here is the very common small snake that people think is a baby rattlesnake.
The Cape Nightsnake, Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha ochrorohyncha, is a member of the Colubridae or Snake Family which comprises two-thirds of the worlds snake population that includes 304 genera and 1,938 species. In Mexico they are known as serpiente de la noche. They are a small and slender in stature with a narrow flat head with nineteen rows of scales and eyes that have vertical pupils. They vary in color, matching the substrate, in various shades of gray, light brown, beige, tan or cream as the base with dark brown or gray blotches on the backs and sides. The underside is a uniform pale gray color. They are 18 cm (7.0 inches) upon hatching and reaching a maximum length of 66 cm (26 inches). They can be found in a variety of habitats including chaparral, deserts, grasslands, mountain meadows, Sagebrush, suburban lots and gardens around rocks and logs and other surface objects requiring an abundance of surface cover at elevations up to 8,700 feet. They are active nocturnally from dusk to dawn that consume a wide range of terrestrial vertebrates including frogs, lizards, lizard eggs, salamanders, and small snakes. They are not considered to be dangerous to humans possessing only mild venom.
The Cape Nightsnake is one of eight known subspecies Cape Snakes of the Genus and Species Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha. The subspecies include the California and San Diego Nightsnakes and range from central California to the southern Baja and are very territorial. They can be separated by their head markings and specifically variations in the size and shape of the eye-stripe and the dark blotches on the collar. The Cape Nightsnake has a very limited range being found from La Paz southward to the southern tip of Baja California Sur.
From a conservation perspective the Nightsnake populations are not well documents but they have a wide geographic distribution and generally considered to be of Least Concern.
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