A Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of California
Striped Racers (Whipsnakes) found in California
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Striped Racers (also known as Whipsnakes) are long, slender, fast-moving, diurnal snakes inhabiting chaparral, scrubland, open woodlands, rocky hillsides, mostly in the foothills, but also in higher-elevation mixed woodlands. Most often found moving rapidly across the ground. Can also be found moving with the head and forward part of the body raised off the ground. Sometimes found hiding under surface objects.
Two subspecies occur in California, with the Alameda Striped Racer only occurring in isolated areas just east of the San Francisco Bay.
Two other California snake species might be confused with the Striped Racer in areas where they overlap due to their lack of a dorsal stripe, so they are shown below.
Not Dangerous (Non-venomous, or commonly called non-poisonous)
Striped Racers do not have venom that is dangerous to most humans.