Sharptail Snake / Couleuvre à Queue Fine
The Sharptail Snake, and other slender, rear-fanged snakes, which were included
within the Family Colubridae, have recently been placed in the Family Dipsadidae.
The Sharptail Snake is reddish brown to gray in colour, with distinctive black and
whitish crossbars on the belly. The tail ends in a small sharp spine. The pupil of the
eye is round. The Sharptail Snake is a small snake and rarely grows beyond 45 cm in
The Sharptail Snake is the smallest snake found in British Columbia. There are two other
unpatterned snakes in BC. The Western Yellow-bellied
Racer is greenish to brown, but the belly is always yellow. The
Rubber Boa is uniform olive-green, reddish-brown,
or brown and looks like it is made from rubber. In addition, the tail is rounded,
rather than pointed.
Sharptail Snakes are only found in a few areas on Vancouver Island and the Gulf
Islands of British Columbia.There is one record of a single snake from the B.C.
A variety of habitats are used by this snake ranging from grassland to forest. It
is usually found near water or in clearings near forests. When the soil is damp it
spends much of time under rocks or logs, but when the soil dries out it will retreat
Sharptail Snakes lay 2-8 eggs. The eggs hatch in late summer and the young are
approximately 7 cm long at hatching.
There is little know about the ecology of the Sharptail Snake. It is most often
seen during the rainy season. The diet is composed mainly of slugs.
The Sharptail Snake is quite rare. Its preference for coastal areas in BC places it in
conflict with urban development in these areas. Sharptail Snake is designated
Endangered in Canada by COSEWIC.