Rhinocheilus lecontei - Baird and Girard, 1853
Long-nosed Snake
Other English Common Names: Longnose Snake, longnose snake
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Rhinocheilus lecontei Baird and Girard, 1853 (TSN 174267)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101284
Element Code: ARADB29010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Reptiles - Snakes
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Reptilia Squamata Colubridae Rhinocheilus
Genus Size: A - Monotypic genus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Collins, J. T. 1990. Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians and reptiles. 3rd ed. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Herpetological Circular No. 19. 41 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B90COL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Rhinocheilus lecontei
Taxonomic Comments: Manier (2004), in a detailed morphological analysis, concluded that no subspecies should be recognized (Crother 2008).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 14Dec2005
Global Status Last Changed: 30Oct1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Oct1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Arizona (S5), California (SNR), Colorado (S1?), Idaho (S2), Kansas (S3), Navajo Nation (S2), Nevada (S5), New Mexico (S5), Oklahoma (S3), Texas (S5), Utah (S3)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000 to >2,500,000 square km (about 80,000 to >1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: The range extends from northern California, southern Idaho, Utah, southeastern Colorado, and southwestern Kansas south to central Baja California, Jalisco, San Luis Potosi, and Tamaulipas, at elevations ranging from below sea level in desert sinks to around 1,900 meters (6,233 feet) (Medica 1975, Stebbins 2003).

Area of Occupancy: >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a very large number of occurrences or subpopulations. Medica (1975) mapped hundreds of collection sites.

Population Size: 100,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but probably exceeds 100,000. This snake is common in most of its Mexican range and in southern part of its U.S. range. In some areas of the United States, it appears to be uncommon but secretive habits may make it seem less numerous than it actually is.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many to very many (41 to >125)

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: No major threats are known. Locally, some habitat has been lost or degraded as a result of urbanization or conversion to intensive agricultural uses.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size probably are relatively stable.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000 to >2,500,000 square km (about 80,000 to >1,000,000 square miles)) The range extends from northern California, southern Idaho, Utah, southeastern Colorado, and southwestern Kansas south to central Baja California, Jalisco, San Luis Potosi, and Tamaulipas, at elevations ranging from below sea level in desert sinks to around 1,900 meters (6,233 feet) (Medica 1975, Stebbins 2003).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AZ, CA, CO, ID, KS, NM, NN, NV, OK, TX, UT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2005


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Ada (16001), Canyon (16027), Elmore (16039), Owyhee (16073)
KS Barber (20007), Clark (20025), Comanche (20033), Finney (20055), Grant (20067), Gray (20069), Hamilton (20075), Harper (20077), Kearny (20093), Kiowa (20097), Logan (20109), Meade (20119), Morton (20129), Pratt (20151), Seward (20175), Stanton (20187), Stevens (20189)
UT Beaver (49001), Box Elder (49003), Millard (49027), Sevier (49041), Tooele (49045), Washington (49053)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 Upper Smoky Hill (10260003)+
11 Middle Arkansas-Lake Mckinney (11030001)+, Arkansas-Dodge City (11030003)+, South Fork Ninnescah (11030015)+, Upper Cimarron (11040002)+, North Fork Cimarron (11040003)+, Sand Arroyo (11040004)+*, Bear (11040005)+, Upper Cimarron-Liberal (11040006)+, Crooked (11040007)+, Upper Cimarron-Bluff (11040008)+, Upper Salt Fork Arkansas (11060002)+, Medicine Lodge (11060003)+, Lower Salt Fork Arkansas (11060004)+, Chikaskia (11060005)+
15 Upper Virgin (15010008)+
16 Hamlin-Snake Valleys (16020301)+, Tule Valley (16020303)+, Rush-Tooele Valleys (16020304)+, Skull Valley (16020305)+, Southern Great Salt Lake Desert (16020306)+, Northern Great Salt Lake Desert (16020308)+, Middle Sevier (16030003)+, Lower Sevier (16030005)+, Beaver Bottoms-Upper Beaver (16030007)+
17 C. J. Idaho (17050101)+, Middle Snake-Succor (17050103)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Lays clutch of 4-11 eggs, June-August (Stebbins 1985). May possibly lay 2 clutches per year (Fitch 1970). Eggs hatch in 2-3 months (Collins 1982).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Desert, Grassland/herbaceous, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Typical habitats include deserts, dry prairies, arid river valleys, thornbrush, and shrubland; sometimes oak-hackberry woodland (Werler and Dixon 2000, Stebbins 2003). This snake retreats underground or under rocks by day. Eggs are laid underground or under rocks.
Adult Food Habits: Carnivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore
Food Comments: Eats lizards and their eggs, small snakes, small mammals, and sometimes birds (Stebbins 1985).
Adult Phenology: Crepuscular, Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Crepuscular, Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Active from about April-September in North (Collins 1982).
Length: 104 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Medium And Large Colubrid Snakes

