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Sonoran Whipsnake (Masticophis bilineatus)

Natural History

The Sonoran whipsnake is a long, slender snake reaching lengths between 24 - 67 inches. Its body is olive, greenish, gray or gray-brown fading to yellow towards the tail, with 2 or 3 light-colored stripes on each side. The belly is cream fading to pale yellow towards the tail. The head is broad with large eyes.  

The Sonoran Whipsnake has excellent binocular vision and usually catches its prey with a burst of speed.

The Sonoran whipsnake is found in southeastern to west-central Arizona. as well as in northern Mexico. It found on semiarid lower mountain slopes in rocky stream courses where grass, saguaro cactus, palo verde and ocotillo grow through chaparral and juniper areas into pine-oak forests in the mountains at elevations up to 7500 feet. It is equally at home on the ground or climbing in low, shrubby vegetation and trees.

This fast-moving snake is primarily active in the early morning from March to October. When hunting, the Sonoran whipsnake may elevate its head off the ground and scan the surrounding area for possible prey such as birds, small mammals, lizards, other snakes and frogs. The female snake lays a clutch of 4-13 eggs in June and July.

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