Overview

Distribution

The Sharp-tailed Snake (Contia tenuis) is a North American species generally found in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range from southern California to southern British Columbia and along the Pacific Coast of California. In California, this species can be found in and along the mountains from Eureka to central San Luis Obispo, and along western slope of the Sierras in the foothills and at middle to low elevations (max altitude 2130 m (7000 ft.) (Leviton 1971; Morey 1989).

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range Description

This species occurs mainly in the west of the United States, extending into extreme southwestern Canada. Its range extends from northern and central California (along the Coast Ranges south to San Luis Obispo County and the Sierra Nevada south to Tulare County) north to the Willamette Valley, Oregon, and also includes the Puget Lowland southwest of Tacoma (at least formerly) and scattered locations on the east side of the Cascades in Washington and north-central Oregon, as well as the southern end of Vancouver Island and the nearby Gulf Islands British Columbia, at elevations from sea level to around 2,010 m (6,600 feet) (Nussbaum et al. 1983, Brown et al. 1995, Leonard and Ovaska 1998, St. John 2002, Stebbins 2003). A record from near McGillivray Lake in south-central British Columbia needs confirmation (Stebbins 2003).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Range: The range extends from northern and central California (along the Coast Ranges south to San Luis Obispo County and the Sierra Nevada south to Tulare County) northward to the Willamette Valley, Oregon, and also includes the Puget Lowland southwest of Tacoma (at least formerly) and scattered locations on the east side of the Cascades in Washington and north-central Oregon, as well as the southern end of Vancouver Island and the nearby Gulf Islands of British Columbia, at elevations from sea level to around 2,010 meters (6,600 feet) (Nussbaum et al. 1983, Brown et al. 1995, Leonard and Ovaska 1998, St. John 2002, Stebbins 2003, Feldman and Hoyer 2010). A record from near McGillivray Lake in south-central British Columbia needs confirmation (Stebbins 2003).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Continent: North-America
Distribution: Canada (British Columbia), USA (Washington, Oregon, California)
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Peter Uetz

Source: The Reptile Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wheatland California

As a young person living in Wheatland California I would sometimes find one of these beautiful colored Sharp Tailed Snakes. I am 56 years old now and while visiting my parents I uncovered a water faucet that comes out of the ground that has a bucket over it and a pair of pants covering the faucet. I was amazed to find a small hand full of 13 little Sharpe Tail Snakes most huddled together some in the folds of the pants. I was very delighted to see so many in one place.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Supplier: Reginald Goforth

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

At maximum, the Sharp-tailed Snake may grow to a length of 19 inches (47.5cm), but most adults are about 12 inches (30cm) long. Shiny reddish-brown or gray scales above and a whitish line down the side characterize C. tenuis. An alternating pattern of black, pale greenish, gray, or cream bars can be found on its belly, and its smooth scales come in 15 rows around the body. The most distinguishing characteristic of this snake is the sharp spine-like scale at the tip of its tail. Although the function of this scale is not completely understood, it is thought to be used as an anchor during struggles with its victims (Basey 1976; Leviton 1971).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Diagnostic Description

Contia longicaudae is genetically cohesive, possesses a greater number of caudal scales, a proportionately longer tail, and tends to be larger overall with more pronounced dorsolateral stripes and a more muted ventral coloration than C. tenuis (Feldman and Hoyer 2010).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Type Information

Holotype for Contia tenuis
Catalog Number: USNM 7289
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1841
Locality: Puget Sound, Locality In Multiple Counties, Washington, United States, North America
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Holotype for Contia tenuis
Catalog Number: USNM 2034
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: San Jose, Santa Clara, California, United States, North America
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Paratype for Contia tenuis
Catalog Number: USNM 8075
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: No Further Locality Data, Oregon, United States, North America
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Central and Southern Cascades Forests Habitat

The Oregon slender salamander is endemic to the Central and Southern Cascades forests ecoregion. The Central and Southern Cascades forests span several physiographic provinces in Washington and Oregon, including the southern Cascades, the Western Cascades, and the High Cascades, all within the USA. This ecoregion extends from Snoqualmie Pass in Washington to slightly north of the California border. The region is characterized by accordant ridge crests separated by steep, deeply dissected valleys, strongly influenced by historic and recent volcanic events (e.g. Mount Saint Helens).

This ecoregion contains one of the highest levels of endemic amphibians (five of eleven ecoregion endemics are amphibians) of any ecoregion within its major habitat type. The threatened Northern spotted owl has been used as an indicator species in environmental impact assessments, since its range overlaps with 39 listed or proposed species (ten of which are late-seral associates) and 1116 total species associated with late-seral forests. Late-seral forests in general are of national and global importance because they provide some of the last refugia for dependent species, and perform vital ecological services, including sequestration of carbon, cleansing of atmospheric pollutants, and maintenance of hydrological regimes.

