California Nightsnake: Quarry Preserves’ rarity
Recently, at the Conservancy’s Quarry Preserve one of our land managers, Donna, spotted a California Nightsnake slithering about. This is a unique sighting, as Nightsnakes are rarely found out in the wild.
The California Nightsnake is a nocturnal subspecies of the Nightsnake that is non-poisonous to humans, according to CaliforniaHerps.com. These reptiles can be found in deserts, grasslands, mountains and just like the Conservancy’s terrain, chaparral and sagebrush.
Similar to other species in their genus, these snakes choose to live under rocks, boards, logs and other objects, according to CaliforniaHerps.com. Their food of choice is a variety of terrestrial vertebrates, including lizards and their eggs, small snakes, frogs and salamanders.
They are known to be found along the west coast from the Bay Area to the tip of Baja California, according to CaliforniaHerps.com.
This snake’s coloring differs from light gray, to light brown, beige, tan, or cream with splotches of dark brown and gray on its back and sides, according to CaliforniaHerps.com. The California Nightsnake found on the Quarry Preserve can be identified by the collar stripe behind its eye coming into contact with the nuchal collar around its neck of a dark brown hue.
Next time you’re hiking your local trails, keep an eye out for this reptilian gem of the west coast!