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What is an Arizona Long-nosed Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei)

What is an Arizona Long-nosed Snake

Arizona Long-nosed Snake Overview

The Arizona Long-nosed Snake is a non-venomous snake found in the southwest, west, and central United States and parts of northern Mexico. To humans, these snakes are beautiful and cool snakes to look at but for other animals, it could look like something much worse.

Because the Arizona Long-nosed snake is harmless, almost to a fault, it has evolved over time to have a coloration similar to kingsnakes and coral snakes which can be bad news if you’re looking for something to eat. This evolutionary phenomenon is called Batesian mimicry and it is seen throughout the animal kingdom and in other snakes like the Arizona Mountain Snake and the Western Hognose Snake.

What’s great about their coloration, and furthermore the confusion it causes, is that most animals do not want to mess with coral snakes because they could potentially die from a bite. Conversely, most coral snakes do not want to mess with kingsnakes because kingsnakes eat coral snakes which means the Arizona Long-nosed Snake may have evolved into a color scheme that tricks everyone.

Sadly for these snakes, humans will confuse them with coral snakes and oftentimes kill them out of fear of being bit by something they think is far deadlier than it really is.

As stated before, Arizona Long-nosed Snakes are harmless and won’t bite even if they’re handled or provoked to unnecessary levels. Instead, they will release poop, blood, and musk from their body hoping that the concoction is gross enough to make whatever it holding it let go so it can flee. 

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What is an Arizona Longnose Snake

A long-nose snake found in the high desert region of Arizona.


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Size and Body Description

Arizona Long-nosed Snakes are known for their, you guessed it, long nose or snout that curves up a little bit and is pointed.

They have different variations of coloration and patterns depending on the snake but will typically be tricolored and have bands of white or a yellowish cream, black, and red running down the length of their body.

On the banding, you will find speckling that breaks up the solid colors and usually matches the color of the snake’s belly.


Arizona Long-nosed snakes will grow anywhere from 16 to 36 inches in length with a maximum of about 41 inches.


The Arizona Long-nosed Snake has a typical desert snake diet consisting of lizards, amphibians, small snakes and rodents on the rare occasion. 


Mating season for the Arizona Long-nosed Snake will begin in the spring with female snakes laying eggs in the early summer.

A clutch can be anywhere from 4 to 9 eggs and will hatch sometime in the late summer or early fall.

Where Found

Arizona Long-nosed Snakes will primarily live in the southwestern United States and even parts of northern Mexico.

In the United States, these snakes are found in California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, southwestern Kansas, southeastern Colorado, and Nevada.

Arizona Long-nosed snakes can also be found in between and in the regions of San Luis Potosi and Chihuahua, Mexico.


As of writing this, the Arizona Long-nose Snake does not have any federal protections as the population is considered stable by the IUCN


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What is an Arizona Long-nosed Snake


Monday 14th of August 2023

Thank you for this article! I did a search on this snake because I found it in my yard and your article made me confident enough to pick it up to show my kids. You were right, it seemed scared but never tried to hurt me, only tried to get away. After a few minutes I let it go in a wash and my kids enjoyed the adventure! Thanks again!