The fastest snake I have ever seen. I once watched a striped racer chase a lizard across a hillside; and if I hadn’t known better, I would have thought this slender snake was being blown by a strong gust of wind.
He flipped and flopped; his body never seemed to really touch the ground. He quickly vanished, so I don’t know if the lizard escaped…but I doubt it.
Also known as the California Whipsnake, they are primarily found in chaparral habitat among rocky outcroppings. For more click here. A long snake at 3+ ft. (90-120 cm), they move through shrubs to avoid predators and capture prey.
With speed as their best defense, the snake’s stripes affect the predator’s vision in a way that the attacker continues to see the snake for a second or so after the snake has already escaped.
A snake that can do illusion tricks and flies across hillsides — impressive.
Photo credit: Athena Alexander