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.
Species and Subspecies
- Hypsiglena affinis Boulenger, 1894 - Boulenger's night snake
- Hypsiglena catalinae W.W. Tanner, 1966 - Santa Catalina night snake
- Hypsiglena chlorophaea Cope, 1860 - Sonoran night snake
- Hypsiglena jani (DugÃ¨s, 1865) - Chihuahua night snake
- Hypsiglena jani texana (Stejneger, 1893) - Texas night snake
- Hypsiglena jani dunklei (Taylor, 1938) - Tamaulipas night snake
- Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha Cope, 1860 - Spotted night snake
- Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha baueri Zweifel, 1958 - Cedros Island night snake
- Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha gularis W.W. Tanner, 1954 - Isla Partida night snake
- Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha klauberi W.W. Tanner, 1944 - San Diego night snake
- Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha martinensis W.W. Tanner & Banta 1962 - San MartÃn Island night snake
- Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha nuchalata W.W. Tanner, 1943 - California night snake
- Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha tortugaensis W.W. Tanner, 1944 - Isla Tortuga night snake
- Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha venusta Mocquard, 1899 - Central Baja night snake
- Hypsiglena slevini W.W.Tanner, 1943 - Baja California night snake
- Hypsiglena tanzeri Dixon & Lieb, 1972 - Tanzer's night snake
- Hypsiglena torquata (GÃ¼nther, 1860) - Sinaloa night snake
- Hypsiglena unaocularus W.W.Tanner, 1944 - Clarion Island night snake
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.
Their preferred habitat is semiarid desert regions with rocky and sandy soils.
Night snakes typically do not exceed a total length of 40Â cm (16Â 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.
Hypsiglena are nocturnal and terrestrial.
Their diet consists primarily of lizards, but they will also consume smaller snakes, and amphibians.
Their venom is not considered to be dangerous to humans.
- Cope ED. 1860. "Catalogue of the ColubridÃ¦ 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, p. 246).
- Genus Hypsiglena at The Reptile Database