• Lower Cliff Dwelling


    National Monument Arizona

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?

old photo of the Lower Cliff Dwellings

The first known written record of the cliff dwellings at Tonto National Monument dates from 1880. Archeologist Adolph Bandelier visited the dwellings in 1883, and said they were some of the best preserved he had ever seen. More...