Glossy Snake at the Zoo:



A medium-sized muscular snake with smooth, glossy scales, a faded or bleached-out appearance, and a short tail.

What do they eat?

About half of their diet is composed of other reptiles, including zebra-tailed lizards, western whiptails, desert iguanas, spotted leaf-nosed snakes, coast horned lizards, greater short-horned lizards, desert spiny lizards, common side-blotched lizards, and desert night lizards. The remainder of their diet is comprised of small mammals such as long-tailed pocket mice, Merriam’s kangaroo rats, Ord’s kangaroo rats, eastern moles, Salinas pocket mice, and small birds.

How long do they live?

25 years

How many are born at a time?

The average is 8 but can be between 2-18.

Where can they be found?

United States and Mexico in semi-arid grasslands, barren, sandy deserts and scrub, and rocky washes, preferring open areas and sandy or loamy soil.

Interesting facts

Their common name reflects their smooth, shiny scales, which distinguish them from related species. Juveniles are similar to adults, but often have darker markings, which lighten over time. Glossy snakes are nocturnal and hide in burrows during the day, making them less susceptible to many predators. Their smooth scales serve as camouflage. Known predators include owls, mammals, and other snakes.