Contia tenuis — Sharp-tailed Snake
This is a fairly common small snake, though it's secretive and not often seen on the surface. It's probably the most common snake that lives in my area that I had never managed to see until now. A couple of friends of ours were in town, so we took them and a dog contingent for a walk in the very canine-friendly Garland Ranch Regional Park. It was a drizzly fall day and I thought I could probably find an Ensatina or at the very least a few slender salamanders to show my friends, so I turned over a log where I discovered to my pleasure no salamanders but this little fellow instead.
Nine years in Monterey County without seeing a sharp-tailed snake, and here's my second in a couple of months. This one was much larger, and much less pink. It's still a small snake — perhaps 10 inches long compared to about 5 inches for that first one. You can see its sharp little tail in this photo..
- Bartlett, R. D., Tennant, A. 2000. Snakes of North America, Western Region
- Behler, J. L., King, F. W. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians
- Brown, P. R. 1997. A Field Guide to Snakes of California
- Ernst, C. H., Ernst, E. M. 2003. Snakes of the United States and Canada
- Stebbins, R. C. 2003. Peterson Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition