Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The groundsnake, Sonora semiannulata, occurs throughout much of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. In Utah, the species is generally found only in the extreme southwestern corner of the state. The groundsnake is a secretive species that prefers river bottoms, rocky hillsides, desert flats, and sandy areas located in arid and semi-arid regions.

Female groundsnakes usually lay a single clutch of four to six eggs during the summer months. The diet of the groundsnake consists primarily of invertebrates, especially spiders and insects.

The back of the groundsnake is brown, red, orange, or gray in color, occasionally with cross bands. The belly of the snake is usually yellow or white. Most groundsnakes have a dark blotch on the front of each scale.


  • 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.