• Lower Cliff Dwelling


    National Monument Arizona

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  • Visitor Center is closed

    The Visitor Center and bookstore will be closed for several weeks for construction. A temporary Visitor Center will be set up in the parking lot. The trail to the Lower Cliff Dwelling will be open during this period. No entrance fees will be collected. More »

Southwestern Blackhead Snake

southwestern blackhead snake

Southwestern Blackhead Snake

NPS Photo

Southwestern Blackhead Snake
Tantilla hobartsmithi

Body length: 5 1/2 - 15"
Diet: Arthropods

Although they do come to the surface sometimes at night, blackhead snakes are fossorial, meaning they spend much of their time underground. Little is known about fossorial snakes, for the obvious reason that it is difficult to find them, let alone study their habits. Like other small fossorial snakes, such as ground snakes and blind snakes, blackhead snakes feed on arthropods such as beetle larvae, caterpillars, centipedes, and millipedes. They most often lay a single elongated egg, about an inch long, in late spring to early summer. Though rarely seen, blackhead snakes apparently occur throughout Tonto National Monument.

Did You Know?

cotton fiber with spindle and whorl

One of the earliest known cotton farming communities, dating from approximately AD 100 - 600, is located near Tonto National Monument.