There are a number ofl amphibian taxa present in the Central and Southern Cascades ecoregion; the totality of these amphibian taxa are: the Rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa);  the endemic and Vulnerable Shasta salamander (Hydromantes shastae);  the endemic and Vulnerable Oregon slender salamander (Batrachoseps wrighti); the Endangered Dunn's salamander (Bolitoglossa dunni); the Northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile); the Near Threatened western toad (Anaxyrus boreas); the Vulnerable Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa); the Near Threatened Cascades frog (Rana cascadae); Coastal tailed frog (Ascaphus truei); Near Threatened Larch Mountain salamander (Plethodon larselli); California newt (Taricha torosa); Pacific giant salamander (Dicamptodon ensatus); Cope's giant salamander (Dicamptodon copei); Monterey ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii); the Near Threatened Foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii); Northern Red-legged frog (Rana aurora); Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla); Van Dyke's salamander (Plethodon vandykei), an endemic of the State of Washington, USA; Long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum); and the Olympic torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton olympicus).

There are a moderate number of reptilian species present in the ecoregion, namely in total they are: Western pond turtle (Emys marmorata); Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis); Sharp-tailed snake (Contia tenuis); Ringed-neck snake (Diadophis punctatus); Rubber boa (Charina bottae); California mountain kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata); Yellow-bellied racer (Coluber constrictor); Western rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis); Western gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer); Common garter snake (Thanophis sirtalis); Northwestern garter snake (Thamnophis ordinoides); Western skink (Megascops kennicottii); Southern alligator lizard (Elgaria multicarinata); and the  Northern alligator lizard (Elgaria coerulea).

There is a considerable number of avifauna within the Central and Southern Cascades ecoregion; representative species being: Flammulated owl (Otus flammeolus); Western screech owl (Megascops kennicottii); White-tailed ptarmigan (Picoides albolarvatus); and White-headed woodpecker (Picoides albolarvatus).

There are a large number of mammalian taxa in the ecoregion, including: Bobcat (Lynx rufus); Wolverine (Gulo gulo); California ground squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi); Yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris); Ermine (Mustela erminea); Fog shrew (Sorex sonomae), an endemic mammal to the far western USA; Hoary marmot (Marmota caligata); Mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa); and the Near Threatened red tree vole (Arborimus longicaudus); Yellow pine chipmunk (Tamias amoenus); and the American water shrew (Sorex palustris).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© C. Michael Hogan & World Wildlife Fund

Supplier: C. Michael Hogan

Trusted

Article rating from 1 person

Average rating: 5.0 of 5

Puget Lowland Forests Habitat

Cope's giant salamander is found in the Puget lowland forests along with several other western North America ecoregions. The Puget lowland forests occupy a north-south topographic depression between the Olympic Peninsula and western slopes of the Cascade Mountains, extending from north of the Canadian border to the lower Columbia River along the Oregon border. The portion of this forest ecoregion within British Columbia includes the Fraser Valley lowlands, the coastal lowlands locally known as the Sunshine Coast and several of the Gulf Islands. This ecoregion is within the Nearctic Realm and classified as part of the Temperate Coniferous Forests biome.

The Puget lowland forests have a Mediterranean-like climate, with warm, dry summers, and mild wet winters. The mean annual temperature is 9°C, the mean summer temperature is 15°C, and the mean winter temperature is 3.5°C. Annual precipitation averages 800 to 900 millimeters (mm) but may be as great as 1530 mm. Only a small percentage of this precipitation falls as snow. However, annual rainfall  on the San Juan Islands can be as low as 460 mm, due to rain-shadow effects caused by the Olympic Mountains. This local rain shadow effect results in some of the driest sites encountered in the region. Varied topography on these hilly islands results in a diverse assemblage of plant communities arranged along orographically defiined moisture gradients. Open grasslands with widely scattered trees dominate the exposed southern aspects of the islands, while moister dense forests occur on northern sheltered slopes characterized by Western red cedar (Thuja plicata), Grand fir (Abies grandis), and Sword fern (Polystichum munitum) communities.

There are only a small number of amphibian taxa in the Puget lowland forests, namely: Cope's giant salamander (Dicamptodon copei); Monterey ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii); Long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum); Western redback salamander (Plethodon vehiculum); Northwestern salamander (Ambystoma gracile); Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla); Coastal giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus); Rough-skin newt (Taricha granulosa);  the Vulnerable Spotted frog (Rana pretiosa); Tailed frog (Ascopus truei); and Northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora).

Likewise there are a small number of reptilian taxa within the ecoregion: Common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis); Western terrestrial garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis); Northern alligator lizard (Elgaria coerulea); Western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis); Northwestern garter snake (Thamnophis ordinoides); Sharp-tailed snake (Contia tenuis); Yellow-bellied racer (Coluber constrictor); and Western pond turtle (Clemmys marmorata).

