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Red Racer (Coluber flagellum piceus)
Coachwhip (Coluber flagellum)
Snakes Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)

General Description: A long, thin, red snake without distinct dorsal marks; head and neck often with black marks.

Taxonomy: Colubrid Snakes Family (Colubridae). Formerly Masticophis flagellum.

Technical Description: Body long and thin, to 8.5 ft. Eyes large. Scales smooth. Dorsal color usually reddish or pink, grading to tan towards the tail. Head darker; neck black or with black bars. Anal scale divided. No dorsal marks. Scale pattern resembles a braided whip, hence the name. Wedged lower preocular. Scales in 17 rows at midbody.

Coachwhip (Red Racer) (Masticophis flagellum)
Coachwhips are big-eyed visual predators.

Diet: Eats lizards, small mammals, birds, bird eggs, and insects. Sometimes bobs head like a lizard to attract lizards into the strike zone.

Habitat: Creosote-Bursage Flats, Mojave Desert Scrub, Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands, farm fields, and grasslands with scattered brush and rocky areas to about 8,000 ft. Prefers open areas.

Range: Southern California, southern Nevada, southern Arizona, east; south into Mexico. This subspecies occurs in southern California, southern Nevada, southern Arizona.

Racer (Coluber constrictor)
Young Coachwhip.

Breeding: Clutch of 4 to 20 eggs laid during summer.

Similar Species: There are no other long, thin, red snakes without dorsal marks in southern Nevada.

Comments: Diurnal. Very fast.

Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum) Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum) Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Tasting the air with its forked tongue
Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Tasting the air with its forked tongue
Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
A 5-ft red snake blends into background and disappears
Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Note the black head and neck on a red body
Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum) Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum) Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum) Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Big-eyed visual predator
Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Soon after I took this photo, the snake raced off into the desert.
Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum) Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Flicking its tongue
Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)
Scale pattern resembles a braided, rawhide coach whip.

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 160525

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