Named for the unique shape on the top of its head that resembles a lyre (a type of musical instrument), lyresnakes are one of the most elusive snakes found in Southwest Utah. Since they are so elusive and primarily nocturnal, lyresnakes are very rarely seen. Lyresnakes are known to be rock and crevice dwellers, and their diet consists of lizards, bats, and birds.
Lyresnakes are rear-fanged venomous, and also have the ability to constrict their prey. They are not considered dangerous to humans, but it is not recommended that you handle these snakes.
Since these snakes are so elusive in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, if you see one please take a photo and report the sighting to Reserve staff. You may email reports to Mike at Mike.Schijf@washco.utah.gov.
The photo on the right below was shared with Reserve staff by a lucky hiker in the Paradise Canyon area. This lyresnake was hanging from a crack in the cliffside while trying to subdue its prey – a chuckwalla. Encounters like this are extremely rare!