There are numberous mammalian taxa present in the Puget lowland forests. A small sample of these are:Creeping vole (Microtus oregoni), Raccoon (Procyon lotor), Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris), Mink (Mustela vison), Coyote (Canis latrans), Black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus), Pallid bat (Antrozous pallidus), and Harbour seal (Phoca vitulina).

A rich assortment of bird species present in this ecoregion, including the Near Threatened Spotted owl (Strix occidentalis), Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus), as well as a gamut of seabirds, numerous shorebirds and waterfowl.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© World Wildlife Fund & C.MIchael Hogan

Supplier: C. Michael Hogan

Trusted

Article rating from 1 person

Average rating: 5.0 of 5

Sierra Nevada Forests

The Limestone salamander is a highly localized endemic of the Sierra Nevada forests foothills conifned to a limited reach of the Merced River. The Sierra Nevada forests are the forested areas of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which run northwest to southwest and are approximately 650 kilometers long and 80 km wide. The range achieves its greatest height towards the south, with a number of peaks reaching heights of over 4000 meters. Several large river valleys dissect the western slope with dramatic canyons. The eastern escarpment is much steeper than the western slope, in general.

The Sierra Nevada forests ecoregion harbors one of the most diverse temperate conifer forests on Earth displaying an extraordinary range of habitat types and supporting many unusual species. Fifty percent of California's estimated 7000 species of vascular plants occur in the Sierra Nevada, with 400 Sierra endemics and 200 rare species. The southern section has the highest concentration of species and rare and endemic species, but pockets of rare plants occur throughout the range.

Sierra Nevada amphibian endemics are the Yosemite toad, Mount Lyell salamander (Hydromantes platycephalus), the Vulnerable Limestone salamander (Hydromantes brunus), Kern salamander and the Endangered Inyo Mountains salamander (Batrachoseps campi). The non endemic amphibians are: the Endangered Southern mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa); the Near Threatened Cascades frog (Rana cascadae); Northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora); Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilia); Foothill Yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii); Long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum); and the Monterey ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii).

A considerable number of mammalian taxa are found in the ecoregion, including the Long-eared chipmunk, Alpine chipmunk, Western heather vole, Walker Pass pocket mouse, and the Yellow-eared pocket-mouse. A diverse vertebrate predator assemblage once occurred in the ecoregion including Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos), Black bear (Ursus americanus), Coyote (Canis latrans), Mountain lion (Puma concolor), Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus), Fisher (Martes pennanti), Pine marten (Martes americana) and Wolverine (Gulo gulo).

There are a small number of reptilian taxa present in the Sierra Nevada forests: sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus); Northern alligator lizard (Elgaria coerulea); Southern alligator lizard (Elgaria multicarinata); Sharp-tailed snake (Contia tenuis); California mountain kingsnake (Molothrus ater); Common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis); Couch's garter snake (Thamnophis couchii); Western gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer); Longnose snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei); and the Common kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula).

A number of bird species are found in the ecoreion including high level predators that include several large owls, hawks and eagles. Other representative avifauna species present are the Blue-headed vireo (Vireo solitarius); Brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater); and the Near Threatened Cassin's finch (Carpodacus cassinii).

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© C. Michael Hogan & World Wildlife Fund

Supplier: C. Michael Hogan

Trusted

Article rating from 1 person

Average rating: 5.0 of 5

Sharp-tailed Snakes occur in a variety of habitats, however, they are most commonly found in moist environments with an abundance of surface debris, such as twigs, roots, and leaves. The Sharp-tailed Snake is found in areas with surface moisture and it becomes active during the cool fall and winter temperatures. Because of their preference for cooler temperatures and higher moisture levels, C. tenuis is active at different times and in different microhabitats than most snakes. However, its range overlaps that of the Ring-neck Snake(Diadophis punctatus), and they can be found under the same cover at times. The Sharp-tailed Snake can be found mainly in wooded areas or near intermittent streams (Leviton 1971; Morey 1989; Basey 1976).

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; chaparral ; forest ; mountains

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Habitat includes moist situations in pastures, meadows, oak woodlands, broken chaparral, and the edges of coniferous or hardwood forests (Stebbins 2003); also shrubby rabbitbrush-sagebrush (Weaver 2004, Herpetological Review 35: 176). The long-tailed form appears to be associated with coniferous forest habitats that are relatively cool and humid. This snake generally is found under logs, rocks, fallen branches, or other cover. It retreats underground during dry periods.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat Type: Terrestrial

Comments: Habitat includes moist situations in pastures, meadows, oak woodlands, broken chaparral, and the edges of coniferous or hardwood forests (Stebbins 2003); also shrubby rabbitbrush-sagebrush (Weaver, 2004, Herpetol. Rev. 35:176). This snake generally is found under logs, rocks, fallen branches, or other cover. It retreats underground during dry periods.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

Slugs are the primary food of the Sharp-tailed Snake.

