LINED SNAKE
Tropidoclonion lineatum
(Hallowell 1856)


trŏp-ĕh-dō-klōn-ē-ŏn — lĭn-ē-ā-tŭm




An adult from Morris County. Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.
An adult from Waubaunsee County. Image © Jim Scharosch.

Description:
Harmless. Rough scales. A small reptile, often mistaken for a Gartersnake (Thamnophis sp.) because it has three (1 down the middle of the back and 1 on each side) cream- to yellow-colored dorsal stripes down the brown, gray, or tan body. The white to yellowish belly has a double row of black spots (half-moons) down the middle.  The body scales are keeled and the anal scale is single. There are six or fewer scales on each upper lip.
middle; head, body, and tail gray or brown; adult males have longer tails than females. Young look like tiny adults. 
Adults normally grow 224-380 mm (8 5/8 -15 inches) in TL; largest specimen from Kansas: female (KU 208123) from Sedgwick County with TL of 446 mm (17½ inches) collected by Jack Shumard on 15 June 1987; maximum length throughout the range: 22½ inches (Boundy, 1995).

Distribution:
This small snake has a peculiar distribution in the state, in that it is found in all but the four corners. Although records from Oklahoma (Sievert and Sievert, 2005) indicate that it may occur in the southwest corner of the state along the Cimarron River.



(, Museum Voucher) (, Observation) (, Literature Record)
Open icons are questionable records; Click on a marker to view details. Export Google Earth (.kml)
  • Occurrence Summary:  
  • 674 Total Records 
  • 632 Museum Vouchers 
  • 42 Other Observations 
Some county occurrences indicated below may be too imprecise to map above.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences):
Allen (1); Anderson (5); Barber (8); Barton (7); Bourbon (2); Brown (2); Butler (2); Chase (37); Chautauqua (5); Clark (12); Clay (2); Cloud (1); Coffey (2); Comanche (1); Cowley (83); Crawford (7); Dickinson (22); Douglas (27); Elk (5); Ellis (12); Ellsworth (7); Finney (5); Ford (1); Franklin (10); Geary (7); Gove (1); Graham (1); Gray (1); Greenwood (5); Hamilton (2); Harvey (1); Hodgeman (5); Jackson (1); Jefferson (3); Jewell (31); Johnson (6); Kearney (1); Kiowa (7); Leavenworth (21); Lincoln (8); Linn (3); Logan (4); Lyon (4); Marion (2); Marshall (2); McPherson (2); Miami (2); Mitchell (4); Montgomery (2); Morris (3); Neosho (7); Ness (3); Norton (1); Osage (7); Osborne (3); Ottawa (3); Phillips (4); Pottawatomie (24); Pratt (2); Reno (3); Republic (3); Rice (2); Riley (8); Rooks (2); Rush (6); Russell (102); Saline (5); Scott (10); Sedgwick (12); Shawnee (23); Smith (1); Stafford (2); Sumner (6); Trego (3); Unknown (2); Wabaunsee (18); Washington (5); Wichita (1); Wilson (4); Woodson (4); Wyandotte (2);

Natural History:
The Lined Snake is secretive, yet often locally abundant. It inhabits hillsides of open prairies and woodland edge, it is often found inside towns and cities beneath debris in vacant lots and has been documented grassy open areas devoid of rocky cover in western Kansas.
During  the winter, it retires beneath ground to avoid cold temperatures.
Active from April to October; prefers to stay beneath rocks or debris on the hillsides of open prairies and woodland edge, but can often be found beneath trash in the middle of small towns and cities. Breeding occurs in both spring and fall; from 2-12 young are born in August. Feeds on earthworms and other soft-bodied invertebrates.Predators include larger snakes, birds, and mammals


Occurrence Activity:
White dates indicate there is at least a single recorded occurrence on that date. The darker blue a date is, the greater the relative number of observations for that date.
Remarks:
First reported in Kansas by Hallowell (1856). The earliest existing specimen is from 1904 (KU 1752).
This snake can be found in a variety of habitats including thin woods, prairies, dumps, and even urban areas. It is usually encountered by turning cover but is also commonly encountered crossing roads at night.
Burt (1935) reported specimens of this snake taken under flat rocks on prairie ledges 2 miles southwest of Matfield Green, Chase County, on 9 April 1934; and 1 mile northeast of Otto, Cowley County, on 6 May 1934.