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy highway or highway with obstructions such that snakes rarely if ever cross successfully; major river, lake, pond, or deep marsh (this barrier pertains only to upland species and does not apply to aquatic or wetland snakes); densely urbanized area dominated by buildings and pavement.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Available information on movements of colubrid snakes is limited to a small minority of species. These data indicate that nearly all species have home ranges smaller or much smaller than 25 ha (e.g., less than 3 ha, Pituophis catenifer in California, Rodriguez-Robles 2003), with some up to about 75 ha (Heterodon platirhinos, average 50 ha, Plummer and Mills 2000), and the largest up to 225 ha in the biggest colubrids (Drymarchon, summer mean 50-100 ha, USFWS 1998).

Radiotelemetry data for Pantherophis indicate that residents of hibernacula that are 1-2 km apart (with suitable intervening habitat) probably interbreed (Prior et al. 1997, Blouin-Demers and Weatherhead 2002). However, "evidence of genetic structure even over short distances (e.g., 2-20 km) implies that gene flow among rat snake populations can be easily disrupted" (Prior et al. 1997). Loughheed et al. (1999) found evidence of substantial genetic exchange among local hibernacula (< 6 km apart), but gene flow over distances of 10s of km appears to be substantially less. Based on extensive radio-tracking data, Blouin-Demers and Weatherhead (2002) found that home range size of Pantherophis averaged 18.5 ha and ranged up to 93 ha; based on the most mobile individuals, Pantherophis from hibernacula up to 8 km apart can come together for mating. Pantherophis and probably other colubrids exhibit high fidelity to hibernacula and shift even to nearby sites only rarely (Prior et al. 2001).

Many of the several studies that report small home ranges for colubrids did not employ methods (e.g., radio telemetry) suitable for detecting full annual or multi-annual home range size, dispersal, or other long-distance movements, so these may have yielded underestimates of home ranges or activity areas.

At least some colubrids, including medium-sized species such as garter snakes, not uncommonly move between areas up to a few kilometers apart, and several species make extensive movements of up to several kilometers, so separation distances of 1-2 km for suitable habitat are too small for medium-sized and large colubrids.

A separation distance of 10 km for suitable habitat was selected as most appropriate for snakes assigned to this Specs Group because it seems generally unlikely that two locations separated by less than 10 km of suitable habitat would represent distinct occurrences.

For the purposes of these occurrence specifications, upland habitat is regarded as unsuitable habitat for aquatic and wetland snakes. For upland snakes, shallow or patchy wetlands are treated as unsuitable habitat whereas large deepwater habitats (subjective determination) are barriers.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .5 km
Date: 12Feb2013
Author: Hammerson, G.
Notes: Separation distance for suitable habitat was changed from 5 km to 10 km based on comments from Dale Jackson (12 Feb 2013).
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 14Dec2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 14Dec2005
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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