Plains Blackhead Snake
Photo by Suzanne L. Collins
Used by permission

Plains Blackhead Snake
Tantilla nigriceps
  • Size:   Length in Kansas up to 14 3/4 inches.

Kansas range map for the Plains Blackhead Snake

Range:   Generally found from the central Flint Hills west to the Colorado border; within that area, apparently absent from large areas where suitable habitat does not exist.
  • Description:   Harmless. Scales smooth. Head much darker than body. Body and tail overall light yellowish-brown with pink or coral belly. Seven scales on each upper lip. Young same as adults.
  • Habits:   Found on prairie hillsides, always under rocks; be sure to check flat debris such as boards and sheet metal (sometimes cow patties). Very secretive; rarely seen in open. Burrows to great depths beneath the ground during cold weather. Never bites. Lays a clutch of eggs in spring or early summer with young hatching in fall. Eats small invertebrates such as centipedes and probably insects and their larvae.

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Snake's Burrow
Text: Joseph T. Collins & Suzanne L. Collins
Photos: Suzanne L. Collins & Bob Gress
Range Maps & Web Design: Jim Mason