Check Out These Ssseriously Cool Night Snake Facts

Night Snake facts are amazing

The night snake (Hypsiglena torquata) is a species of small-sized snakes that inhabit a wide range of habitat regions like woodlands, grasslands, and deserts, to name a few. They have pale gray, light brown bodies covered with dark spots on the back and sides. Females of this species are larger in size than males. Spring is considered to be the breeding season for night snakes. Females lay up to nine eggs in the months of April to August. The night snakes use their venom to hunt down a variety of prey like young rattlesnakes, lizards, and frogs. As its name suggests, night snakes are nocturnal creatures; that is they are active only during the night. They do not pose any threat to humans and do not contain any life-threatening venom. However, they do not make a good pet due to several reasons. The conservation status of these reptiles is not yet known. However, they are very unlikely to slip into extinction in the near future because, over the years, they have maintained a stable population worldwide. The night snakes belong to the class of Reptilia and the family of Colubridae.

Keep on reading to know more about the night snakes. Check out gaboon viper facts and king cobra facts to learn more about other animals.

Night snake

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Lizards, Baby Rattlesnakes, Blind Snakes, Salamanders, Frogs

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

12–26 in (30–66 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Pale Gray, Light Brown

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Owls, Red-Tailed Hawks, Larger Mammals

What is their conservation status?

Not Listed

Where you'll find them

Woodlands, Grasslands, Deserts, Mountain Meadows


United States, Texas





Scientific Name

Hypsiglena torquata





Night Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a night snake?

The night snake (Hypsiglena torquata) is a species of snake that can be found in the regions of Mexico, Canada, and Texas, to name a few. Its scientific name is Hypsiglena torquata.

What class of animal does a night snake belong to?

The night snake belongs to the Reptilia class of animals and the family of Colubridae.

How many night snakes are there in the world?

The exact population of this species of snakes is not yet known. However, there has been no report of a decline in the population of this species. Therefore, there is no probable chance in the near future of this species of snake slipping into extinction. They can be found in a wide range of habitat regions across the world. Their conservation status is also Not Listed under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Where does a night snake live?

The night snake can be found in the habitat regions that range from the United States, British Columbia, Texas, to Guerrero. This species of snake inhabits quite a large geographic range compared to other species of snakes.

What is a night snake's habitat?

The habitat of the night snake is a wide range - from woodlands and grasslands to desert and mountain meadows. In the face of danger, they may take shelter in crevices or under rocks. The night snake can also be found in mammal burrows. However, when they feel threatened, they adopt certain body postures that are similar to that of a viper.

Who do night snakes live with?

Night snakes are usually solitary creatures and can be spotted moving alone, except in the breeding season, when they come together for reproduction.

How long does a night snake live?

The exact lifespan of the night snake in the wild is not yet known. However, they are known to have a lifespan of approximately 12 years when they are in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

Spring is generally considered to be the breeding season for this species of snakes. Following the reproduction process, the females lay up to nine eggs in the months of April to August. Hatching of the eggs usually occurs in the late summer, almost seven or eight weeks after the laying of the eggs is done. Males take up to one year to reach their sexual maturity, which is faster as compared to the females, who require a much longer period of time to reach theirs.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status for this species of snakes (Hypsiglena torquata) is Not Listed under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, there is no probable chance of this species getting extinct in the near future. It has successfully maintained its stable population throughout the years and can be found in different regions worldwide. However, there is a list of predators that are known to feed on this small species of snakes.

Night Snake Fun Facts

What do night snakes look like?

Night snakes are nocturnal animals.

The night snakes (Hypsiglena torquata) are small-sized species of snakes with flattened triangular-shaped heads and vertical pupils. The color of its body ranges from light brown to pale gray and is covered with brown or black blotches on the back and side regions. The lower side of the body, that is, its belly is yellow or white in color. Females have a larger-sized body as compared to males.

How cute are they?

