Scientific name: Tantilla planiceps
Common name: California Black-Headed Snake
Size: 6.5-11.5 in (16-29 cm)
Distinguishing characters: A small, slender species; light brown, tan to olive-grey dorsum; narrow cream or white neck band; flattened black head; orange or coral-red venter edged with white.
Juveniles: Similar to adults.
Similar species: Diadophis punctatus: Has darker dorsal coloration; orange or red neck band (may be broken or absent in some individuals); orange-yellow venter with black spotting, becoming coral to red on ventral surface of tail.
Additional notes: A small, secretive species that is seldom seen. Individuals are easily handled. Often occurs under rocks.
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Last update: 05 March 2003