Although there are no observations of C. tenuis preying on

any other species, it is suggested that snails and small

plethodontid salamanders may also be taken. The Sharp-tailed Snake may use the spine on its tail to brace itself while capturing its prey. Long, needle-like teeth on its mandibles are noted as an adaptation to gripping and eating slugs (Mattison 1995; Stebbins 1954; Greene 1997).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Comments: Diet apparently is restricted primarily to slugs.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations). Feldman and Hoyer (2010) mapped more than 200 widely distributed collection sites.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Abundance

10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals

Comments: Adult population size is unknown but surely exceeds 10,000 and probably exceeds 100,000. This species is locally common.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: Most active in the rainy season. Retreats underground in the dry season. Sometimes found alive on roads at night (Weaver, 2004, Herpetol. Rev. 35:176).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

Habitat requirements for reproduction are unknown. Mating

of the Sharp-tailed Snake occurs in spring and in the

summer it lays 3-8 eggs. There is evidence that indicates that on occasion, eggs are laid in communal nest sites. Hatching occurs in the fall, and the egg clutches can be found in 7 to 15cm (2.8 to 6 in.) of soil, among grass roots and deep in rock outcrops (Morey 1989; Basey 1976; Nussbaum et al. 1983).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproductive females deposit a clutch of up to 9 egg probably in June or July.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2007

Assessor/s
Hammerson, G.A.

Reviewer/s
Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N1 - Critically Imperiled

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations). Nussbaum et al. (1983) mapped about 30 collection sites in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Many more sites exist in California. The adult population size is unknown but surely exceeds 10,000 and probably exceeds 100,000. This species is locally common. The extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size are probably stable.

Population Trend
Stable
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

Comments: Extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size probably are stable.

Global Long Term Trend: Increase of 10-25% to decline of 30%

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
No major threats are known.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Degree of Threat: Low

Comments: No major threats are known.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Many occurrences are in protected areas.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Protection: Many to very many (13 to >40) occurrences appropriately protected and managed

Comments: Many occurrences are in protected areas.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

None.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

C. tenuis has no major economic importance, but may be adapting to live around rural and suburban gardens, where they feed on abundant non-native slug species (Morey 1989).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Sharp-tailed snake

The sharp-tailed snake or sharptail snake (Contia tenuis) is a small, locally common colubrid snake that lives in the western United States.

Contents

Geographic range [edit]

It is distributed through the states of California, Oregon, and Washington, as well as British Columbia, Canada.

Description [edit]

The sharp-tailed snake averages from eight to twelve inches long as an adult. It is distinguished by its sharp tail spine, which is the protruding tip of the last tail vertebra. The spine is not toxic and cannot injure humans. Rather, the tail is used to stabilize small prey, such as slugs, for consumption. The dorsal surface ranges in color from greyish-brown to brown to brick red, with bubble-gum pink and peachy-orange specimens occasionally found. The ventral surface is a striking series of black and white bars.

Behavior [edit]

Sharp-tailed snakes are shy, secretive creatures most often encountered under rocks and logs, and rarely to never found in the open. They are able to persist in urban areas where appropriate cover can be found. They are known to burrow into soft soil or cracks in the clay, and may be encountered by people who are digging in the garden or removing concrete. When encountered, sharp-tailed snakes may roll into a ball and remain still. They can be mistaken for worms to the casual observer. Their diet is largely restricted to slugs and insects.

Reproduction [edit]

4-16 eggs are laid in the summer, underground or in a burrow. Young are 3-4 inches long.

Taxonomy [edit]

Recently, extensive studies on this reptile have shown definite differences that may prove to be a new species.[citation needed] The maximum length is 17-18 inches, with different scaling, as well as a longer tail. The species range extends from southern British Columbia to southern Sierra Nevada and to the central coast of California. The fragmented distribution of the snake in the northern part of its range suggests that populations in British Columbia are relics of a more extensive previous distribution.[citation needed] Seven sites are known in the province, all located on the Gulf Islands and in southeastern Vancouver Island. In 1996-97 the persistence of the snakes was confirmed at four of the seven sites, where they appeared to be confined to habitat patches of about 2 km in diameter.[citation needed] The secretive habits and seasonal activity pattern of the snakes make it difficult to assess their distribution and accurately estimate population densities.

Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Feldman and Hoyer (2010) formally split Contia tenuis into two species: Contia tenuis, which ranges from southern Vancouver Island (British Columbia) and central Washington to the northern portion of southern California, and C. longicaudae, with a smaller range extending from west-central Oregon to the Monterey Bay region of central California.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!