Shovelnose snakes - tips for finding them without road cruising?

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gheaton98
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Joined: August 24th, 2021, 4:47 pm
Location: Los Angeles County, CA

Shovelnose snakes - tips for finding them without road cruising?

Post by gheaton98 »

I've seen about half a dozen shovelnose snakes total (half Mojave, half Colorado Desert) and all but one have been road cruised at night. The one exception was a complete fluke where I pulled over for a desert iguana and, while the iguana had disappeared, found a shovelnose snake crawling around in the middle of the afternoon. I've never had that kind of thing repeat itself.

But road cruising limits you to, well, roads. It would be great to be able to have a shot at finding these in places with no roads. I have seen numerous daytime photos of shovelnose snakes, so maybe there is a way, but I'm not aware of it. Does anyone have any tips? Flipping rocks in the desert? Walking around in the dark with a flashlight?

Just because, here's some photos of the shovelnoses I have already seen:
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DHE
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Joined: April 9th, 2012, 10:16 am

Re: Shovelnose snakes - tips for finding them without road cruising?

Post by DHE »

I’ve always had decent luck walking small finger washes that are deeper so the get funneled to the edges after dark. But the most interesting way to find the out and about is to find dunes and track them!! They make a distinct pattern in the sand. Sharp zig-zags about 1” to 1.5”. Usually from bush to bush. They will dive back down around the base of the bushes.

Hope this helps. They are fun snakes!!
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John Koerner
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Location: Green Valley, AZ
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Re: Shovelnose snakes - tips for finding them without road cruising?

Post by John Koerner »

Thanks for this.

Funny, I have made it a quest to see the Sonoran Shovelnose Snake this year. Tried last weekend, down on HWY 85, but was skunked. Will try again soon!

I too would like to find them in a natural setting, more so than on the HWY ... but I will take what I can get!

Accounts say that the Sonoran prefers coarser terrain over sandy terrain, but I am no expert.

Here is a (similar) Variable Sandnake found on road in Madera Canyon. (Stacked)
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socalherper
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Re: Shovelnose snakes - tips for finding them without road cruising?

Post by socalherper »

Hey Guy's,
Spingtime under rocks is good in sandy areas durring the day. They start cruzzing when the suns fades....
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