Mojave Shovel-nosed Snake

Subgenus Chionactis
Sonora occipitalis
(Hallowell 1854)
Inyo Co., California. May 21, 2015.

A rare ‘norther’ had plunged temperatures and brought rain to the Mojave, and conditions were not great for snakes on roads. The two cars in our group split up and cruised two perpendicular roads. A text from Andy in the other car – “got one!” and we zoomed over to photograph this snake, still soaking up warmth on the road. Currently in the Chionactis subgenus. In 2018, Sonora was elevated to a ‘supergenus’ containing Chilomeniscus, Chionactis, and Sonora as subgenera. For more information, see:

Cox et al., ‘Synopsis and taxonomic revision of three genera in the snake tribe Sonorini’
JOURNAL OF NATURAL HISTORY, 2018 VOL. 52, NOS. 13–16, 945–988

My Flickr album for this species is here.

HerpMapper records for this species are here.

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