Before the days of road-cruising to find snakes, this species was considered quite rare. Now they are found often enough on roads at night to be considered one of the most abundant snake species in the area. At least until they find some better way to census the species that are not typically found on roads at night.
Until recently this individual would have been considered a member of the subspecies P. d. nubilis, or Clouded Leaf-nosed Snake. But the official North American names book has taken the no-subspecies stance on Phyllorhynchus decurtatus.
A few minutes later I spotted the snake pictured here and pulled over. I was once again soon greeted by a high-riding vehicle with bright lights obscuring its occupants. A voice asked "What have you got there?" and I replied "Just a little snake I'm trying to photograph." "What kind of snake? We're herpers too!" came the response. They thought what I was doing was perfectly normal, of course. The little snake was not in a posing mood, and the two fellow herpers gave up trying to get photos after five minutes or so. I persisted at trying to calm the snake down and had reasonable success a short while later.
- 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
- Brennan, T. C. and Holycross, A. T. 2006. A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in Arizona
- Brown, P. R. 1997. A Field Guide to Snakes of California
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2017. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, Eighth Edition
- Lemm, J. M. 2006. Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the San Diego Region
- Miller, A. H., Stebbins, R. C. 1973. The Lives of Desert Animals in Joshua Tree National Monument
- Smith, H. M., Brodie, E. D. Jr. 1982. Reptiles of North America: A Guide to Field Identification
- Stebbins, R. C. 2003. Peterson Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition