Ground Snake

Sonora semiannulata

Photo of Sonora semiannulata, Ground Snake, by Allan Ostling

This Groundsnake was photographed by Allan Ostling at South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. April 2010.

This small snake, mostly about 30 cm, is a common and widespread reptile in the Sonoran Desert. It also has several very different color forms. Besides the rich coppery-brown dorsal stripe, gray sides and paler pinkish venter, the pattern can also include bold orange and black bands. Solid pink or even black and white versions have been found. The banded forms can be mistaken for the highly venomous coral snake.

Groundsnake lay their eggs in late spring and summer dependent on the available food supply which is mostly invertebrates such as spiders, grubs, crickets and insect pupae. This food supply is, in turn, highly variable from season to season and year to year as rainfall patterns change.

Colubridae -- a Snake Family

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 15 June 2010.