The night snake is not at all cute. It is a small-sized snake with no unique coloration on their bodies. Like most other snakes, the night snakes are often mistakenly thought to be highly venomous creatures. Although they are mildly venomous, their rear fangs often frighten an individual instead of melting his heart. As the age-old myth goes that all snakes are poisonous, when encountered by one such night snake, a person is most likely to flee from that place.

How do they communicate?

Night snakes use their vomeronasal organs to communicate with each other. They release a certain chemical substance known as pheromones through their body, which is then picked up by another snake and tries to decode the message it is trying to send. The night snake also makes use of its tongue to detect the chemicals present in its environment. Their enhanced tactile receptors and well-developed hearing ability help them to communicate with each other.

How big is a night snake?

The night snake is a small-sized species of snake. The average length of a night snake ranges from 12–26 in (30–66 cm). However, they are larger in size than the Barbados Threadsnake, which so far is considered to be the smallest snake in the world.

How fast can a night snake move?

The exact speed of these nocturnal reptiles is not yet known.

How much does a night snake weigh?

The weight of this species of snakes is not yet known.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no sex-specific name for the night snakes (Hypsiglena torquata) or any other snakes in general. Males of this species are known as male night snakes, and females of this species are called female night snakes.

What would you call a baby night snake?

A baby night snake is called a snakelet.

What do they eat?

The diet of the night snakes includes other reptiles and insects like large insects, salamanders, rattlesnakes, and frogs. Lizards and their eggs constitute their primary prey. They use their mild venom for hunting down their prey.

Are they poisonous?

Night snakes are mildly venomous and do not pose any threat to human beings. They use their venom to hunt down their prey but are extremely docile creatures around human beings. However, a subspecies of the night snakes, known as the Texas night snakes, are extremely venomous, and their venom can cause extreme pain and, in some cases, even hemorrhages in human beings.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these reptiles do not usually make a good pet. Although they are small snakes and not dangerous for a human being, they carry certain disadvantages along with them when one wishes to keep them as a pet. These are nocturnal creatures; that is, they are active throughout the night, which may pose a problem in many households. Moreover, their small size often makes them difficult to be held comfortably by a human being. The diet of this species largely consists of animals found in the wild. Therefore, finding adequate food items to feed these small snakes may also turn out to be a problem for many people.

Did you know...

Other than the night snakes, another species of snakes that is nocturnal by nature includes the northern copper head and the black king snakes. These species can be found during the night, feasting on their prey.

The night snakes (Hypsiglena torquata) do not readily bite humans at their first chance. These reptiles are quite docile around humans and are hardly dangerous. When they feel threatened, they tend to move their tails and adopt certain body postures that are similar to that of a viper.

The chances of getting bitten by a night snake are extremely rare. They do not possess any life-threatening venom and therefore do not pose any threat to a human being.

A suitable temperature of  22.7° C  - 25.5° C (73 - 78° F) is required for a snake to be able to keep himself warm during the nighttime.

The night snake shares its physical characteristics with that of rattlesnakes. For this reason, both these species are often confused with one another.

Some of the commonly known predators of the night snakes include owls and red-tailed hawks. These snakes hide in between crevices or under rock surfaces during the day to avoid being hunted down. Other predators include larger snakes as well as other nocturnal mammals.

Although the night snakes inhabit a wide range of habitat regions across the world, there are no clear estimates about the population density in all the regions of their habitat. Their population range, in fact, is considered to be very low in some of the habitat grounds worldwide.

Are they slimy?

No, the night snakes are not slimy. There is an age-old myth that all snakes are slimy and cold. However, in reality, snakes are dry, and depending on the species or the environment, they can even have a warm and soft body.

What do snakes do at night?

The lifestyle of a snake differs depending upon the species of snake. Those that are nocturnal, like the night snakes, engage in hunting behavior, i.e., they prey on other smaller animals like rodents or lizards or even other smaller snakes. The night snakes are known to feed on young rattlesnakes, frogs, and lizards, among many others.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our black rat snake facts and water snake facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable night snake coloring pages.



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