Arizona elegans occidentalis - California Glossy Snake
Considered harmless to humans.
Adults 26-70 in. (66-178 cm) Average length is 3 - 4 feet.
Smooth, glossy scales with a faded or bleached-out appearance, but generally darker than other California Glossy snake subspecies - a tan or light brown ground color with dark brown blotches with dark edges on the back and sides and a pale, unmarked underside. An average of 63 narrow blotches on body.
Nocturnal. Burrows, hiding underground in daytime.
Preys mostly on sleeping diurnal lizards, but also eats small snakes, terrestrial birds, and mammals. Kills prey by direct swallowing or constriction.
Lays eggs in June and July, which most likely hatch in late summer and early fall.
Occurs from the eastern part of the San Francisco Bay Area south to northwestern Baja California. Absent along the central coast. There are also old reports of this snake from the Santa Monica Mountains.
Inhabits arid scrub, rocky washes, grasslands, chaparral.
It has been proposed that Arizona elegans be split into two distinct species, possibly due to tail length differences between the eastern and western groups. The western glossy snakes would become Arizona occidentalis with the eastern remainingArizona elegans.