Texas Patchnose Snake
The Texas patchnose snake (Salvadora grahamiae lineata) is one of the most common terrestrial snakes in our area. Although it tends to burrow and hide under rocks and logs, I see these reptiles regularly, so they must really be numerous. The patchnose snake gets its name from the protective large rostral scale that covers the front of its nose, a feature very helpful for a snake that burrows into abrasive granite gravel, caliche, and dry clay soils. Most individuals that I've seen have been about two feet in length, but they can grow to over three feet, which still isn't all that big. Most patchnose snakes are quite slender, and they are fast, often quick to slither off if alarmed. The snake in the photo, though, was rather stout. As it was photographed in the early spring, I would guess that it might be a pregnant female. It also did not move very quickly, but did eventually retreat under cover. Patchnose snakes feed on lizards, smaller snakes, reptile eggs, mice and frogs.