Bibliography:
1857 Hallowell, Edward. Notice of a collection of reptiles from Kansas and Nebraska presented to the Academy of Natural Sciences, by Doctor Hammond, U. S. A. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 8():238-253
1860 Cope, Edward D. Catalogue of Colubrdae in the Museum of  the Academy of Natural Sciences of Pailadelphia [sic]. I. Calamarinae. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 12():74-79
1860 Cope, Edward D. Notes and descriptions of new and little known species of American reptiles. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 12():339-345
1875 Cope, Edward D. Check-list of North American Batrachia and Reptilia; with a systematic list of the higher groups, and an essay on geographical distribution. Based on the specimens contained in the U.S. National Museum. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 1():1-104
1884 Garman, Samuel. The North American reptiles and batrachians. Bulletin of the Essex Institute 16():1-46
1885 Cragin, Francis W. Recent additions to the list of Kansas reptiles and batrachians, with further notes on species previously reported. Bulletin of the Washburn College Laboratory of Natural History 1(3):100-103
1885 Cragin, Francis W. Second contribution to the herpetology of Kansas, with observations on the Kansas fauna. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 9():136-140
1891 Stejneger, Leonhard. Notes on some North American snakes. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 14(876):501-505
1900 Cope, Edward D. The crocodilians, lizards and snakes of North America. Pages 153-1270 in Report of the U. S. National Museum for the Year Ending June 30, 1898 , Washington, D. C. pp.
1904 Branson, Edwin B. Snakes of Kansas. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 2(13):353-430
1909 Hurter, Julius and John K. Strecker, Jr. Amphibians and reptiles of Arkansas. Transactions of the Academy of Science St. Louis 18(2):11-27
1911 Hurter, Julius. Herpetology of Missouri. Transactions of the Academy of Science St. Louis 20(5):59-274
1928 Burt, Charles E. Some distributional and ecological records of Kansas reptiles. Transactions of the Academy of Science St. Louis 26():186-208
1929 Taylor, Edward H. A revised checklist of the snakes of Kansas. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 19(5):53-62
1932 Dunn, Emmett R. The status of Tropidoclonion lineatum. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 45():195-198
1932 Gloyd, Howard K. The herpetological fauna of the Pigeon Lake Region, Miami County, Kansas. Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 15():389-408
1933 Stejneger, Leonhard and Thomas Barbour. A Checklist of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. 3rd Edition. Harvard University Press, Cambridge,Massachusetts. pp.
1934 Brennan, Lawrence A. A check list of the amphibians and reptiles of Ellis County, Kansas. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 37():189-191
1934 Burt, Charles E. and W. L. Hoyle. Additional records of the reptiles of the central prairie region of the United States. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 37():193-216
1935 Brennan, Lawrence A. Notes on the Distribution of Amphibia and Reptilia of Ellis County, Kansas. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 114pp.
1935 Burt, Charles E. Further records of the ecology and distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the middle west. American Midland Naturalist 16(3):311-366
1935 Burt, Charles E. and William L. Hoyle. Additional records of the reptiles of the central prairie region of the United States Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 37():193-216
1937 Brennan, Lawrence A. A study of the habitat of reptiles and amphibians of Ellis County, Kansas. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 40():341-347
1937 Grant, Chapman. Herpetological notes from Central Kansas. American Midland Naturalist 18(3):370-372
1953 Schmidt, Karl P. A Check List of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. 6th Edition. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois. 280pp.
1956 Loomis, Richard B. The chigger mites of Kansas (Acarina, Trombiculidae). University of Kansas Science Bulletin 37():1195-1443
1962 Gish, Charles D. The Herpetofauna of Ellis County, Kansas. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 34pp.
1973 Knight, James L., Eugene D. Fleharty, and Jerry D. Johnson. Noteworthy records of distribution and habits of some Kansas herptiles. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 75(3):273-275
1976 Caldwell, Janalee P. and Gregory. Glass. Vertebrates of the Woodson County State Fishing Lake and Game Management Area. Pages 62-76 in Preliminary inventory of the biota of Woodson County State Fishing Lake and Game Management Area. Report No. 5. State Biological Survey of Kansas, Lawrence. pp.
1977 Knight, James L. and Joseph T. Collins. The amphibians and reptiles of Cheyenne County, Kansas, Report Number 15. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence. 19pp.
1985 Karch, Olin Summertime in Emporia --  A short Melodrama in 10 acts. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (61):18-24
1989 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1988. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (75):15-18
1991 Fitch, Henry S. Reptiles and amphibians of the Kansas ecological reserves. Pages 71-74 in Multidisciplinary Guidebook 4. Kansas Academy of Science, Lawrence. pp.
1992 Taggart, Travis W. Observations on Kansas amphibians and reptiles Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (88):13-15
1996 Miller, Larry L. Many amphibian and reptile species identified during KHS 1996 fall field trip to Wabaunsee County. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (106):2-3
2000 Taggart, Travis W. Biogeographic analysis of the reptiles (Squamata) in Ellis County, Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (121):7-16
2000 Taggart, Travis W. KHS spring field trip sets record for attendance. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (120):5-5
2002 Gubanyi, James E.. Osage County herp count I. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (4):15
2002 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS 2002 fall field Trip. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (4):11-13
2004 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS 2004 fall feld trip . Journal of Kansas Herpetology (12):15-16
2005 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS 2005 fall field trip [to Crawford County]. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (16):19-21
2005 Taggart, Travis W., Curtis J. Schmidt, and Richard S. Hayes. Geographic distribution: Tropidoclonion lineatum. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (13):10
2006 Taggart, Travis W. Distribution and status of Kansas herpetofauna in need of information. State Wildlife Grant T7. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt. vii + 106pp.
2007 Taggart, Travis W., Joseph T. Collins, and Curtis J. Schmidt. Estimates of amphibian, reptile, and turtle mortality if Phostoxin is applied to 10,000 acres of prairie dog burrows in Logan County, Kansas. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt. 5pp.
2008 Taggart, Travis W. KHS 2008 spring field trip. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (25):2-3
2010 Collins, Suzanne L. and Joseph T. Collins. Geographic Distribution: Tropidoclonion lineatum (Lined Snake). Journal of Kansas Herpetology (33):6
2010 Miller, Larry L. 2010 Investigation of the Checkered Garter Snake in Kansas with notes on other Amphibians, Reptiles, and Turtles encountered. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt, Kansas. 31pp.
2011 Shofner, Ryan and Sara Unruh Geographic Distribution: Tropidoclonion lineatum. Kansas: Finney County. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (40):8
2012 Hamilton, Bryan Tyler, Rachel Hart , and Jack W. Sites Jr. Feeding Ecology of the Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum, Colubridae) in the Western United States. Journal of Herpetology 46(4):515-522
2012 Rohweder, Megan R. Spatial conservation prioritization of Kansas for terrestrial vertebrates. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 151pp.
2015 Brown, Kasandra A. Occupancy Modeling Of Herpetofauna And Grassland Nesting Birds At Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 72pp.
Account Last Updated:
8/5/2019 1:58:54 PM


Travis W. Taggart © 2020 — Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Fort Hays State University