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Sharp-Tailed Snake

December 27, 2022

The sharp-tailed snake is native to North America and is of the family Colubridae, genus Contia, and species C. tenuis. This small reptile often grows to a length of 10-12 inches, and usually tops the scales at about 5 ounces. It is usually dark brown in color and blends in easily with its surroundings.The unique appearance of this snake gets credited to its distinct, sharp-tail spine that is used to stabilize its prey during feeding. This tail is not toxic and does not pose any threat to humans. 

The sharp-tailed snake is shy and secretive and is rarely spotted out in the open. It is usually found hiding under rocks and logs. It is known to burrow into the ground, so it is also often seen by people who are working in their gardens. When spotted, the snake will usually coil into a ball and remain motionless to avoid being bothered. 

Quick Facts about the Sharp-Tailed Snake

  • The sharp-tailed snake is a carnivore that primarily feeds on slugs and their eggs.
  • Moist grasslands, woodlands, and forests are the perfect habitat for this species of snakes.
  • It is known to be secretive, shy, and rarely found in open spaces. Instead, the snake often hides under rocks and logs.
  • The sharp-tailed snake’s appearance is distinguishable because of its sharp tail with a spiny tail vertebra. It also has a ventral surface with white and black crossbars and a dorsal surface with a brick-red to greyish-brown color. The dorsal surface may also appear peachy-orange to bubble-gum pink.
  • It is an egg-laying reptile that often lays its eggs in underground burrows during the summer. The female snake lays approximately 4 – 16 eggs, and the eggs are about 3 – 4 inches long


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