Scientific name: Masticophis lateralis
Common name: California Whipsnake or Striped Racer
Size: 22.4-49.2 in (57-125 cm)
Distinguishing characters: A slender species; black, or brownish on dorsum; lighter color toward tail; yellow or white dark-edged stripe down sides from back of head to vent; white, cream or pale yellow venter becoming salmon/pink at tail; large eyes with round pupils; smooth scales.
Juveniles: Similar to adults.
Similar species: Masticophis flagellum: Lacks lateral striping. Thamnophis hammondii: Has keeled scales and red tongue.
Additional notes: An alert, fast moving, diurnal snake that is difficult to capture. May bite and excrete musk when handled.
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Last update: 05 March 2003