Name: Striped Whipsnake (Coluber taeniatus)
Order: Snakes (Squamata)
Family: Common Snakes (Colubridae)
What they look like
- Striped whipsnakes are long, smooth, slender snakes that can reach 36 to 72 inches in length.
- Their body’s upper side is black or brown with lateral white stripes along its length, and their underside is white or cream colored.
Where they live
- View a map of where they live.
- Striped whipsnakes occur in specific parts of western United States and northern Mexico.
- Habitats include rocky canyons, grasslands, sagebrush deserts, pinyon-juniper woodlands, oak forests, and ponderosa pine forests.
- Often live and feed near rocky outcrops, rodent burrows, and in trees and shrubs.
What they eat
- Younger striped whipsnakes primarily feed on lizards.
- Adults can also feed on snakes, small mammals, insects, small birds, and occasionally small venomous snakes.
- In June or July, females find an abandoned rodent burrow and lay 3 to 12 eggs, which will hatch after around 50 to 57 days.
Cool Biology Facts
- Striped whipsnakes look like a leather whip, hence their name.
- If captured, striped whipsnakes will often act aggressively and bite.
- Although car collisions and habitat loss from expanding agriculture threaten striped whipsnakes, they are considered “least concern” due to their large stable population and widespread range.
- View their status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.