Family:  Colubridae

The family Colubridae is the largest snake family, containing approximately 70 percent of all snake species (Pough et al. 1998).  This wide range of diversity makes it difficult to describe any family characteristics that hold true for all members of the family.  Members of this family are found worldwide, they vary in reproductive mode, having both oviparousClick word for definition and viviparousClick word for definition species, and they occupy a wide variety of habitats.  The bulk of Idaho's snake species are from this family and they display the diversity that is characteristic of the family.  The Idaho representatives of this family include the Racer (Coluber constrictor), Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus), Night Snake (Hypsiglena torquata), Striped Whipsnake (Masticophis taeniatus), Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer), Longnose Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei), Western Ground Snake (Sonora semiannulata), Western Terrestrial Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans) and the Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis).
Coluber constrictor
Diadophis punctatus
(Ringneck Snake)
Hypsiglena torquata
(Night Snake)
Masticophis taeniatus
(Striped Whipsnake)
Pituophis catenifer
(Gopher Snake)
Rhinocheilus lecontei
(Longnose Snake)
Sonora semiannulata
(Ground Snake)
Thamnophis elegans
(Western Terrestrial Garter Snake)
Thamnophis sirtalis
(Common Garter Snake)

Author: John Cossel Jr.© 1997
Design and Optimization by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Adaptation for DAI by Stephen Burton, and Mike Legler ©1999.
Original images provided by Charles R. Peterson and John Cossel Jr.©1998.