and diet.

Commonalities snakes are seldom seen by humans since they reside in environments with dirt they can quickly tunnel under. They are likewise nighttime, which implies they search in the evening. Occasionally a garden enthusiast might discover one if they hand over the dirt or ground cover in their yard, and, like earthworms, a great rainfall can clean them to the surface area. They are entirely safe to humans and do not also appear to attack in self- protection.

When it comes to maintaining the snake as a pet, some specialists think that the commonalities snake requires such specialized treatment that it does not actually make a great pet, although that it is a tiny, nonvenomous, and usually extremely rather snake. Others think they make great pets that are simple to look after, also if they are a little deceptive. They simply require a 10- gallon storage tank with an earthen substratum and a rock the snake can conceal under. Afterwards, the remainder of the snake’s treatment includes offering tiny insects and a water meal.

The variable ground snake possibly companions from Might to June and lays one to 6 eggs throughout the summer season. It is thought to lay the eggs underground, where they nurture for concerning 2 months prior to they hatch out. Unlike some snakes where juveniles and grownups look extremely various from each various other, child ground snakes look quite like grownups, and they maintain their patterns and shades throughout their lives.

The western ground snake prevails in its array and its conservation status is least concern. This harmless snake is target for numerous various other animals, consisting of various other snakes, lizards, and animals. They have actually also been understood to be taken by invertebrates such as huge centipedes.

Why is it called a variable ground snake?

Sonora semiannulata is called a variable ground snake since it can be available in numerous various sorts of morphs. It can include red stripes, complete bands or partial bands, and even in strong shades. For a long period of time, researchers thought these various shade morphs were various subspecies of the snake.


  1. Wikipedia, Available here:
  2. USA Snakes, Available here:
  3. IUCN Redlist, Available here:
  4. Reptiles of AZ, Available here:
  5. Wikipedia, Available here:
  6. Digital Atlas of Idaho, Available here:

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