Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Rick Fridell
Photo Copyright Rick Fridell

Two subspecies of the glossy snake, Arizona elegans, can be found in Utah. The desert glossy snake, Arizona elegans eburnata, occurs in extreme southwestern Utah, southern Nevada, southern California, and northern Baja California. The painted desert glossy snake, Arizona elegans philipi, occurs in southeastern Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.

The glossy snake can be found in a variety of habitats throughout its range, but it seems to prefer areas of open ground. This snake is very secretive, burrowing in the ground during the day and becoming active at night.

Females lay a clutch of three to twenty-three eggs during the summer. The glossy snake typically eats lizards as well as other snakes and small mammals. The glossy snake is often referred to as the "faded snake," due to the faded appearance of its coloration, which can be light brown to light gray with dull blotches of tan or gray.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.