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Tantilla atriceps

(Mexican Black-headed Snake)

Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in English:

Mexican Black-headed Snake, Mexican Black headed Snake, Mexican Blackhead Snake

Common Names in Spanish:

Culebra-Encapuchada Mexicana


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Family Colubridae

The family Colubridae, which includes the kingsnakes (Lampropeltis spp. ), is the largest, most widespread, and diverse family of snakes , with few physical characteristics universal among all species. The family contains 70 percent of the known species of snakes, with more than 1700 species worldwide (Pough et al. 1998). Although some colubrids are dangerously venomous , most are harmless to humans. [1]


Ecology: Habitats include wooded and grassland-thorn brush communities (Tennant 1998). The species ranges from desert flats to wooded mountain canyons (Conant and Collins 1991).[2].

List of Habitats:


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Homalocranium atriceps Günther • Homalocranium atriceps GÜnther 1895: 146 • Tantilla atriceps — Conant & Collins 1991: 223 • Tantilla atriceps — Liner 1994 • Tantilla atriceps — Liner 2007 • Tantilla atriceps< /i> (Günther


Name Status: Accepted Name .

Comment: Named after its color, Latin ater, atra, atrum = dark or black, and -ceps, a short form of caput = head .

This species formerly was included as a subspecies of Tantilla planiceps, which at that time was circumscribed differently than it is today. The name Tantilla atriceps has been applied to various populations of other Tantilla species (e.g. , Tantilla hobartsmithi). See Cole and Hardy (1981) for discussion of systematics . [2].

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Tantilla

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 61 species and subspecies in this genus:

T. albiceps (Barbour's Centipede Snake) · T. alticola (Boulenger's Centipede Snake) · T. andinista (Andes Centipede Snake) · T. atriceps (Mexican Black-Headed Snake) · T. bairdi (Baird's Black-Headed Snake) · T. bocourti (Bocourt's Black-Headed Snake) · T. brevicauda (Mertens' Centipede Snake) · T. briggsi (Briggs' Centipede Snake) · T. calamarina (Pacific Coast Centipede Snake) · T. capistrata (Capistrata Centipede Snake) · T. cascadae (Michoacán Centipede Snake) · T. coronadoi (Guerreran Centipede Snake) · T. coronata (Southeastern Crowned Snake) · T. coronata coronata (Southeastern Crowned Snake) · T. cucullata (Big Bend Black-Headed Snake) · T. cuesta (Wilson's Centipede Snake) · T. cuniculator (Peten Centipede Snake) · T. deppei (Deppe's Centipede Snake) · T. equatoriana (Equator Centipede Snake) · T. flavilineata (Yellow-Lined Centipede Snake) · T. gracilis (Flat-Headed Snake) · T. hendersoni (Peten Centipede Snake) · T. hobartsmithi (Southwestern Black-Headed Snake) · T. insulamontana (Mountain Centipede Snake) · T. jani (Jan's Centipede Snake) · T. lempira (Mena's Centipede Snake) · T. melanocephala (Black-Headed Snake; Equator Centipede Snake [equatoriana]) · T. moesta (Blackbelly Centipede Snake) · T. robusta (Morgan's Black-Headed Snake) · T. nigra (Black Centipede Snake) · T. nigriceps (Plains Black-Headed Snake) · T. nigriceps fumiceps (Plains Black-Headed Snake) · T. nigriceps nigriceps (Plains Black-Headed Snake) · T. oaxacae (Oaxacan Centipede Snake) · T. oolitica (Rim Rock Crowned Snake) · T. petersi (Peters' Black-Headed Snake) · T. planiceps (California Black-Headed Snake) · T. planiceps planiceps (California Black-Headed Snake) · T. relicta (Florida Crowned Snake) · T. relicta neilli (Central Florida Crowned Snake) · T. relicta pamlica (Coastal Dunes Crown Snake) · T. relicta (Florida Crowned Snake) · T. reticulata (Reticulate Centipede Snake) · T. rubra (Big Bend Black-Headed Snake) · T. rubra (Devil's River Black-Headed Snake) · T. rubra rubra (Big Bend Black-Headed Snake) · T. schistosa (Red Earth Centipede Snake) · T. semicincta (Ringed Centipede Snake) · T. shawi (Potosí Centipede Snake) · T. slavensi (Slavens' Centipede Snake) · T. striata (Striped Centipede Snake) · T. supracincta (Banded Centipede Snake) · T. taeniata (Central American Centipede Snake) · T. tayrae (Volcan Tacana Centipede Snake) · T. trilineata (Three-Lined Centipede Snake) · T. triseriata (Three-Lined Centipede Snake) · T. tritaeniata (Three-Banded Centipede Snake) · T. vermiformis (Hallowell's Centipede Snake) · T. wilcoxi (Chihuahuan Black-Headed Snake) · T. wilcoxi wilcoxi (Chihuahuan Black-Headed Snake) · T. yaquia (Yaqui Black-Headed Snake)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 27, 2008:



  1. Painter, Charles W., Chuck L. Hayes, and James N. Stuart "Recovery and Conservation of the Gray-Banded Kingsnake. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. May 1, 2002. [back]
  2. Hammerson, G.A., Frost, D.R. & Santos-Barrera, G. 2007. Tantilla atriceps. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <>. Downloaded on 05 February 2012. [back]
Last Revised: 2015-02-06