Scientific name: Masticophis flagellum fuliginosus
Common name: Baja California Coachwhip
Distribution within study area: Extreme Southern San Diego County.
Size: 24-52 in (62-132 cm)
Distinguishing characters: A slender species; dark grey-brown or olive above with white spotting on sides, becoming more prominent on neck and upper body; dark blotches on neck and head; venter cream, and spotted with paired black spots toward head; slender body and tail; large eyes with round pupils; occasional inland individuals may be completely black on dorsum.
Juveniles: Black, brown, or tan transverse bands on lighter (grey) background; neck markings absent in hatchlings and faint in juveniles less than 24in (61 cm) in length.
Similar species: Masticophis lateralis: Has distinct yellow lateral stripes.
Additional notes: A fast moving, alert diurnal snake that is difficult to capture. This species has a rather small range in the extreme southern edge of San Diego County but is common throughout the reserve. When captured it tends to flatten its head, lower its jaw drooling slightly, and remain limp or coil into a ball
Return to Snakes