The forest sharp-tailed snake is not as widespread as its relative Contia tenuis (sharp-tailed snake). The forest sharp tailed snake is found in shaded wet forests along the West Coast of the United States. The forest sharp tailed snake went unnoticed for a long time due to its vast similarities to Contia tenuis and because of the secretive nature of sharp tailed snakes, and also of their seasonally limited amount of activity.
The easiest way to set the two species apart is by looking at the tail length and the caudal scales. The forest sharp tailed snake has a longer tail than Contia tenuis and more caudal scales. Specifically, the forest sharp tailed snake has 43 to 58 caudal scales, whereas Contia tenuis has 24 to 42 scales.
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