The taxonomy used by the KHA reflects our understanding of evolutionary history. It is well-established that the traditional group "lizards" is not natural. And that snakes are a derived group of lizards that share a more recent common ancestor with some groups of lizards than they do with others. To reconcile this well-supported hypothesis, the KHA has opted to list all snakes and "other lizards" under Squamata. While this arrangement doesn't appear in most popular books, the continued traditional recognition of snakes with an equal but separate catchall "lizards" is untenable.


Harmless Egg-laying Snakes — COLUBRIDAE
Glossy Snake Arizona elegans Kennicott (in Baird), 1859: 18 — SINC
North American Racer Coluber constrictor Linnaeus 1758
Prairie Kingsnake Lampropeltis calligaster (Harlan 1827)
Western Milksnake Lampropeltis gentilis (Baird and Girard 1853)
Speckled Kingsnake Lampropeltis holbrooki (Stejneger 1903)
Eastern Milksnake Lampropeltis triangulum (Lacepede, 1789)
Coachwhip Masticophis flagellum (Shaw 1802)
Rough Greensnake Opheodrys aestivus (Linnaeus 1766)
Smooth Greensnake Opheodrys vernalis (Harlan, 1827)
Great Plains Ratsnake Pantherophis emoryi (Baird & Girard 1853)
Western Ratsnake Pantherophis obsoletus (Say in James, 1822: 140)
Gophersnake Pituophis catenifer (Blainville 1835)
Long-nosed Snake Rhinocheilus lecontei Baird & Girard 1853 — SINC
Great Plains Groundsnake Sonora episcopa (Kennicott, in Baird 1859)
Flat-headed Snake Tantilla gracilis Baird & Girard 1853
Plains Black-headed Snake Tantilla nigriceps Kennicott 1860

Eastern Copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix (Linnaeus, 1766)
Broad-banded Copperhead Agkistrodon laticinctus (Gloyd & Conant 1934)
Northern Cottonmouth Agkistrodon piscivorus (Lacepede 1789)
Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake Crotalus atrox Baird & Girard 1853 — Introduced
Timber Rattlesnake Crotalus horridus Linnaeus, 1758 — SINC
Prairie Rattlesnake Crotalus viridis (Rafinesque 1818)
Western Massasauga Sistrurus tergeminus (Say in James, 1822: 499)

Harmless Rear-Fanged Snakes — DIPSADIDAE
Western Wormsnake Carphophis vermis (Kennicott [in Baird], 1859)
Ring-necked Snake Diadophis punctatus (Linnaeus 1766)
Plains Hog-nosed Snake Heterodon nasicus Baird and Girard 1852 — SINC
Eastern Hog-nosed Snake Heterodon platirhinos Latreille (in Sonnini and Latreille) 1801 — SINC
Chihuahuan Nightsnake Hypsiglena jani (Dugès 1865) — SINC

Texas Threadsnake Rena dulcis (Cope 1896) — Threatened

Harmless Live-bearing Snakes — NATRICIDAE
Rough Earthsnake Haldea striatula (Linnaeus 1766) — SINC
Plain-bellied Watersnake Nerodia erythrogaster (Forster 1771)
Diamond-backed Watersnake Nerodia rhombifer (Hallowell 1852)
Common Watersnake Nerodia sipedon (Linnaeus 1758)
Graham's Crawfish Snake Regina grahamii Baird & Girard 1853
Dekay's Brownsnake Storeria dekayi (Holbrook 1836)
Red-bellied Snake Storeria occipitomaculata (Storer 1839) — SINC
Checkered Gartersnake Thamnophis marcianus (Baird & Girard 1853) — Threatened
Western Ribbonsnake Thamnophis proximus (Say in James, 1822: 187)
Plains Gartersnake Thamnophis radix (Baird & Girard 1853)
Common Gartersnake Thamnophis sirtalis (Linnaeus 1758)
Lined Snake Tropidoclonion lineatum (Hallowell 1856)
Smooth Earthsnake Virginia valeriae Baird & Girard 1853 — SINC


Boa Constrictor Boa constrictor Linnaeus 1758 — Accidental

COLUBRIDAE — Harmless Egg-laying Snakes
Western Foxsnake Pantherophis ramspotti (Crother, White, Savage, Eckstut, Graham, and Gardner 2011) — Possible
Pine Snake Pituophis melanoleucus

Mojave Rattlesnake Crotalus scutulatus (Kennicott 1861) — Accidental
Pygmy Rattlesnake Sistrurus miliarius (Linnaeus 1766) — Possible

NATRICIDAE — Harmless Live-bearing Snakes
Mississippi Green Watersnake Nerodia cyclopion (Dumeril, Bibron & Dumeril 1854)
Black-necked Gartersnake Thamnophis cyrtopsis (Kennicott 1860) — Questionable
Terrestrial Gartersnake Thamnophis elegans (Baird & Girard 1853) — Possible
Eastern Ribbonsnake Thamnophis saurita

EXTINCT TAXA (in prep)

  Kansas Dwarf Boa Tregophis brevirachis Holman, 1975

COLUBRIDAE — Harmless Egg-laying Snakes
  Similar Milksnake Lampropeltis similis Holman 1964
  Kansas Foxsnake Pantherophis kansensis (Gilmore 1938)
  Wilson's Snake Texasophis wilsoni Holman 1984

DIPSADIDAE — Harmless Rear-Fanged Snakes
  Paleo Plains Hog-nosed Snake Paleoheterodon tiheni Holman 1964

  Mosasauridae 3 Clidastes affinis
  Mosasauridae 8 Clidastes liodontus
  Mosasauridae 12 Clidastes propython
  Mosasauridae 15 Clidastes stenops
  Mosasauridae 18 Clidastes tortor
  Mosasauridae 2 Clidastes velox
  Mosasauridae 20 Clidastes wymani
  Mosasauridae 4 Lestosaurus coryphaeus
  Mosasauridae 13 Macrosaurus proriger
  Mosasauridae 5 Platecarpus coryphaeus
  Mosasauridae 1 Platecarpus gracilis
  Mosasauridae 7 Platecarpus ictericus
  Mosasauridae 10 Platecarpus planifrons
  Mosasauridae 17 Platecarpus tectulus
  Mosasauridae 19 Platecarpus tympaniticus
  Mosasauridae 11 Plesioplatecarpus planifrons
  Mosasauridae 6 Tylosaurus dyspelor
  Mosasauridae 25 Tylosaurus kansasensis
  Mosasauridae 9 Tylosaurus nepaeolicus
  Mosasauridae 14 Tylosaurus proriger

NATRICIDAE — Harmless Live-bearing Snakes
  Hillman's Watersnake Nerodia hillmani (Wilson 1968)

Travis W. Taggart © 1999-2024 — w/ Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Fort Hays State University