Snakes Alive!

Ron Niebrugge Arizona, Phoenix, Photos, Travel, Wildlife 22 Comments


At least for one of them.  This is a Common King Snake attacking what I think is a Western Shovel-Nosed Snake.  It might be a Sonoran Coralsnake.  This was really something to see.  They were still battling when it got dark, but clearly the much larger King Snake was winning.  It will be interesting to see if there is any sign of them in the morning.

I had been wanting to explore along the Verde River, and choose tonight to venture into the thick brush because it was cool, and I didn’t think I would have to worry about any snakes – so much for that thinking! 

Comments 22

  1. Post

    Just looked around this a.m. – no sign of any snakes. It was about 55 degrees, so I’m sure they would have had to been underground.

  2. Cool catch, Ron. I have been watching the flowers fade on your blog as I wsa preparing for a brief visit to Arizona last weekend. They were all dried up at Organ Pipes, but I did photograph a regal horned lizard and Gila monster.
    I looked up your snakes and the victim appears to be a long-nosed snake ( ), at least that is the best match I came up with. This web site is very good for AZ herps. Enjoy your travels. Wish I had more time to spend down there. I do have 70GB to edit from both AZ and Costa Rica

  3. Wow – that must have been pretty neat thing to see. I wonder who won the battle. Good thing they didn’t turn on you. 🙂

  4. Post

    Thanks guys!

    Rick, I’m pretty sure the King Snake must have won this one – I understand they often feed on other snakes.

    Hi Milo, great to hear from you!

    I was thinking of you recently – I thought it was about now you were going to be in Organ Pipe – sounds like you are having / had a great trip despite the lack of flowers. I still haven’t seen a Gila monster – that one is high on my list. Did find a Desert tortoise.

    You know I found that page last night, but missed the snake you linked to – that is definitely it. The victims head didn’t match either of the snakes I mentioned – but it is a perfect match for a long nose. Thanks!

    I may need to make a trip to Cordova just to see you new stuff from Costa Rica and Arizona!


  5. Post
  6. Yikes, turtles & snakes! You’d better hurry back to the safety of Alaska. That must have been totally fun to watch. We miss you up here, it snowed again yesterday, or maybe it would be more accurate to say we miss you down there. 🙂

    Love, Mom

  7. Killer stuff Ron. Just recently getting into going out to photograph Reptiles/Amphibians, so this picture makes me a big jealous! King snakes definitely do eat other snakes quite a bit. I was reading the other day that in the presence of king snakes (the smell of king snake, actually), Timber Rattlesnakes will raise the mid section of their body and keep their head and tail on the ground. When the King comes around, they slam their mid section down in an attempt to club the king snake!

  8. Post

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks, I thought you might get a kick out of this photo. I was reading how King snakes will even attack and kill Rattlesnakes – that is interesting how at least the Timber Rattlesnakes try to defend themselves. Thanks for sharing!

    Hey mom. I seen all that snow – wow, that seems so foreign right now! Miss you all too!


  9. Post

    Good to hear from you Carl! Coyotes and hares are cool! Especially all white hares. Hope you are having fun.


  10. Post
  11. Post
  12. I absolutely loved this shot. I am a HUGE herp fan, I love them all, from the monitors to the anoles, the colubrids, the elapids, the boiae, pythonids… There, in short, is no reptile I would not like to watch chow down a meal(even the vegetarian iguanas and euromastyx).
    I just left Az, and am not eager to go back, but the shots you have do make me miss that sonoran desert.
    High Desert Love.<3

  13. Post
  14. Actually, it’s a Cali King eating a Long-nosed snake. (Cali King is one of the Common Kings.)

  15. Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.