• Lower Cliff Dwelling

    Tonto

    National Monument Arizona

Night Snake

night snake

Night Snake

NPS Photo

Night Snake
Hypsiglena torquata

Body length: 12 - 26"
Diet: Lizards, small snakes, and amphibians

True to their name, night snakes are largely night-active, or nocturnal. Like cats, rattlesnakes, and many other nocturnal creatures, the pupils of their eyes are elliptical, rather than round. It is thought that this feature gives night-dwelling animals the ability to allow light to enter more selectively into their sensitive eyes. They probably occur throughout Tonto National Monument.

Prey items of night snakes include blind snakes, lizards, and probably ground snakes and black-headed snakes. They are mildly venomous, with enlarged rear fangs, but are not harmful to humans.

Did You Know?

crested saguaro

Tonto National Monument is home to a crested saguaro. Botanists disagree as to why some saguaros grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of lightning or freeze damage. About one in 150,000 saguaros develop this unusual growth.