• 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?

snow in the desert

Tonto National Monument averages 15" of rain annually. Snow is a rare occurrence, but as long as temperatures remain above freezing, the saguaros don't seem to mind!